Mmot1, a New Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factor Gene Displaying a Sharp Expression Boundary in the Embryonic Mouse Brain
Journal of Biological Chemistry
Several genetic factors have been proven to contribute to the specification of the metencephalic-mesencephalic territory, a process that sets the developmental foundation for prospective morphogenesis of the cerebellum and mesencephalon. However, evidence stemming from genetic and developmental studies performed in man and various model organisms suggests the contribution of many additional factors in determining the fine subdivision and differentiation of these central nervous system regions.
... n man, the cerebellar ataxias/aplasias represent a large and heterogeneous family of genetic disorders. Here, we describe the identification by differential screening and the characterization of Mmot1, a new gene encoding a DNA-binding protein strikingly similar to the helix-loop-helix factor Ebf/Olf1. Throughout midgestation embryogenesis, Mmot1 is expressed at high levels in the metencephalon, mesencephalon, and sensory neurons of the nasal cavity. In vitro DNA binding data suggest some functional equivalence of Mmot1 and Ebf/Olf1, possibly accounting for the reported lack of olfactory or neural defects in Ebf ؊/؊ knockout mutants. The isolation of Mmot1 and of an additional homolog in the mouse genome defines a novel, phylogenetically conserved mammalian family of transcription factor genes of potential relevance in studies of neural development and its aberrations.