Two families of homeo box-containing genes have been identified in mammals to date, the Antennapedia- and engrailed-like homeo boxes, based on the sequence similarity to those from Drosophila. Here, we report the isolation of a homeo box-containing gene that belongs to a new family of which there are at least three related genes in the mouse genome. The homeo box of this new gene shows remarkable similarity to the Drosophila Msh homeo box that we designate as the prototype for this family. The gene maps to the proximal end of mouse chromosome 5 and does not cosegregate with any known homeo box-containing gene. We designate this locus Hox-7.1. In situ hybridizations to mouse embryos at different stages show a unique pattern of expression, as compared to other homeo box-containing genes described thus far. Hox-7.1 transcripts are detected in 9.5-day-old embryos in the neural crest, developing limb bud, and visceral arches. Later, this gene is expressed in regions of the face that are derived from neural crest and in the interdigital mesenchymal tissues in both the fore- and hindlimbs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology