Nulp1, a novel basic helix-loop-helix protein expressed broadly during early embryonic organogenesis and prominently in developing dorsal root ganglia

Cell Tissue Res. 2002 Jun;308(3):361-70. doi: 10.1007/s00441-002-0544-9. Epub 2002 Apr 26.


The basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) proteins control differentiation and development of a variety of organs. We have isolated the complementary DNA (cDNA) of a novel class of bHLH transcription factors. The previously uncharacterized bHLH messenger RNA (mRNA) was identified by RNA fingerprinting by comparing embryonic and adult mRNA. The reading frame sequence predicts a new class of bHLH family. Northern blotting of embryonic stages demonstrated a 3.2-kb transcript present in several embryonic tissues, including kidney, brain, heart, and lung, in a fashion confirmatory with the RNA-fingerprinting data. In situ hybridization of cryosections detected strong signals in the dorsal root ganglia of 14-day-old mouse embryos (E14). Transient transfection of human embryonic kidney cells with Nulp1-EGFP demonstrated nuclear localization. The complex expression pattern and unique protein sequence, including an acidic amino terminal and putative transcription activation domain, suggests that Nulp1 may have a distinct role in embryonic development of many organs, including the adult brain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Cell Nucleus / genetics
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Ganglia, Spinal / embryology*
  • Ganglia, Spinal / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Helix-Turn-Helix Motifs / genetics*
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*


  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Nulp1 protein, mouse
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Transcription Factors