Cloning and characterization of two members of the vertebrate Dlx gene family

Antonio Simeone, Dario Acampora, Maria Pannese, Maurizio D'Esposito, Anna Stornaiuolo, Massimo Gulisano, Antonio Mallamaci, Kumar Kastury, Teresa Druck, Kay Huebner, Edoardo Boncinelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A number of vertebrate genes of the Dlx gene family have been cloned in mouse, frog, and zebrafish. These genes contain a homeobox related to that of Distalless, a gene expressed in the developing head and limbs of Drosophila embryos. We cloned and studied the expression of two members of this family, which we named Dlx5 and Dlx6, in human and mouse. The two human genes, DLX5 and DLX6, are closely linked in an inverted convergent configuration in a region of chromosome 7, at 7q22. Similarly, the two human genes DLX1 and DLX2 are closely linked in a convergent configuration at 2q32, near the HOXD (previously HOX4) locus. In situ hybridization experiments in mouse embryos revealed expression of Dlx5 and Dlx6 mRNA in restricted regions of ventral diencephalon and basal telencephalon, with a distribution very similar to that reported for Dlx1 and Dlx2 mRNA. A surprising feature of Dlx5 and Dlx6 is that they are also expressed in all skeletal structures of midgestation embryos after the first cartilage formation. The expression pattern of these genes, together with their chromosome localization, may provide useful cues for the study of congenital disorders in which there is a combination of craniofacial and limb defects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2250-2254
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 1994


  • brain
  • cartilage
  • development
  • gene expression
  • homeobox

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General


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