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Gene Review

GSC  -  goosecoid homeobox

Gallus gallus

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High impact information on GSC

  • Quail posterior margin and anterior primitive streak grafts (gsc expressing) induce gsc transcription in neighboring chick host cells [1].
  • The homeobox gene goosecoid and the origin of organizer cells in the early chick blastoderm [1].
  • Lithium treatments performed during early or medium streak stages cause excessive development of the anterior primitive streak, node and notochord, and lead to a degeneration of prospective ventral and posterior structures, as shown by the expression of the molecular markers GSC, CNOT1, BMP2 and Ch-Tbx6L [2].
  • Embryos treated before primitive streak formation become completely radialized, as shown by the expression of molecular markers, CMIX and GSC [2].
  • In the first few hours of chick embryogenesis, the expression pattern of GSX is similar to GSC, in the posterior margin of the embryo and the young primitive streak [3].

Biological context of GSC

  • We discuss the effect of a duplicated basic goosecoid identity for the generation of a chordate nervous system in ontogeny and phylogeny [3].
  • From these results we suggest that gsc may normally function to regulate growth and patterning of the limb, perhaps through regulation of Hox gene expression [4].

Anatomical context of GSC

  • Segregating expression domains of two goosecoid genes during the transition from gastrulation to neurulation in chick embryos [3].
  • The cells in this region, which also express the goosecoid and cVg1 genes, may have organizer properties which induce the mesoderm and determine the initiation site of gastrulation in the chick embryo [5].
  • These phenotypes correlate with a decrease in levels of Hox gene expression in gsc-infected limb buds [4].
  • In addition, we were able to demonstrate that the pattern of gsc expression appears to provide a more sensitive and accurate means of determining the developmental stage of early porcine embryos than the more commonly used trophoblast or embryoblast size [6].
  • The only significant species-related difference in the distribution of gsc expression at these stages of development was the presence of gsc expression in the gut endoderm of chicken but not pig embryos [6].

Other interactions of GSC

  • While Brachyury, a pan-mesodermal marker gene, ERNI, the earliest known marker for neural induction in chick, and noggin, important in neural tube patterning, are upregulated, expression of goosecoid, necessary for gastrulation movements, does not appear to be significantly altered [7].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of GSC

  • For this the homeobox containing region of the porcine gsc was isolated using RT-PCR [8].


  1. The homeobox gene goosecoid and the origin of organizer cells in the early chick blastoderm. Izpisúa-Belmonte, J.C., De Robertis, E.M., Storey, K.G., Stern, C.D. Cell (1993) [Pubmed]
  2. Nuclear beta-catenin and the development of bilateral symmetry in normal and LiCl-exposed chick embryos. Roeser, T., Stein, S., Kessel, M. Development (1999) [Pubmed]
  3. Segregating expression domains of two goosecoid genes during the transition from gastrulation to neurulation in chick embryos. Lemaire, L., Roeser, T., Izpisúa-Belmonte, J.C., Kessel, M. Development (1997) [Pubmed]
  4. Goosecoid misexpression alters the morphology and Hox gene expression of the developing chick limb bud. Heanue, T.A., Johnson, R.L., Izpisua-Belmonte, J.C., Stern, C.D., De Robertis, E.M., Tabin, C.J. Mech. Dev. (1997) [Pubmed]
  5. The ability to initiate an axis in the avian blastula is concentrated mainly at a posterior site. Khaner, O. Dev. Biol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  6. Comparison of anterior-posterior development in the porcine versus chicken embryo, using goosecoid expression as a marker. van de Pavert, S.A., Schipper, H., de Wit, A.A., Soede, N.M., van den Hurk, R., Taverne, M.A., Boerjan, M.L., Stroband, H.W. Reprod. Fertil. Dev. (2001) [Pubmed]
  7. Acceleration of early chick embryo morphogenesis by insulin is associated with altered expression of embryonic genes. Patwardhan, V., Gokhale, M., Ghaskadbi, S. Int. J. Dev. Biol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  8. Expression of the organizer specific homeobox gene goosecoid (gsc) in porcine embryos. Meijer, H.A., Van De Pavert, S.A., Stroband, H.W., Boerjan, M.L. Mol. Reprod. Dev. (2000) [Pubmed]
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