Nkx2-9 is a novel homeobox transcription factor which demarcates ventral domains in the developing mouse CNS

Mech Dev. 1998 Apr;73(1):85-93. doi: 10.1016/s0925-4773(98)00035-5.


Nkx homeobox transcription factors are expressed in diverse embryonic cells and presumably control cell-type specification and morphogenetic events. Nkx2-9 is a novel family member of NK2 genes which lacks the conserved TN-domain found in all hitherto known murine Nkx2 genes. The prominent expression of Nkx2-9 in ventral brain and neural tube structures defines a subset of neuronal cells along the entire neuraxis. During embryonic development, Nkx2-9-expressing cells shift from the presumptive floor plate into a more dorsolateral position of the neuroectoderm and later become limited to the ventricular zone. Nkx2-9 expression overlaps with that of Nkx2-2 but is generally broader. While initially Nkx2-9 is expressed in close proximity to sonic hedgehog, its expression domain clearly segregates from sonic hedgehog at later developmental stages. The dynamic expression pattern of Nkx2-9 in ventral domains of the CNS is consistent with a possible role in the specification of a distinct subset of neurons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Brain / embryology
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Central Nervous System / embryology*
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism
  • Endoderm / metabolism
  • Genes, Overlapping
  • Hedgehog Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neural Crest / metabolism
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Trans-Activators*
  • Transcription Factors / biosynthesis
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Zebrafish Proteins


  • Hedgehog Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Nkx2-9 protein, mouse
  • Nkx2.2 protein
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • Zebrafish Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/Y15741