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Gene Review

Dbx1  -  developing brain homeobox 1

Mus musculus

Synonyms: AI426026, Dbx, Developing brain homeobox protein 1, Homeobox protein DBX1, Mmox C
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High impact information on Dbx1

  • Shh signaling is sufficient to induce Dbx cells and V0 and V1 neurons but is not required for their generation in vitro or in vivo [1].
  • Further, Hh signaling extends into the dorsal half of the spinal cord including the intermediate Dbx expression domain [2].
  • Together, these findings identify Dbx1-dependent interneurons as key components of the spinal locomotor circuits that control stepping movements in mammals [3].
  • We show a discrete subset of commissural spinal interneurons, whose fate is controlled by the activity of the homeobox gene Dbx1, has a critical role in controlling the left-right alternation of motor neurons innervating hindlimb muscles [3].
  • V0 and V1 interneurons derive from adjacent progenitor domains that are distinguished by expression of the homeodomain proteins Dbx1 and Dbx2 [4].

Biological context of Dbx1

  • In Dbx1 mutant mice, neural progenitors fail to generate V0 neurons and instead give rise to interneurons that express many characteristics of V1 neurons-their transcription factor profile, neurotransmitter phenotype, migratory pattern, and aspects of their axonal trajectory [4].
  • We show that a Dbx1 enhancer drives tau-lacZ expression in a subpopulation of commissural axons and, using a reporter line generated from this construct, as well as DiI tracing, we find that commissural axons projected to the ventral midline in Gli2(-/-) embryos [5].
  • Dbx1 is strongly and specifically expressed in progenitor cells (ventricular zone) of the ventral pallium during early embryonic development, but there is no signal of this gene in the rest of the pallium nor the subpallium [6].
  • The Dbx homeodomain shows highest sequence homology to Drosophila H2.0 and chicken CHox E [7].
  • The expression of the transgene closely resembles that of the Dbx gene with minor, but interesting differences [8].

Anatomical context of Dbx1


Other interactions of Dbx1

  • No recombination was observed between Dbx and Odc-rs6, indicating that Dbx lies approximately 25 cM distal to the Chr 7 centromere in a region that has conserved linkage relationships with regions of human Chrs 11 and 19 [10].
  • Members of several classes have been isolated, including the Msx genes, two Dlx genes, and the Dbx, MHox, Mox2A genes [11].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Dbx1


  1. A sonic hedgehog-independent, retinoid-activated pathway of neurogenesis in the ventral spinal cord. Pierani, A., Brenner-Morton, S., Chiang, C., Jessell, T.M. Cell (1999) [Pubmed]
  2. A direct requirement for Hedgehog signaling for normal specification of all ventral progenitor domains in the presumptive mammalian spinal cord. Wijgerde, M., McMahon, J.A., Rule, M., McMahon, A.P. Genes Dev. (2002) [Pubmed]
  3. Genetic identification of spinal interneurons that coordinate left-right locomotor activity necessary for walking movements. Lanuza, G.M., Gosgnach, S., Pierani, A., Jessell, T.M., Goulding, M. Neuron (2004) [Pubmed]
  4. Control of interneuron fate in the developing spinal cord by the progenitor homeodomain protein Dbx1. Pierani, A., Moran-Rivard, L., Sunshine, M.J., Littman, D.R., Goulding, M., Jessell, T.M. Neuron (2001) [Pubmed]
  5. Ventral midline cells are required for the local control of commissural axon guidance in the mouse spinal cord. Matise, M.P., Lustig, M., Sakurai, T., Grumet, M., Joyner, A.L. Development (1999) [Pubmed]
  6. Expression of Dbx1, Neurogenin 2, Semaphorin 5A, Cadherin 8, and Emx1 distinguish ventral and lateral pallial histogenetic divisions in the developing mouse claustroamygdaloid complex. Medina, L., Legaz, I., González, G., De Castro, F., Rubenstein, J.L., Puelles, L. J. Comp. Neurol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  7. Expression pattern of a murine homeobox gene, Dbx, displays extreme spatial restriction in embryonic forebrain and spinal cord. Lu, S., Bogarad, L.D., Murtha, M.T., Ruddle, F.H. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1992) [Pubmed]
  8. Separate cis-acting elements determine the expression of mouse Dbx gene in multiple spatial domains of the central nervous system. Lu, S., Shashikant, C.S., Ruddle, F.H. Mech. Dev. (1996) [Pubmed]
  9. A subset of oligodendrocytes generated from radial glia in the dorsal spinal cord. Fogarty, M., Richardson, W.D., Kessaris, N. Development (2005) [Pubmed]
  10. Genetic mapping of a new homeobox gene to mouse chromosome 7. Johnson, K.R., Lu, S., Murtha, M.T., Ruddle, F.H., Davisson, M.T. Genomics (1992) [Pubmed]
  11. Distal-less and other homeobox genes in the development of the dentition. Weiss, K.M., Bollekens, J., Ruddle, F.H., Takashita, K. J. Exp. Zool. (1994) [Pubmed]
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