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Gene Review

Lhx9  -  LIM homeobox protein 9

Mus musculus

Synonyms: 3110009O07Rik, BB104635, LH2B, LIM/homeobox protein Lhx9, Lhx9 alpha
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High impact information on Lhx9

  • The LIM homeobox gene Lhx9 is essential for mouse gonad formation [1].
  • In mice lacking Lhx9 function, germ cells migrate normally, but somatic cells of the genital ridge fail to proliferate and a discrete gonad fails to form [1].
  • Here we show that transcripts of the LIM homeobox gene Lhx9 are present in urogenital ridges of mice at embryonic day 9.5; later they localize to the interstitial region as morphological differentiation occurs [1].
  • Our data suggest a pathway in which the products of the Wt1 and Lhx9 genes activate expression of Sf1 and thus mediate early gonadogenesis [2].
  • Further molecular analysis showed that Lhx9 is a new candidate gene for the unidentified dreher (dr) mutation in mouse [3].

Biological context of Lhx9


Anatomical context of Lhx9

  • Lhx9 is expressed in the pioneer neurons of the cerebral cortex, while Lhx2 is expressed throughout the cortical layers [4].
  • Lhx9alpha was expressed at lower levels than Lhx9, with a similar but distinct pattern in the brain, especially in the neocortex [3].
  • Lhx9 is closely related to Lhx2 and is expressed in the developing central nervous system (CNS) [4].
  • If this process is impaired by the lack of oocytes, ovigerous cord organization is maintained together with Lhx9 expression [5].
  • In rat and in chick testes, Lhx9 expression present in interstitial cells decreases progressively to become undetectable after birth [5].


  1. The LIM homeobox gene Lhx9 is essential for mouse gonad formation. Birk, O.S., Casiano, D.E., Wassif, C.A., Cogliati, T., Zhao, L., Zhao, Y., Grinberg, A., Huang, S., Kreidberg, J.A., Parker, K.L., Porter, F.D., Westphal, H. Nature (2000) [Pubmed]
  2. The Wilms tumor suppressor WT1 regulates early gonad development by activation of Sf1. Wilhelm, D., Englert, C. Genes Dev. (2002) [Pubmed]
  3. Lhx9 and Lhx9alpha LIM-homeodomain factors: genomic structure, expression patterns, chromosomal localization, and phylogenetic analysis. Failli, V., Rogard, M., Mattei, M.G., Vernier, P., Rétaux, S. Genomics (2000) [Pubmed]
  4. Characterization of Lhx9, a novel LIM/homeobox gene expressed by the pioneer neurons in the mouse cerebral cortex. Bertuzzi, S., Porter, F.D., Pitts, A., Kumar, M., Agulnick, A., Wassif, C., Westphal, H. Mech. Dev. (1999) [Pubmed]
  5. Lhx9 expression during gonadal morphogenesis as related to the state of cell differentiation. Mazaud, S., Oréal, E., Guigon, C.J., Carré-Eusèbe, D., Magre, S. Gene Expr. Patterns (2002) [Pubmed]
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