The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 51: 753 - 759 (2007)

Vol 51, Issue 8

A comparative analysis of Meox1 and Meox2 in the developing somites and limbs of the chick embryo

Developmental Expression Pattern | Published: 1 October 2007

Susan Reijntjes1, Sigmar Stricker2 and Baljinder S. Mankoo1,*

1King's College London, Randall Division of Cell and Molecular Biophysics, London, U.K. and 2Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Berlin, Germany


We have examined the expression pattern of the avian Meox1 homeobox gene during early development and up to late limb bud stages. Its expression pattern indicates that it is involved in somite specification and differentiation. The domains of expression are similar but different to those of Meox2. Meox1 is expressed from stage 6 in the pre-somitic mesoderm and as development proceeds, in the tail bud, the dermomyotome of the rostral somites and in the dermomyotome and sclerotome of the caudal somites, the lateral rectus muscle, truncus arteriosus of the heart and the limb buds. Unlike Meox1, Meox2 is not expressed in the pre-somitic mesoderm, but is expressed first in somites formed from stage 11 onwards. In the developing limb, both genes are expressed in the dorsal and ventral limb mesoderm in adjacent domains with a small region of overlap. In the limb bud, Meox1 is co-expressed with Meox2 but neither Meox gene is co-expressed with MyoD. These expression patterns suggest that these two genes have overlapping and distinct functions in development.


chick, somitogenesis, limb bud, sclerotome, dermomyotome

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