Expression of M-twist during postimplantation development of the mouse

Dev Dyn. 1995 Nov;204(3):316-22. doi: 10.1002/aja.1002040309.


The murine homologue of the Drosophila twist gene has been shown to be essential for head mesenchyme formation and to act as an inhibitor of muscle differentiation. This paper presents a detailed analysis of M-twist expression patterns from day 7 post coitum (p.c.) to day 18 p.c., indicating a more general function of the M-twist gene. At day 7 p.c., M-twist is expressed in the mesoderm outside the primitive streak. Later M-twist message is predominantly found in the somites, the head mesenchyme, the branchial arches, the limbs, and in the mesenchyme underneath the epidermis. Beginning at day 8 p.c., M-twist is mainly expressed in undifferentiated cells committed to muscle and cartilage development: this expression is consistent with a suggested role of M-twist in inhibiting overt muscle and cartilage differentiation. However, during organogenesis, M-twist is expressed in several areas of mesenchyme-epithelia interactions, suggesting additional tissue specific functions.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cartilage / embryology
  • Embryonic Development / physiology*
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development / physiology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / physiology
  • Heart Valves / embryology
  • Helix-Loop-Helix Motifs / physiology
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Limb Buds / physiology
  • Mesoderm / cytology
  • Mesoderm / physiology
  • Mice / embryology*
  • Muscles / embryology
  • Myogenic Regulatory Factors / genetics
  • Neural Crest / cytology
  • Neural Crest / physiology
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics*
  • Pregnancy
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Twist-Related Protein 1


  • Myogenic Regulatory Factors
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Twist-Related Protein 1
  • Twist1 protein, mouse