Multistep Control of Pituitary Organogenesis

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Science  05 Dec 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5344, pp. 1809-1812
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5344.1809

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Lhx3 and Lhx4 (Gsh4), two closely related LIM homeobox genes, determine formation of the pituitary gland in mice. Rathke's pouch is formed in two steps—first as a rudiment and later as a definitive pouch. Lhx3 and Lhx4have redundant control over formation of the definitive pouch.Lhx3 controls a subsequent step of pituitary fate commitment. Thereafter, Lhx3 and Lhx4 together regulate proliferation and differentiation of pituitary-specific cell lineages. Thus, Lhx3 and Lhx4 dictate pituitary organ identity by controlling developmental decisions at multiple stages of organogenesis.

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