Msg1 and Mrg1 are founding members of a gene family which exhibit distinct patterns of gene expression during mouse embryogenesis. Sequence analysis reveals that these genes are unlike any other gene identified to date, but they share two near-identical sequence domains. The Msg1 and Mrg1 expression profiles during early development are distinct from each other. Msg1 is predominantly expressed in nascent mesoderm, the heart tube, limb bud and sclerotome. Intriguingly, Msg1 expression is restricted, within these developing mesodermal sites, to posterior domains. Mrg1 is expressed prior to gastrulation in the anterior visceral endoderm. Expression is maintained in the endoderm once gastrulation has begun and commences in the rostralmost embryonic mesoderm which underlies the anterior visceral endoderm. Mrg1 expression persists in this rostral mesoderm as it is translocated caudalwards during the invagination of the foregut and the formation of the heart. Later Mrg1 expression predominates in the septum transversum caudal to the heart. This expression pattern suggests that the septum transversum originates from the rostralmost embryonic mesoderm which first expressed Mrg1 at the late primitive streak stage.
Copyright 1998 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.