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

Expression pattern of the homeodomain transcription factor Pitx2 during muscle development.

Late-stage Pitx2(+/LacZ) mouse embryos stained with x-gal appeared to have blue muscles, suggesting that Pitx2 expression specifically marks some phase of the myogenic progression or muscle anlagen formation. Detailed temporal and spatial analyses were undertaken to determine the extent and onset of Pitx2 expression in muscle. Pitx2 was specifically expressed in the vast majority of muscles of the head and trunk in late embryos and adults. Early Pitx2 expression in the cephalic mesoderm, first branchial arch and somatopleure preceded specification of head muscle. In contrast, Pitx2 expression appeared to follow muscle specification events in the trunk. However, Pitx2 expression was rapidly upregulated in these myogenic structures by E10. 5. Upregulation correlated tightly with the apposition of a non-myogenic, Pitx2-expressing, cell cluster lateral to the dermomyotome. This cluster first appeared at the forelimb level at E10.25, gradually elongated in the posterior direction, appeared to aggregate from delaminated cells emanating from the ventrally located somatopleure, and was named the dorsal somatopleure. Immunohistochemistry on appendicular sections after E10.5 demonstrated that Pitx2 neatly marked the areas of muscle anlagen, that Pax3, Lbx1, and the muscle regulatory factors (MRFs) stained only subsets of Pitx2(+) cells within these areas, and that virtually all Pitx2(+) cells in these areas express at least one of these known myogenic markers. Taken together, the results demonstrate that, within muscle anlagen, Pitx2 marks the muscle lineage more completely that any of the known markers, and are consistent with a role for Pitx2 in muscle anlagen formation or maintenance.[1]


  1. Expression pattern of the homeodomain transcription factor Pitx2 during muscle development. Shih, H.P., Gross, M.K., Kioussi, C. Gene Expr. Patterns (2007) [Pubmed]
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