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Gene Review

dlx3b  -  distal-less homeobox 3b

Danio rerio

Synonyms: DLX-3, Distal-less homeobox protein 3b, Homeobox protein Dlx3b, SO:0000704, dlx-3, ...
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High impact information on dlx3b

  • Later, cells aligned with the future axes of the semicircular canals specifically express either dlx-3 or msh-D [1].
  • Even later, sensory hair cells express msh-C and msh-D, while other cells of the epithelium express dlx-3 [1].
  • Cells in the ectoderm express dlx-3 before induction of the otic vesicle, suggesting that dlx-3 has an early function in this process [1].
  • We analyzed pituitary precursor cell lineages and find that pitx3 and distal-less3b (dlx3b) expression domains define lens and pituitary precursor positions [2].
  • Combined loss of Fgf signaling and the three transcription factor genes, dlx3b, dlx4b and sox9a, also completely eliminates all indications of otic cells [3].

Biological context of dlx3b


Anatomical context of dlx3b

  • Removal of dlx3b, dlx4b and sox9a genes together also blocks ear development, although a few residual cells form an otic epithelium [3].
  • Inhibition of dlx3b and dlx4b protein and activity resulted in the reduction or complete loss of Rohon-Beard (RB) sensory neurons and trigeminal (TG) sensory placodes [8].
  • Although cell death in the mutant was not concentrated in the region of dlx3 expression, there was increased cell death in the forebrain, epiphysis, and jaw region, as compared with that in wild-type controls [7].

Other interactions of dlx3b

  • Depletion of both foxi1 and dlx3b results in a complete ablation of otic placode formation [9].
  • Presumptive precursor cells of the olfactory placodes express dlx3 and dlx4 but not dlx2 [4].


  1. Regional expression of three homeobox transcripts in the inner ear of zebrafish embryos. Ekker, M., Akimenko, M.A., Bremiller, R., Westerfield, M. Neuron (1992) [Pubmed]
  2. pitx3 defines an equivalence domain for lens and anterior pituitary placode. Dutta, S., Dietrich, J.E., Aspöck, G., Burdine, R.D., Schier, A., Westerfield, M., Varga, Z.M. Development (2005) [Pubmed]
  3. Fgf3 and Fgf8 dependent and independent transcription factors are required for otic placode specification. Liu, D., Chu, H., Maves, L., Yan, Y.L., Morcos, P.A., Postlethwait, J.H., Westerfield, M. 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. Zebrafish msxB, msxC and msxE function together to refine the neural-nonneural border and regulate cranial placodes and neural crest development. Phillips, B.T., Kwon, H.J., Melton, C., Houghtaling, P., Fritz, A., Riley, B.B. Dev. Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  6. Fgf3 and Fgf8 are required together for formation of the otic placode and vesicle. Maroon, H., Walshe, J., Mahmood, R., Kiefer, P., Dickson, C., Mason, I. Development (2002) [Pubmed]
  7. Phenotype of the zebrafish masterblind (mbl) mutant is dependent on genetic background. Sanders, L.H., Whitlock, K.E. Dev. Dyn. (2003) [Pubmed]
  8. dlx3b and dlx4b function in the development of Rohon-Beard sensory neurons and trigeminal placode in the zebrafish neurula. Kaji, T., Artinger, K.B. Dev. Biol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  9. Genetic interactions underlying otic placode induction and formation. Solomon, K.S., Kwak, S.J., Fritz, A. Dev. Dyn. (2004) [Pubmed]
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