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Comparative Study
, 38 (3), 314-24

Genomic Analysis of a New Mammalian Distal-Less Gene: Dlx7

Comparative Study

Genomic Analysis of a New Mammalian Distal-Less Gene: Dlx7

S Nakamura et al. Genomics.


We have cloned a new Dlx gene (Dlx7) from human and mouse that may represent the mammalian orthologue of the newt gene NvHBox-5. The homeodomains of these genes are highly similar to all other vertebrate Dlx genes, and regions of similarity also exist between mammalian Dlx7 and a subset of vertebrate Dlx genes downstream of the homeodomain. The sequence divergence between human and mouse Dlx7 in these regions is greater than that predicted from comparisons of other vertebrate Dlx genes, however, and there is little sequence similarity upstream of the homeodomain both between these two genes and with other Dlx genes. We present evidence for alternative splicing of mouse Dlx7 upstream of the homeodomain that may account for some of this divergence. We have mapped human DLX7 distal to the 5' end of the HOXB cluster at an estimated distance of between 1 and 2 Mb by FISH. Both the human and the mouse Dlx7 are shown to be closely linked to Dlx3 in a convergently transcribed orientation. These mapping results support the possibility that vertebrate distal-less genes have been duplicated in concert with the Hox clusters.

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