To identify novel homeobox genes expressed during mouse embryogenesis, we searched the databases and found a novel mouse paired-like homeobox gene, Dmbx1(diencephalon/mesencephalon-expressed brain homeobox gene 1), that is also conserved in zebrafish and human. Linkage analysis mapped mouse Dmbx1 to the mid-portion of chromosome 4 that is the homologous gene cluster region of human chromosome 1, where human DMBX1 is located. Both mouse and human Dmbx1/DMBX1 have four coding exons and their gene structures are conserved. Whole-mount in situ hybridization revealed that Dmbx1 expression is detected in 7.5-9.5 dpc mouse embryos. At 7.5 and 8.5 dpc, Dmbx1 is expressed in a sub-region of the anterior head folds. At 9.5 dpc, expression is observed in the caudal diencephalon as well as in the mesencephalon and is restricted to the neuroepithelium. Expression in adult tissues was detected in brain, stomach, and testis. Dmbx1 provides a unique marker of the developing anterior nervous system and should provide a useful molecular resource to elucidate the mechanisms that pattern the vertebrate brain.
- Neural patterning
- Paired-like class homeodomain