Multiple phases of expression and regulation of mouse Hoxc8 during early embryogenesis

Heinz Georg Belting, Cooduvalli S. Shashikant, Frank H. Ruddle

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Abstract

Hox genes are expressed in dynamic patterns during embryogenesis consistent with their role in axial specifications. To study the distribution of mouse Hoxc8, a homeodomain containing protein, we raised monoclonal antibodies against the least conserved portion of Hoxc8. Using these antibodies, we have examined early and mid-gestation embryos for the distribution of the protein. At the end of gastrulation Hoxc8 is expressed in the caudal portion of the embryo. In the neural tube, an early phase when all cells express Hoxc8 is distinguished from a late phase with predominant expression in differentiating neurons. A comparison of this expression pattern with that of a reporter gene under the control of the early Hoxc8 enhancer demarcates three separate regulatory components: (1) initiation and establishment; (2) maintenance; and, (3) downregulation. We propose that Hoxc8 expression during embryogenesis is established in multiple phases. Possible regulatory mechanisms involved in generating such a complex domain of Hox gene expression are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-222
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Experimental Zoology
Volume282
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 1998

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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