Combinatorial function of the homeodomain proteins Nkx2.1 and Gsh2 in ventral telencephalic patterning

Joshua G. Corbin, Michael Rutlin, Nicholas Gaiano, Gord Fishell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Regional patterning of the mammalian telencephalon requires the function of three homeodomain-containing transcription factors, Pax6, Gsh2 and Nkx2.1. These factors are required for the development of the dorsal, lateral and medial domains of the telencephalon, respectively. Previous work has indicated that two of the genes encoding these factors, Pax6 and Gsh2, cross-repress one another in the formation of the border between dorsal and lateral region of the telencephalon. Here, we examine whether similar interactions are responsible for the establishment of other boundaries of telencephalic gene expression. Surprisingly, despite the fact that, at specific times in development, both Pax6 and Gsh2 maintain a complementary pattern of expression with Nkx2.1, in neither case are these boundaries maintained through a similar cross-repressive mechanism. Rather, as revealed by analysis of double-mutant mice, Nkx2.1 and Gsh2 act cooperatively in many aspects to pattern the ventral telencephalon. By contrast, as indicated by both loss- and gain-of-function analysis, Gsh2 expression in the medial ganglionic eminence after E10.5 may negatively regulate Nkx2.1 dependent specification of oligodendrocytes. Therefore, both integrative and antagonistic interactions between homeodomain-containing transcription factors contribute to the patterning of the telencephalon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4895-4906
Number of pages12
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 2003


  • Gsh2
  • Mouse
  • Nkx2.1
  • Patterning
  • Pax6
  • Telencephalon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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