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

A potential role for the OTX2 homeoprotein in creating early 'highways' for axon extension in the rostral brain.

Brain pattern formation starts with a subdivision of the neuroepithelium through site-specific expression of regulatory genes and, subsequently, the boundaries between presumptive neuromeres may provide a scaffold for early formation of axon tracts. In the mouse forebrain, the transcription factor OTX2 is strongly expressed at several such boundaries. Combining dye tracing and staining for OTX2 protein, we show that a number of early fibre tracts develop within stripes of OTX2 expression. To analyse a putative influence of OTX2 on the expression of molecules involved in neurite growth, we generated several clones of NIH3T3 cells stably expressing OTX2 protein at varying levels. As shown by immunoblotting, Otx2 transfection affects the expression of a variety of cell and substratum adhesion molecules, rendering the cells a favourable substratum in neurite outgrowth assays. Among the molecules upregulated with increasing levels of OTX2 are NCAM, tenascin-C and DSD-1-PG, which also in situ colocalize with zones of OTX2 expression at boundaries. These data suggest that Otx2 might be involved in defining local substrata for axon extension in the forebrain.[1]


  1. A potential role for the OTX2 homeoprotein in creating early 'highways' for axon extension in the rostral brain. Nguyen Ba-Charvet, K.T., von Boxberg, Y., Guazzi, S., Boncinelli, E., Godement, P. Development (1998) [Pubmed]
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