Embryo brain kinase: a novel gene of the eph/elk receptor tyrosine kinase family

Jonathan Ellis, Qiurong Liu, Martin Breitman, Nancy A. Jenkins, Debra J. Gilbert, Neal G. Copeland, Heidi V. Tempest, Simon Warren, Elizabeth Muir, Heather Schilling, Fred A. Fletcher, Steven F. Ziegler, John H. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


A new gene belonging to the Eph/Eck/Elk receptor tyrosine kinase family has been cloned from mouse brain. The gene maps to mouse chromosome 4. In the adult brain it is expressed exclusively and abundantly in the hippocampus. We propose to name it Ebk (embryo brain kinase), as in situ hybridisation shows expression in many parts of the developing mouse brain. The most abundant expression is in the subcommissural organ, and the earliest expression is in the forebrain neural folds, in rhombomeres 2-6, and in somites and heart. Other regions positive at various stages include the cochlear duct, trigeminal ganglion, lung, first branchial arch, and tooth primordia. Also positive are areas of mesenchyme underlying various epithelia during morphogenesis, especially in the mouth and nose, as well as in the eyelids and toes. We compare these patterns with the available data on the 12 other known members of this gene family. Most of them, like Ebk, are expressed in brain (especially adult hippocampus and embryonic rhombomeres) and in organs rich in epithelia (especially lung), although the spatial and temporal patterns differ. We suggest that combinatorial patterns of these receptors act as labels for the regional identity of neurons and epithelia, and could mediate fine control of neurite pathfinding and epithelial morphogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-341
Number of pages23
JournalMechanisms of Development
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Aug 1995


  • Branchial arches
  • Heart
  • Hippocampus
  • Lung
  • Morphogenesis
  • Neural development
  • Receptor tyrosine kinases
  • Rhombomeres
  • Subcommissural organ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Embryology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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