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Gene. 1997 Dec 12;203(2):217-23.

Alx-4: cDNA cloning and characterization of a novel paired-type homeodomain protein.

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Department of Biochemistry, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.


Homeodomain containing transcription factors serve important functions in patterning the embryo during vertebrate development. We have isolated cDNA clones encoding a novel protein, named Alx-4, that contains a paired-type homeodomain. Analysis of the homeodomain sequence shows that Alx-4 belongs to a family of genes that are related to the Drosophila gene aristaless, and includes the mammalian genes Alx3, Cart-1, MHox, and S8. We have analyzed the expression of Alx-4 during development by Northern blot and whole mount in situ hybridization. In addition, we have generated antibodies to recombinant Alx-4 protein and identified Alx-4 protein in nuclear extracts prepared from mouse embryos. The expression pattern of Alx-4 suggests that it may play a role in the patterning of structures derived from craniofacial mesenchyme, the first branchial arch, and the limb bud. Our results provide a starting point for the analysis of a new member of the family of paired type homeodomain proteins.

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