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Exploring New Capacities For Pitx3 During Xenopus Embryogenesis, Lara Nicole Hooker Jan 2012

Exploring New Capacities For Pitx3 During Xenopus Embryogenesis, Lara Nicole Hooker

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Pitx3 encodes a homeodomain transcription factor that represents the causative locus for the aphakia phenotype in mouse as well as congenital cataracts and anterior segment mesenchymal dysgenesis in humans. Mutations in Pitx3 can also lead to the development of Parkinson's disease. A conserved role for Pitx3 has been established in the terminal differentiation and maintenance of lens fibres and dopaminergic neurons within the midbrain. Pitx3 has also been reported to contribute to skeletal muscle differentiation in mice. Through the use of morpholino-mediated knockdown, the Xenopus model system has allowed further refining of putative roles for pitx3 during embryogenesis. We ...


Novel Targets And Functions For Xenopus Pitx3 During Embryonic Development, Cristine Smoczer Jan 2012

Novel Targets And Functions For Xenopus Pitx3 During Embryonic Development, Cristine Smoczer

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Pitx3 is a homeodomain transcription factor with an expression pattern conserved across phyla: in the dopaminergic neurons of the midbrain, in the lens during all stages of lens development and in the forming somites. In Xenopus laevis, this gene shows novel expression areas, such as the pituitary gland, the heart and the gut. Morpholino-based knockdown of pitx3 results in phenotypes characterized by small or absent lens, bent dorsal axis and randomized coiling of the heart and gut. Comparing gene expression changes in wild-type versus knockdown embryos by microarray, we generated a vast list of genes possible downstream targets for pitx3 ...