T-box genes in early embryogenesis

Dev Dyn. 2004 Jan;229(1):201-18. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.10480.


The T-box gene family, encoding related DNA-binding transcriptional regulators, plays an essential role in controlling many aspects of embryogenesis in a wide variety of organisms. The T-box genes exhibit diverse patterns of spatial and temporal expression in the developing embryo, and both genetic and molecular embryological studies have demonstrated their importance in regulating cell fate decisions that establish the early body plan, and in later processes underlying organogenesis. Despite these studies, little is known of either the regulation of the T-box genes or the identities of their transcriptional targets. The aim of this review is to examine the diverse yet conserved roles of several T-box genes in regulating early patterning in chordates and to discuss possible mechanisms through which this functional diversity might arise. Developmental Dynamics 229:201-218, 2004.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development / genetics*
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development / physiology
  • Endoderm / cytology
  • Fetal Proteins*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Mesoderm / cytology
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Morphogenesis
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • T-Box Domain Proteins / genetics*
  • T-Box Domain Proteins / physiology
  • Xenopus
  • Xenopus Proteins*


  • EOMES protein, Xenopus
  • Eomes protein, mouse
  • Fetal Proteins
  • T-Box Domain Proteins
  • VegT protein, Xenopus
  • Xenopus Proteins
  • Brachyury protein