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Gene Review

gbx2  -  gastrulation brain homeobox 2

Danio rerio

Synonyms: SO:0000704, fd07f12, gbx-2, wu:fd07f12
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High impact information on gbx2

  • In zebrafish, sequential expression of gbx1 and gbx2 in the anterior hindbrain contributes to this process, whereas in mouse embryos, a single Gbx gene (Gbx2) is responsible for MHB development [1].
  • In accordance with these results, enhancer activity in the PB1-A region, as well as gbx2 expression in r1, was missing in no isthmus mutant embryos that lacked functional pax2a [1].
  • Promoter analyses revealed three enhancers that direct reporter gene expression after the end of epiboly in the anterior-most hindbrain, which is a feature of the zebrafish gbx2 gene [1].
  • Three enhancer regions regulate gbx2 gene expression in the isthmic region during zebrafish development [1].
  • Meanwhile, misexpression of otx2 suppressed the expression of gbx2 in the embryonic brain [2].

Biological context of gbx2


Anatomical context of gbx2

  • In contrast, gbx2 did not down-regulate the expression of the hindbrain marker genes [2].
  • Therefore, gbx2 specifically suppressed the formation of the entire fore/midbrain [2].
  • We propose that in zebrafish, gbx genes act repeatedly in MHB development, with gbx1 acting during the positioning period of the MHB at gastrula stages, and gbx2 functioning after initial formation of the MHB, from late gastrulation stages onwards [3].
  • Detailed analysis of the AMH1 enhancer showed that it directs expression in the rhombomere 1 (r1) region and the dorsal thalamus, as has been shown for gbx2, whereas no expression was induced by the AMH1 enhancer in other embryonic regions in which gbx2 is expressed [1].
  • The gbx-2 mRNA is also detected in the otic vesicles, the dorsoposterior telencephalon, the rostral branchial arches, the pronephric duct and median fin fold [4].

Other interactions of gbx2

  • In contrast, gbx2 activation requires ace (fgf8) function, and in the hindbrain primordium, also spg (pou2) [3].
  • Moreover, our results provide an example for switching of a specific gene function of gbx1 versus gbx2 between orthologous genes in zebrafish and mammals [3].


  1. Three enhancer regions regulate gbx2 gene expression in the isthmic region during zebrafish development. Islam, M.E., Kikuta, H., Inoue, F., Kanai, M., Kawakami, A., Parvin, M.S., Takeda, H., Yamasu, K. Mech. Dev. (2006) [Pubmed]
  2. gbx2 Homeobox gene is required for the maintenance of the isthmic region in the zebrafish embryonic brain. Kikuta, H., Kanai, M., Ito, Y., Yamasu, K. Dev. Dyn. (2003) [Pubmed]
  3. Cloning, expression and relationship of zebrafish gbx1 and gbx2 genes to Fgf signaling. Rhinn, M., Lun, K., Amores, A., Yan, Y.L., Postlethwait, J.H., Brand, M. Mech. Dev. (2003) [Pubmed]
  4. The expression of gbx-2 during zebrafish embryogenesis. Su, Y., Meng, A. Mech. Dev. (2002) [Pubmed]
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