The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 45: 681 - 684 (2001)

Vol 45, Issue 4

Differential regulation of Dlx gene expression by a BMP morphogenetic gradient

Published: 1 June 2001

T Luo, M Matsuo-Takasaki, J H Lim and T D Sargent

Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-2790, USA.


Three members of the vertebrate Distal-less gene family, Dlx3, 5 and 6, are transcribed in early gastrula embryos of Xenopus laevis. This expression is confined to ectoderm and is excluded from the presumptive neural plate region. Expression of all three genes is dependent upon BMP signaling, with significant differences in how the three genes respond to the BMP antagonist chordin. This correlates with the different expression domain boundaries in vivo for Dlx3 compared to Dlx5 and 6, suggesting that BMP signal attenuation could be the primary factor in determining these different patterns in the gastrula ectoderm.

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