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Gene Review

EMX1  -  empty spiracles homeobox 1

Homo sapiens

Synonyms: Empty spiracles homolog 1, Empty spiracles-like protein 1, Homeobox protein EMX1
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High impact information on EMX1

  • Upon integration into the striatal GZ, cortical stem cells down-regulate Emx1 and up-regulate Dlx2, which is a homeobox gene characteristic of the developing striatum and striatal neural stem cells [1].
  • We cloned two homeobox genes, Emx1 and Emx2, related to empty spiracles, a gene expressed in very anterior body regions during early Drosophila embryogenesis, and studied their expression in mouse embryos [2].
  • To test for autonomy of gene expression in the prosencephalon, we grafted tissue from this region to more caudal positions in the neural tube and analyzed for expression of Emx1, Emx2, qin, or Pax6 [3].
  • We demonstrate here that the volatile oil constituents eugenol and methylchavicol accumulate, respectively, in the peltate glands of basil lines SW (which produces essentially only eugenol) and EMX-1 (which produces essentially only methylchavicol) [4].
  • These libraries were affinity selected with a monoclonal antibody against the neural specific factor GAP-43 and with polyclonal antibodies that recognize the EMX1 and EMX2 homeoproteins [5].

Biological context of EMX1

  • Here, we demonstrate their use to compare forebrain development at two embryonic stages (Carnegie stages 18 and 21; 44 and 52 days post conception, respectively) and as a means of recording, storing and visualising gene expression data for three example genes EMX1, EMX2 and OTX2 [6].
  • Of particular interest is the presence of EMX1 in the olfactory nerve from its first appearance during embryogenesis to birth [7].

Anatomical context of EMX1

  • In the cerebral cortex EMX1 is present in nuclei of proliferating, differentiating and most mature neurons belonging to all cortical layers [7].
  • We have identified a cruciform-resolving enzyme (X-solvase) in nuclear extracts from mouse B-cells, called EMX1, by using an exonuclease-resistant cruciform DNA as a substrate [8].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of EMX1

  • After ligation, the covalently closed substrate was used to follow an 1800-fold purification of the mouse X-solvase (EMX1) from crude nuclear extracts by chromatography on DEAE-cellulose, MonoQ and heparin-Sepharose [8].


  1. Embryonic cortical neural stem cells migrate ventrally and persist as postnatal striatal stem cells. Willaime-Morawek, S., Seaberg, R.M., Batista, C., Labb??, E., Attisano, L., Gorski, J.A., Jones, K.R., Kam, A., Morshead, C.M., van der Kooy, D. J. Cell Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  2. Two vertebrate homeobox genes related to the Drosophila empty spiracles gene are expressed in the embryonic cerebral cortex. Simeone, A., Gulisano, M., Acampora, D., Stornaiuolo, A., Rambaldi, M., Boncinelli, E. EMBO J. (1992) [Pubmed]
  3. Dynamic domains of gene expression in the early avian forebrain. Bell, E., Ensini, M., Gulisano, M., Lumsden, A. Dev. Biol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  4. An investigation of the storage and biosynthesis of phenylpropenes in sweet basil. Gang, D.R., Wang, J., Dudareva, N., Nam, K.H., Simon, J.E., Lewinsohn, E., Pichersky, E. Plant Physiol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  5. Bacteriophage lambda display of complex cDNA libraries: a new approach to functional genomics. Santi, E., Capone, S., Mennuni, C., Lahm, A., Tramontano, A., Luzzago, A., Nicosia, A. J. Mol. Biol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  6. 3D modelling, gene expression mapping and post-mapping image analysis in the developing human brain. Sarma, S., Kerwin, J., Puelles, L., Scott, M., Strachan, T., Feng, G., Sharpe, J., Davidson, D., Baldock, R., Lindsay, S. Brain Res. Bull. (2005) [Pubmed]
  7. EMX1 homeoprotein is expressed in cell nuclei of the developing cerebral cortex and in the axons of the olfactory sensory neurons. Briata, P., Di Blas, E., Gulisano, M., Mallamaci, A., Iannone, R., Boncinelli, E., Corte, G. Mech. Dev. (1996) [Pubmed]
  8. Detection and partial purification of a cruciform-resolving activity (X-solvase) from nuclear extracts of mouse B-cells. Solaro, P., Greger, B., Kemper, B. Eur. J. Biochem. (1995) [Pubmed]
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