Expression patterns of the paired-related homeobox genes MHox/Prx1 and S8/Prx2 suggest roles in development of the heart and the forebrain

Mech Dev. 1995 Jul;52(1):51-64. doi: 10.1016/0925-4773(95)00389-i.


Prx1 and Prx2 (previously called MHox and S8, respectively) are the members of a small subfamily of vertebrate homeobox genes expressed during embryogenesis from gastrulation onwards. We directly compared the expression domains of the Prx genes in detail in mouse and in addition some aspects of these patterns in chicken. In addition to the superficially similar expression patterns of Prx1 and Prx2 in cranial mesenchyme, limb buds, axial mesoderm, and branchial arches and their derivatives, we detect major differences at many sites particularly in heart and brain. Our analysis indicated in several cases a correlation with regions developing into connective tissues. From at least day 8.5, Prx-1 expression was observed in the heart, initially in the endocardial cushions and later in the developing semilunar and atrioventricular valves. Prx2 develops early on a diffuse myocardial expression pattern and is later higher expressed in the ventricular septum and in particular in the ductus arteriosus. Prx2 is never expressed in the brain, whereas Prx1 is expressed, from at least day 9.5 onwards, in a unique distinct domain in the ventral part of the hypothalamus, as well as in a broader region of the telencephalon.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Chick Embryo
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Connective Tissue / embryology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Genes, Homeobox*
  • Heart / embryology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred CBA
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Organ Specificity
  • Prosencephalon / embryology*
  • Sequence Alignment

Associated data

  • GENBANK/X79695