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Role of Pitx1 Upstream of Tbx4 in Specification of Hindlimb Identity

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Science  12 Mar 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5408, pp. 1736-1739
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5408.1736

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Abstract

In spite of recent breakthroughs in understanding limb patterning, the genetic factors determining the differences between the forelimb and the hindlimb have not been understood. The genes Pitx1and Tbx4 encode transcription factors that are expressed throughout the developing hindlimb but not forelimb buds. Misexpression of Pitx1 in the chick wing bud induced distal expression of Tbx4, as well as HoxC10 and HoxC11, which are normally restricted to hindlimb expression domains. Wing buds in which Pitx1 was misexpressed developed into limbs with some morphological characteristics of hindlimbs: the flexure was altered to that normally observed in legs, the digits were more toe-like in their relative size and shape, and the muscle pattern was transformed to that of a leg.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: tabin{at}rascal.med.harvard.edu

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