Homeotic transformations in the mouse induced by overexpression of a human Hox3.3 transgene

Cell. 1992 Dec 11;71(6):901-10. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(92)90387-r.


A permanent transgenic mouse line was generated carrying 40 copies of the human Hox3.3 gene. The resulting mice express large amounts of Hox3.3 protein in posterior regions of the embryo where this homeodomain protein is normally not expressed. The transgene causes homeotic transformations of the skeleton, in particular the appearance of an extra pair of ribs in the lumbar region, transformation of the shape of posterior ribs into that of more anterior ones, and the joining of an additional pair of ribs to the sternum. The phenotype of this line resembles that obtained by the targeted loss-of-function mutation of Hox3.1 (Le Mouellic et al., 1992). In transient assays, the human Hox3.3 transgene leads to the formation of additional ribs in more posterior vertebrae as well.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genes, Homeobox*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic / genetics*
  • Ribs / embryology*