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Dev Biol. 2004 Nov 15;275(2):315-24.

The role of Emx2 during scapula formation.

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Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology II, University of Freiburg, D-79001 Freiburg, Germany.


The scapula is subdivided into head, collum, and blade. Due to the expression pattern of Emx2 and the absence of the scapula blade in Emx2 knockout mice, it has been suggested that Emx2 is involved in the formation of the scapula. Micromanipulation experiments revealed that ectoderm ablation over the somites does not affect Emx2 expression but inhibits the formation of the scapula blade indicating that Emx2 is not sufficient to induce scapula blade formation. Furthermore, we show that the formation of the scapula head is dependent, scapula blade formation independent of FGFR-1-mediated signaling. Overexpression of Emx2 does not influence scapula blade formation but leads to the development of an additional posterior digit in the anterior border of the limb. Taken together, the data presented implicate that Emx2 expression is necessary but not sufficient for the development of the scapula blade. It is not a marker for scapula development but rather provides positional information along the proximodistal and anterior-posterior limb axes, whereas the specificity of the developing skeletal elements is determined by the concerted interaction of Emx2 with other factors.

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