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Gene Review

Vax2  -  ventral anterior homeobox 2

Mus musculus

Synonyms: Ventral anterior homeobox 2, Ventral retina homeodomain protein, Vex
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Disease relevance of Vax2

  • Vax2 homozygous mutant mice display incomplete closure of the optic fissure that leads to eye coloboma [1].

High impact information on Vax2

  • We provide genetic evidence that two closely related, ventrally expressed homeodomain proteins-Vax1 and Vax2-control this neuroepithelial segregation [2].
  • Finally, Vax2 mutant mice exhibit abnormal projections of ventral retinal ganglion cells [1].
  • Mapping of Vax2 between D6Mit3 and D6Mit8 on chromosome 6 indicated a possible linkage with Emx1 [3].

Biological context of Vax2

  • RESULTS: We isolated two new mouse homeobox genes, Vax1 and Vax2, expressed in retina primordium [3].

Anatomical context of Vax2

  • Vax1 may contribute to differentiation of the neuroretina, pigmented epithelium and optic stalk, while Vax2 could function in the establishment of the dorso-ventral axis of the retina and the visual system [3].


  1. Vax2 inactivation in mouse determines alteration of the eye dorsal-ventral axis, misrouting of the optic fibres and eye coloboma. Barbieri, A.M., Broccoli, V., Bovolenta, P., Alfano, G., Marchitiello, A., Mocchetti, C., Crippa, L., Bulfone, A., Marigo, V., Ballabio, A., Banfi, S. Development (2002) [Pubmed]
  2. Vax genes ventralize the embryonic eye. Mui, S.H., Kim, J.W., Lemke, G., Bertuzzi, S. Genes Dev. (2005) [Pubmed]
  3. Expression of the Vax family homeobox genes suggests multiple roles in eye development. Ohsaki, K., Morimitsu, T., Ishida, Y., Kominami, R., Takahashi, N. Genes Cells (1999) [Pubmed]
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