Expression of three mouse homologs of the Drosophila segment polarity gene cubitus interruptus, Gli, Gli-2, and Gli-3, in ectoderm- and mesoderm-derived tissues suggests multiple roles during postimplantation development

Dev Biol. 1994 Apr;162(2):402-13. doi: 10.1006/dbio.1994.1097.


Three mouse genes, Gli, Gli-2, and Gli-3, which share a similar zinc finger domain with the products of the Drosophila segment polarity gene cubitus interruptus and the Caenorhabditis elegans sex-determining gene tra-1 were cloned and characterized. The expression patterns during postimplantation development of the three genes were analyzed by Northern blot, whole-mount, and section in situ hybridizations. Expression was first detected during gastrulation in both the ectoderm and mesoderm. Later in development, their expression became more restricted in various ectoderm- and mesoderm-derived tissues and was not detectable after completion of organogenesis. Interestingly, in the developing neural tube, Gli showed a narrow ventral domain of expression, whereas Gli-2 and Gli-3 showed a broad and dorsally restricted domain. Expression of these three Gli genes in various ectoderm- and mesoderm-derived tissues suggests that they play multiple roles during postimplantation development. Consistent with this hypothesis, a naturally occurring Gli-3 mutation, the mouse extra-toes mutant; shows defects in both mesoderm- and ectoderm-derived tissues.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Brain / embryology
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Ectoderm / metabolism*
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression*
  • Mesoderm / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oncogene Proteins / genetics*
  • Pregnancy
  • Spinal Cord / embryology
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Zinc Finger Protein GLI1
  • Zinc Fingers*


  • Oncogene Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • Zinc Finger Protein GLI1