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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Lhx9 and Lhx9alpha LIM-homeodomain factors: genomic structure, expression patterns, chromosomal localization, and phylogenetic analysis.

Lhx9 is a LIM-homeodomain (LIM-hd) transcription factor expressed in the embryonic mouse brain. We report the isolation of Lhx9alpha, a cDNA encoding a truncated isoform of Lhx9 that lacks the recognition helix of the homeodomain and differs from Lhx9 cDNA in its 3'-coding and 3'-UTR sequences. Isolation of the Lhx9 gene showed that Lhx9 and Lhx9alpha are coded by six exons spanning 10 kb of genomic sequence and that Lhx9alpha is an isoform generated by alternative splicing of the fifth exon. Lhx9 was mapped to the subtelomeric region of chromosome 1. Further molecular analysis showed that Lhx9 is a new candidate gene for the unidentified dreher (dr) mutation in mouse. The comparison of genomic structure and molecular phylogenetic analysis led to the identification of six groups of LIM-hd proteins, a basis for further classification and knowledge of their evolutionary relationships. To investigate a possible role for Lhx9alpha, the expression patterns of Lhx9 and Lhx9alpha were compared during embryogenesis. Lhx9alpha was expressed at lower levels than Lhx9, with a similar but distinct pattern in the brain, especially in the neocortex. We suggest that Lhx9alpha could function as an endogenous dominant-negative form of Lhx9 during development, both to regulate in space and time the transcriptional effects of Lhx9 and to add a degree of refinement to the LIM-hd code.[1]


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