Prox1 is an early specific marker for the developing liver and pancreas in the mammalian foregut endoderm

Mech Dev. 2002 Oct;118(1-2):147-55. doi: 10.1016/s0925-4773(02)00240-x.


Although important progress has been made recently in the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms that regulate differentiation and morphogenesis of endoderm-derived tissues such as pancreas and liver, less is known about the preliminary steps of early regional specification. Recent evidence supports the proposal that the early endoderm contains a bipotential precursor cell type for pancreas and liver. We have also previously shown that the activity of the homeobox gene Prox1 controls hepatocyte migration during liver morphogenesis. Using detailed comparative analysis of whole embryos and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction of dissected embryonic endoderm, we have now determined that in the early endoderm, Prox1 expression is restricted to regions giving rise to the mammalian pancreas and liver. This finding indicates that Prox1 is one of the earliest specific markers of this commonly fated region of the mammalian endoderm.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Activin Receptors, Type I / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors, Type I
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Separation
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Endoderm / metabolism*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Hedgehog Proteins
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 3-beta
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 6
  • Hepatocytes / cytology
  • Homeodomain Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics*
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / embryology*
  • Mice
  • Notochord / metabolism
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Pancreas / embryology*
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases*
  • Receptors, Growth Factor*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Time Factors
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors*
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • beta-Galactosidase / metabolism


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Foxa2 protein, mouse
  • Hedgehog Proteins
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 6
  • Hhex protein, mouse
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Onecut1 protein, mouse
  • Receptors, Growth Factor
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 protein
  • prospero-related homeobox 1 protein
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 3-beta
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Activin Receptors, Type I
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors, Type I
  • beta-Galactosidase