Mirror-image duplication of the primary axis and heart in Xenopus embryos by the overexpression of Msx-1 gene

J Exp Zool. 1995 Oct 1;273(2):170-4. doi: 10.1002/jez.1402730210.


The Msx-1 gene (formerly known as Hox-7) is a member of a discrete subclass of homeobox-containing genes. Examination of the expression pattern of Msx-1 in murine and avian embryos suggests that this gene may be involved in the regionalization of the medio-lateral axis during earlier development. We have examined the possible functions of Xenopus Msx-1 during early Xenopus embryonic development by overexpression of the Msx-1 gene. Overexpression of Msx-1 causes a left-right mirror-image duplication of primary axial structures, including notochord, neural tube, somites, suckers, and foregut. The embryonic developing heart is also mirror-image duplicated, including looping directions and polarity. These results indicate that Msx-1 may be involved in the mesoderm formation as well as left-right patterning in the early Xenopus embryonic development.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA / administration & dosage
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Heart / embryology*
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics*
  • MSX1 Transcription Factor
  • Mesoderm*
  • Microinjections
  • Notochord / embryology*
  • RNA / administration & dosage
  • Transcription Factors*
  • Xenopus / embryology
  • Xenopus Proteins


  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • MSX1 Transcription Factor
  • MSX1 protein, Xenopus
  • Transcription Factors
  • Xenopus Proteins
  • RNA
  • DNA