The two Xenopus Gbx2 genes exhibit similar, but not identical expression patterns and can affect head formation

FEBS Lett. 2001 Oct 26;507(2):205-9. doi: 10.1016/s0014-5793(01)02963-5.


Gbx2 homeobox genes are important for formation and function of the midbrain/hindbrain boundary, namely the isthmic organizer. Two Gbx2 genes were identified in Xenopus laevis, differing in 13 amino acids, including a change in the homeodomain. Xgbx2a is activated earlier during gastrulation and reaches higher levels of expression while Xgbx2b is expressed later, at lower levels and has an additional domain in the ventral blood islands. Their overexpression results in microcephalic embryos with shortened axes and defects in brain and notochord formation. Both genes encode functionally homologous proteins, which differ primarily in their temporal and spatial expression patterns.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression*
  • Head / embryology*
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics*
  • Homeodomain Proteins / physiology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Morphogenesis
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Protein Isoforms / physiology
  • Xenopus Proteins
  • Xenopus laevis / embryology
  • Xenopus laevis / genetics


  • Gbx2 protein, Xenopus
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Xenopus Proteins