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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Mar 7;103(10):3651-6. Epub 2006 Feb 27.

Tbx6-mediated Notch signaling controls somite-specific Mesp2 expression.

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  • 1Cellular and Molecular Toxicology Division, National Institute of Health Sciences, Kamiyoga 1-18-1, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 158-8501, Japan.


Mesp2 is a transcription factor that plays fundamental roles in somitogenesis, and its expression is strictly restricted to the anterior presomitic mesoderm just before segment border formation. The transcriptional on-off cycle is linked to the segmentation clock. In our current study, we show that a T-box transcription factor, Tbx6, is essential for Mesp2 expression. Tbx6 directly binds to the Mesp2 gene upstream region and mediates Notch signaling, and subsequent Mesp2 transcription, in the anterior presomitic mesoderm. Our data therefore reveal that a mechanism, via Tbx6-dependent Notch signaling, acts on the transcriptional regulation of Mesp2. This finding uncovers an additional component of the interacting network of various signaling pathways that are involved in somitogenesis.

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