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

The intestine-specific homeobox gene Cdx2 induces expression of the basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor Math1.

The basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor Math1, which is transiently expressed in proliferating neural precursors in multiple domains of the developing nervous system, is also related to the cell fate decision of enteroendocrine, goblet, and Paneth cells in the intestine. On the other hand, the transcription factor Cdx2, which is normally confined to intestinal epithelial cells, is related to the differentiation of these cells. Therefore, we investigated the relationship between Math1 and Cdx2 in intestinal epithelial cells. The Math1 and Cdx2 expressions in normal intestinal mucosa and intestinal metaplastic mucosa from mouse and human stomachs, as well as an intestinal crypt-derived cell line, were analyzed by immunohistochemistry, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Northern blotting, and Math1 enhancer element was analyzed by luciferase reporter assays. Math1-positive epithelial cells co-expressing Cdx2 were found in normal intestinal mucosa from humans and mice. Furthermore, Math1- producing epithelial cells that showed positive immunostaining for Cdx2 were also observed in intestinal metaplastic mucosa from human and Cdx2 transgenic mouse stomachs, although they were not detected in normal gastric mucosa of humans and mice. Expression of Cdx2 stimulated endogenous Math1 mRNA expression in the intestinal crypt-derived cell line IEC-6, corroborating observations in Cdx2-expressing intestinal metaplastic mucosa. Furthermore, expression of Cdx2 in IEC-6 cells conferred the ability to express a Math1 reporter gene containing a Math1 enhancer. Based on these results, we hypothesize that Cdx2 is involved in activating Math1 expression in intestinal epithelial cells.[1]


  1. The intestine-specific homeobox gene Cdx2 induces expression of the basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor Math1. Mutoh, H., Sakamoto, H., Hayakawa, H., Arao, Y., Satoh, K., Nokubi, M., Sugano, K. Differentiation (2006) [Pubmed]
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