Lhx5, the mouse ortholog of the Xenopus Xlim.5, is a LIM/homeobox gene expressed in the central nervous system during both embryonic development and adulthood. During development its domain of expression is mainly localized at the most anterior portion of the neural tube, and it precedes the morphological differ entiation of the forebrain; for this reason we believe that Lhx5 could play an important role in forebrain patterning. Here we present the structural organization and the chromosomal localization of the Lhx5 gene. The gene is composed of five exons spanning more than 10 kb of genomic sequence. The first and second LIM domains are encoded by the first and second exon, while the codans of the homeobox are split between the third and the fourth exons. The structure of Lhx5 is similar to that of other LIM/homeodomain proteins, Lhx1/lim1 and Lhx3/lim3, but differs from that of other LIM genes, such as mec3 and LMO1/Rbtn1, in which the codons for the LIM domains are interrupted by introns. We have mapped Lhx5 to the central region of mouse chromosome 5.
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