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Int J Dev Biol. 2006;50(5):504-10.

Tbx1 is expressed at multiple sites of epithelial-mesenchymal interaction during early development of the facial complex.

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Department of Craniofacial Development, King's College London, GKT Dental Institute, Guy's Hospital, London, UK.


TBX1 encodes a T-box-containing transcription factor, which is thought to be a key player in the aetiology of the DiGeorge and Velocardiofacial syndromes (DGS/VCFS). In addition to defects affecting structures derived from the pharyngeal pouches, these patients exhibit varying degrees of facial dysmorphology and cleft palate. We have analysed the expression of murine Tbx1 during early facial development and found transcripts at sites of known epithelial-mesenchymal interaction. In particular, Tbx1 was expressed in epithelium of the early facial processes, including the fronto-nasal, medial and lateral nasal and palatine. Transcripts were also localised to the epithelium of developing tooth germs and hair follicles at several stages during their early development. Together, these expression domains suggest a role for Tbx1 in mediating epithelial-mesenchymal signalling in regions of the developing face, a finding which is consistent with the spectrum of facial deformity encountered amongst subjects affected by DGS/VCFS.

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