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Development. 2007 Jan;134(1):93-103.

Tbx4 is not required for hindlimb identity or post-bud hindlimb outgrowth.

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Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Department of Genetics and Development, 701 W. 168th St., New York, NY 10032, USA.


Tbx4 is a crucial gene in the initiation of hindlimb development and has been reported as a determinant of hindlimb identity and a presumptive direct regulator of Fgf10 in the limb. Using a conditional allele of Tbx4, we have ablated Tbx4 function before and after limb initiation. Ablation of Tbx4 before expression in the hindlimb field confirms its requirement for limb bud outgrowth. However, ablation of Tbx4 shortly after onset of expression in the hindlimb field, during limb bud formation, alters neither limb outgrowth nor expression of Fgf10. Instead, post-limb-initiation loss of Tbx4 results in reduction of limb core tissue and hypoplasia of proximal skeletal elements. Loss of Tbx4 during later limb outgrowth produces no limb defects, revealing a brief developmental requirement for Tbx4 function. Despite evidence from ectopic expression studies, our work establishes that loss of Tbx4 has no effect on hindlimb identity as assessed by morphology or molecular markers.

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