Involvement of the Chox-4 chicken homeobox genes in determination of anteroposterior axial polarity during limb development

Cell. 1991 Mar 22;64(6):1197-205. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(91)90274-3.


We have isolated and identified four chicken homeobox genes in the upstream region of the Chox-4 complex. The Chox-4g and -4f genes, at the 5' extremity of the complex, were expressed locally in the vicinity of the zone of polarizing activity (ZPA) at early stages of limb development, substantiating the involvement of the genes in anteroposterior axis determination. To confirm their function, we implanted a bead containing retinoic acid, or the ZPA itself, in the anterior margin of the limb bud, leading to formation of mirror-image duplicated digits, and observed the resultant change in gene expression. Expression of the Chox-4g and -4f genes was induced in the new digit-forming region. Those results suggest that positional information assigned by a ZPA morphogen is imprinted on cellular memory by expression of the Chox-4 genes to maintain positional signaling along the anteroposterior axis in the limb field.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Chick Embryo
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Extremities / embryology*
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Genes, Homeobox / physiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Tretinoin / pharmacology


  • Tretinoin

Associated data

  • GENBANK/D10287
  • GENBANK/D10288
  • GENBANK/D10289
  • GENBANK/D10290
  • GENBANK/D90283
  • GENBANK/D90284
  • GENBANK/D90285
  • GENBANK/D90286
  • GENBANK/S63143
  • GENBANK/S63144
  • GENBANK/S63145
  • GENBANK/S63146
  • GENBANK/S63147
  • GENBANK/S63148