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Biochem Cell Biol. 1997;75(5):613-22.

Cross-interactions between two members of the Dlx family of homeobox-containing genes during zebrafish development.

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Ottawa Civic Hospital Loeb Research Institute, ON, Canada.


The Dlx homeobox genes of vertebrates are transcribed in multiple cells of the embryo with overlapping patterns but often with different onsets of expression. Here we describe the interaction between two dlx genes, dlx3 and dlx4, during zebrafish development. The observation that dlx3 expression precedes that of dlx4 in the otic vesicle led us to investigate whether dlx3 had the ability to control expression of dlx4. Truncated versions of dlx3 were overexpressed in zebrafish embryos and the expression patterns of dlx4 were examined later in development. Overexpression of truncated forms of Dlx3 or of a Dlx3-Dlx2 chimera was found to result in perturbations in dlx4 expression. In addition, cotransfection experiments indicated the ability of Dlx3 to activate transcription through a 1.7-kb fragment of the 5' flanking region of dlx4. These results suggest that dlx4 is one of the target genes of dlx3 in embryos and that cross-regulatory interactions between Dlx genes may be one of the mechanisms responsible for their overlapping expression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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