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Nat Genet. 1994 Jul;7(3):383-9.

An ancient family of embryonically expressed mouse genes sharing a conserved protein motif with the T locus.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, New Jersey 08544.


The T locus encodes a product with DNA binding activity that is likely to play a role in the development of all vertebrate organisms. We have identified and characterized a novel family of mouse genes that share a protein motif, the T-box, with the prototypical T locus. The T-box domain of the T locus co-localizes with its DNA binding activity. Each T-box gene is expressed in a unique temporal and spatial pattern during embryogenesis. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that at least three T-box genes were present in the common ancestor to vertebrates and invertebrates. Thus, members of the T-box family could have played a role in the evolution of all metazoan organisms.

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