Dbx, a divergent homeobox gene, is expressed in a regionally restricted pattern in the developing mouse central nervous system (CNS). In order to understand its spatial regulation, we have isolated a cis-regulatory region using a reporter gene analytical approach in transgenic mice. A 5.7 kb DNA fragment that contains the transcriptional start site of the Dbx gene is sufficient to direct the expression of the transgene to various domains of the CNS in a temporally regulated fashion. The transgene expression can be detected between 9.5 and 15.5 days post coitum in embryos in the fore-, mid- and hindbrain and spinal cord in regions where the endogenous gene is expressed. Additionally, transgene expression can also be detected in the oculomotor nerve (cranial nerve III). The expression of the transgene closely resembles that of the Dbx gene with minor, but interesting differences. These results suggest that major cis-acting elements reside within a 5.7 kb DNA fragment located 5' of the Dbx gene. Further deletion analysis shows that at least two independently regulated elements are present within this DNA fragment: an element that directs expression to the brain and spinal cord and a second element that directs expression to the oculomotor nerve.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Biology