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Mech Dev. 1998 Apr;73(1):117-23.

Expression of ARNT, ARNT2, HIF1 alpha, HIF2 alpha and Ah receptor mRNAs in the developing mouse.

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Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Biological Chemistry, Northwestern University Medical School, IL, USA.


The basic helix-loop-helix-PAS (bHLH-PAS) protein ARNT is a dimeric partner of the Ah receptor (AHR) and hypoxia inducible factor 1 alpha(HIF1 alpha). These dimers mediate biological responses to xenobiotic exposure and low oxygen tension. The recent cloning of ARNT and HIF1(homologues (ARNT2 and HIF2 alpha) indicates that at least six distinct bHLH-PAS heterodimeric combinations can occur in response to a number of environmental stimuli. In an effort to understand the biological relevance of this combinatorial complexity, we characterized their relative expression at a number of developmental time points by parallel in situ hybridization of adjacent tissue sections. Our results reveal that in general there is limited redundancy in the expression of these six transcription factors and that each of these bHLH-PAS members displays a unique pattern of developmental expression emerging as early as embryonic day 9.5.

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