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Hum Mol Genet. 1997 Mar;6(3):457-64.

Pituitary homeobox 2, a novel member of the bicoid-related family of homeobox genes, is a potential regulator of anterior structure formation.

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  • 1Department of Human Genetics, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor 48109-0618, USA.


Genetic analysis of mouse mutants has demonstrated the importance of the homeobox genes Rpx, Lhx3 and Pit1 for anterior pituitary gland development. Pit1 mutations have also been identified in several human families with multiple pituitary hormone deficiencies. To identify additional homeobox regulators of pituitary development, we screened an adult pituitary gland cDNA library for homeobox sequences. Here, we report the identification of a novel bicoid-related homeodomain gene expressing two alternatively spliced mRNA products, which encode proteins of 271 and 317 amino acids, respectively. The proteins have been named Ptx2a and Ptx2b since they are highly related to Ptx1/P-OTX. Ptx2 is expressed in both developing and adult pituitary gland, eye and brain tissues, suggesting an important role in development and maintenance of anterior structures. Ptx2 was mapped close to Egf on mouse chromosome 3, in a region having extensive synteny homology with HSA 4q. These data make the human Ptx2 homologue a candidate gene for Rieger syndrome, an autosomal-dominant disorder with variable craniofacial, dental, eye and pituitary anomalies.

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