Journal Article

Two Murine and Human Homologs of Mab-21, a Cell Fate Determination Gene Involved in <i>Caenorhabditis Elegans</i> Neural Development

Margherita Mariani, Danila Baldessari, Simona Francisconi, Luigi Viggiano, Mariano Rocchi, Vincenzo Zappavigna, Nicoletta Malgaretti and G. Giacomo Consalez

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 8, issue 13, pages 2397-2406
Published in print December 1999 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online December 1999 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/8.13.2397
Two Murine and Human Homologs of Mab-21, a Cell Fate Determination Gene Involved in Caenorhabditis Elegans Neural Development

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We report the cloning and genetic characterization of one human and two murine homologs of the mab-21 cell fate specification gene. mab-21 participates in the formation of sensory organs in the male nematode tail, and is essential for other developmental functions elsewhere in the Caenorhabditis elegans embryo. The expanding mab-21 gene family, which is strikingly conserved in evolution, includes two putative Drosophila members. The two mammalian genes, encoding 41 kDa nuclear basic proteins, are expressed in partially overlapping territories in the embryonic brain, eye and limbs, as well as in neural crest derivatives. Recent genetic data implicating mab-21 as a downstream target of TGF-p signaling, together with the distribution of mab-21 transcripts in the mouse embryo, propose these novel genes as relevant factors in various aspects of vertebrate neural development.

Journal Article.  6193 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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