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Dev Biol. 1995 Aug;170(2):701-16.

Characterization and developmental expression of Pax9, a paired-box-containing gene related to Pax1.

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GSF-Forschungszentrum für Umwelt and Gesundheit, Institut für Säugetiergenetik, Neuherberg, Oberschleissheim, Federal Republic of Germany.


Pax9, a recently identified mouse paired-box-containing gene, is highly homologous to Pax1 and belongs to the same subfamily as Pax1, Hup48, PAX9, and pox meso. Two overlapping cDNA clones spanning the entire coding region of Pax9 were isolated and sequenced. A comparison of the Pax1 and -9 protein sequences reveals a high degree of similarity even outside the paired box, while the carboxy-terminus of the two proteins diverges completely. We demonstrate that Pax9 can bind to the e5 sequence from the Drosophila even skipped promoter, which is also recognized by Pax1. We analyzed the expression of Pax9 during embryogenesis of wildtype, Undulated short-tail (Uns), and Danforth's short tail (Sd) mice. In wildtype embryos Pax9 is expressed in the pharyngeal pouches and their derivatives, the developing vertebral column, the tail, the head, and the limbs. Expression of Pax9 is unaffected in Uns embryos, in which the Pax1 gene is deleted, arguing that expression of Pax9 is not dependent on Pax1. The expression of Pax9 is lost in the caudal part of Sd homozygous embryos, suggesting that expression of Pax9 in the vertebral column is dependent on the notochord. These results indicate that both Pax9 and -1 may act in parallel during morphogenesis of the vertebral column.

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