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Keywords:

  • Lim-only protein;
  • Hox;
  • Pbx;
  • Hoxa2;
  • Hoxb2;
  • hindbrain patterning;
  • mouse

Abstract

The embryonic functions of Hox proteins have been extensively investigated in several animal phyla. These transcription factors act as selectors of developmental programmes, to govern the morphogenesis of multiple structures and organs. However, despite the variety of morphogenetic processes Hox proteins are involved in, only a limited set of their target genes has been identified so far. To find additional targets, we used a strategy based upon the simultaneous overexpression of Hoxa2 and its cofactors Pbx1 and Prep in a cellular model. Among genes whose expression was upregulated, we identified LMO1, which codes for an intertwining LIM-only factor involved in protein–DNA oligomeric complexes. By analysing its expression in Hox knockout mice, we show that Lmo1 is differentially regulated by Hoxa2 and Hoxb2, in specific columns of hindbrain neuronal progenitors. These results suggest that Lmo1 takes part in a Hox paralogue 2–dependent network regulating anteroposterior and dorsoventral hindbrain patterning. Developmental Dynamics 236:2675–2684, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.