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Gene Review

evx1  -  even-skipped homeobox 1

Xenopus laevis

Synonyms: eve1, xhox3
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High impact information on Xhox3

  • Our findings suggest that Xhox3 is involved in establishing anterior-posterior cell identities during pattern formation of the axial mesoderm in early embryonic development [1].
  • Although RA changes the character of mesoderm, it does not seem to affect mesodermal induction by PGFs or the levels of Xhox3 mRNA induced in the mesoderm by PGFs [2].
  • We have previously shown that expression of Xbra alone in animal caps is sufficient to specify ventral mesoderm which expresses Xhox3 and low levels of muscle-specific actin [3].
  • We show that p53 functionally and physically interacts with the activin and bone morphogenetic protein pathways to directly induce the expression of the homeobox genes Xhox3 and Mix.1/2 [4].
  • Moreover, the homeobox gene Xhox3, a critical determinant of posterior development, is also directly regulated by Gli2 [5].

Biological context of Xhox3

  • Bimodal and graded expression of the Xenopus homeobox gene Xhox3 during embryonic development [6].
  • In late tadpole stages, Xhox3 is only expressed in the mid/hindbrain area and can therefore be considered a marker of anterior neural development [7].
  • We further find that (1) Xvents act as transcriptional repressors, (2) Xvents function in an additive fashion and (3) a surprising number of genes are able to rescue dominant-negative Xvent phenotypes including Bmp-4, Smad-1 and wild-type Xvents and Xhox3, but not Xwnt-8 [8].
  • Intestinal fatty acid binding protein (IFABP) is expressed only in the anterior small intestine, and the even-skipped homeobox gene Xhox3 is expressed in the most posterior part of the gut, the proctodeum [9].

Anatomical context of Xhox3

  • During the early period of Xhox3 expression, the gastrula and neurula stages, transcripts are found in a graded fashion along the anteroposterior (A-P) axis in the mesoderm and are most concentrated at the posterior pole [6].
  • The Xenopus laevis homeobox gene Xhox3 is expressed in the axial mesoderm of gastrula and neurula stage embryos [7].
  • Treatment with RA caused a concentration-dependent change in the pattern of expression of Xhox3 and serotonin and resulted in the ectopic appearance of immunoreactive neurons in anterior regions of the CNS, including the forebrain [10].
  • In situ hybridization analyses of exogastrulated embryos show that Xhox3 is expressed in the apical ectoderm of total exogastrulae, a region that develops in the absence of anterior axial mesoderm [7].
  • In situ hybridization analysis of the expression of Xhox3 in neural tissue shows that it is restricted within the neural tube and the cranial neural crest during the tailbud-early tadpole stages [7].

Associations of Xhox3 with chemical compounds

  • Evidence for the conservation of the NH2 terminal region of the Xhox3 protein in frogs and fish is provided by the detection of a nuclear Xhox3-like protein in 24 h zebrafish embryos located in posterior mesoderm tissue [11].

Regulatory relationships of Xhox3

  • Combined expression of Xwnt3a and active Notch in animal cap explants is sufficient to induce Xhox3, provoke elongation and form neural tubes [12].

Other interactions of Xhox3


Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Xhox3


  1. Involvement of the Xenopus homeobox gene Xhox3 in pattern formation along the anterior-posterior axis. Ruiz i Altaba, A., Melton, D.A. Cell (1989) [Pubmed]
  2. Retinoic acid modifies mesodermal patterning in early Xenopus embryos. Ruiz i Altaba, A., Jessell, T. Genes Dev. (1991) [Pubmed]
  3. Specification of mesodermal pattern in Xenopus laevis by interactions between Brachyury, noggin and Xwnt-8. Cunliffe, V., Smith, J.C. EMBO J. (1994) [Pubmed]
  4. Interplay between the tumor suppressor p53 and TGF beta signaling shapes embryonic body axes in Xenopus. Takebayashi-Suzuki, K., Funami, J., Tokumori, D., Saito, A., Watabe, T., Miyazono, K., Kanda, A., Suzuki, A. Development (2003) [Pubmed]
  5. Gli2 functions in FGF signaling during antero-posterior patterning. Brewster, R., Mullor, J.L., Ruiz i Altaba, A. Development (2000) [Pubmed]
  6. Bimodal and graded expression of the Xenopus homeobox gene Xhox3 during embryonic development. Ruiz i Altaba, A., Melton, D.A. Development (1989) [Pubmed]
  7. Neural expression of the Xenopus homeobox gene Xhox3: evidence for a patterning neural signal that spreads through the ectoderm. Ruiz i Altaba, A. Development (1990) [Pubmed]
  8. Requirement for Xvent-1 and Xvent-2 gene function in dorsoventral patterning of Xenopus mesoderm. Onichtchouk, D., Glinka, A., Niehrs, C. Development (1998) [Pubmed]
  9. Regional gene expression in the epithelia of the Xenopus tadpole gut. Chalmers, A.D., Slack, J.M., Beck, C.W. Mech. Dev. (2000) [Pubmed]
  10. Retinoic acid modifies the pattern of cell differentiation in the central nervous system of neurula stage Xenopus embryos. Ruiz i Altaba, A., Jessell, T.M. Development (1991) [Pubmed]
  11. Widespread expression of the Xenopus homeobox gene Xhox3 in zebrafish eggs causes a disruption of the anterior-posterior axis. Barro, O., Joly, C., Condamine, H., Boulekbache, H. Int. J. Dev. Biol. (1994) [Pubmed]
  12. A developmental pathway controlling outgrowth of the Xenopus tail bud. Beck, C.W., Slack, J.M. Development (1999) [Pubmed]
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