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Mech Dev. 1995 Nov;53(3):345-56.

Mouse Lbx1 and human LBX1 define a novel mammalian homeobox gene family related to the Drosophila lady bird genes.

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Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, CNRS, INSERM, Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France.


We have cloned two novel homeobox genes which are the mouse (Lbx1) and human (LBX1) homologs of the Drosophila lady bird genes. They are highly related not only within the coding region but also in 5' and 3' untranslated regions. Several amino acid residues inside and around the homeodomain, have been conserved between the mammalian Lbx genes and their Drosophila counterparts. The mouse Lbx1 gene is located on chromosome 19 (region D) and the human LBX1 gene maps to the related q24 region of chromosome 10, known as a breakpoint region in translocations t(7;10) and t(10;14) involved in T-cell leukemias. Thus, LBX1 and the protooncogene HOX11 map to a common chromosomal region, as do their Drosophila counterparts, the lady bird and 93Bal genes. The mouse Lbx1 gene is specifically expressed during embryogenesis. From 10.5 days of gestation, Lbx1 expression is detected in the central nervous system and some developing muscles. In the CNS, Lbx1 transcripts are expressed in the dorsal part of the mantle layer of the spinal cord and hindbrain, up to a sharp boundary within the developing metencephalon. Thus, Lbx1 may be inolved in spinal cord and hindbrain differentiation and/or patterning, and its restricted expression pattern could depend upon evolutionarily conserved inductive signals involving some mammalian Wnt and Pax genes, as is the case for Drosophila lady bird genes and wingless or gooseberry.

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