Hox-4 genes and the morphogenesis of mammalian genitalia

P. Dollé, J. C. Izpisúa-Belmonte, J. M. Brown, C. Tickle, D. Duboule*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

262 Scopus citations


We examined the temporal and spatial expression patterns of the homeo box HOX-4 complex genes during the morphogenesis of the genitalia of mice. The results show that only those Hox-4 genes that are expressed very posteriorly in the trunk, or very distally in the limbs, seem to be involved in the patterning of the genital tubercle. This is consistent with the idea of "temporal colinearity", which suggests that the very last structure to require patterning during vertebrate development will express Hox genes located at the 5′ extremity of the HOX complexes. We also show that genital tubercle mesenchyme can respecify pattern in the chicken wing bud. This finding reinforces the concept of the uniformity in the patterning mechanisms along the various axes of the body.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1767-1776
Number of pages10
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Development
  • Homeo box
  • Pattern formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


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