We report the cloning and genetic characterization of one human and two murine homologs of the mab-21 cell fate specification gene. mab-21 participates in the formation of sensory organs in the male nematode tail, and is essential for other developmental functions elsewhere in the Caenorhabditis elegans embryo. The expanding mab-21 gene family, which is strikingly conserved in evolution, includes two putative Drosophila members. The two mammalian genes, encoding 41 kDa nuclear basic proteins, are expressed in partially overlapping territories in the embryonic brain, eye and limbs, as well as in neural crest derivatives. Recent genetic data implicating mab-21 as a downstream target of TGF-β signaling, together with the distribution of mab-21 transcripts in the mouse embryo, propose these novel genes as relevant factors in various aspects of vertebrate neural development.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Human Molecular Genetics|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|
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