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Gene Review

dlx2a  -  distal-less homeobox 2a

Danio rerio

Synonyms: DLX-2, Distal-less homeobox gene 2a, Homeobox protein Dlx2a, SO:0000704, dlx-2, ...
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High impact information on dlx2a

  • The most significant difference we found was an absence in zebrafish oral epithelium of expression of dlx2a and dlx2b, transcription factors that are expressed in early Astyanax odontogenic epithelium [1].
  • This was not caused by the absence of neural crest cells or their impaired migration into the pharyngeal arches, as shown by expression of dlx2 and snail1, but by the inability of these cells to differentiate into chondroblasts [2].
  • In the cranial neural crest, gene expression in the mandibular arch is unaffected in low mutants, in contrast to the hyoid arch, which shows severe reductions in dlx2 and hoxa2 expression [3].
  • Presumptive precursor cells of the olfactory placodes express dlx3 and dlx4 but not dlx2 [4].
  • Comparisons of the predicted sequences of the Dlx2, Dlx3, and Dlx4 proteins with distal-less proteins from other species suggest that vertebrate distal-less genes can be divided into four orthologous groups [4].

Other interactions of dlx2a

  • Analyses of chordin, pax2, krox20, and dlx2 expression in morphants demonstrate that early brain patterning is normal but later organization of hindbrain neurons and development of cranial neural crest are perturbed [5].


  1. Developmental genetic mechanisms of evolutionary tooth loss in cypriniform fishes. Stock, D.W., Jackman, W.R., Trapani, J. Development (2006) [Pubmed]
  2. Prep1.1 has essential genetic functions in hindbrain development and cranial neural crest cell differentiation. Deflorian, G., Tiso, N., Ferretti, E., Meyer, D., Blasi, F., Bortolussi, M., Argenton, F. Development (2004) [Pubmed]
  3. lockjaw encodes a zebrafish tfap2a required for early neural crest development. Knight, R.D., Nair, S., Nelson, S.S., Afshar, A., Javidan, Y., Geisler, R., Rauch, G.J., Schilling, T.F. Development (2003) [Pubmed]
  4. Combinatorial expression of three zebrafish genes related to distal-less: part of a homeobox gene code for the head. Akimenko, M.A., Ekker, M., Wegner, J., Lin, W., Westerfield, M. J. Neurosci. (1994) [Pubmed]
  5. Sid4: A secreted vertebrate immunoglobulin protein with roles in zebrafish embryogenesis. diIorio, P.J., Runko, A., Farrell, C.A., Roy, N. Dev. Biol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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