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Nkx2-9 is a novel homeobox transcription factor which demarcates ventral domains in the developing mouse CNS.

Mechanisms of Development

Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Base Sequence, Brain, embryology, metabolism, Central Nervous System, Endoderm, Genes, Overlapping, Hedgehog Proteins, Homeodomain Proteins, biosynthesis, genetics, Mice, Molecular Sequence Data, Neural Crest, Protein Biosynthesis, Sequence Alignment, Trans-Activators, Transcription Factors

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      Nkx homeobox transcription factors are expressed in diverse embryonic cells and presumably control cell-type specification and morphogenetic events. Nkx2-9 is a novel family member of NK2 genes which lacks the conserved TN-domain found in all hitherto known murine Nkx2 genes. The prominent expression of Nkx2-9 in ventral brain and neural tube structures defines a subset of neuronal cells along the entire neuraxis. During embryonic development, Nkx2-9-expressing cells shift from the presumptive floor plate into a more dorsolateral position of the neuroectoderm and later become limited to the ventricular zone. Nkx2-9 expression overlaps with that of Nkx2-2 but is generally broader. While initially Nkx2-9 is expressed in close proximity to sonic hedgehog, its expression domain clearly segregates from sonic hedgehog at later developmental stages. The dynamic expression pattern of Nkx2-9 in ventral domains of the CNS is consistent with a possible role in the specification of a distinct subset of neurons. Copyright 1998 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

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