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EMBO J. 1992 Jul;11(7):2541-50.

Two vertebrate homeobox genes related to the Drosophila empty spiracles gene are expressed in the embryonic cerebral cortex.

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International Institute of Genetics and Biophysics, CNR, Naples, Italy.


We cloned two homeobox genes, Emx1 and Emx2, related to empty spiracles, a gene expressed in very anterior body regions during early Drosophila embryogenesis, and studied their expression in mouse embryos. Emx1 expression is detectable from day 9.5 of gestation whereas Emx2 appears to be already expressed in 8.5 day embryos. Both genes are expressed in the presumptive cerebral cortex and olfactory bulbs. Emx1 is expressed exclusively there, whereas Emx2 is also expressed in some neuroectodermal areas in embryonic head including olfactory placodes in earlier stages and olfactory epithelia later in development.

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