Int. J. Dev. Biol. 42: 393 - 401 (1998)
© UPV/EHU Press

Segmentation and specification in the branchial region of the head: the role of the Hox selector genes.

F M Rijli, A Gavalas and P Chambon

Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, CNRS/INSERM/ULP, Collège de France, Strasbourg. rijli@igbmc.u-strasbg.fr

ABSTRACT Hox genes are segmentally expressed in the developing vertebrate hindbrain, neural crest cells and pharyngeal arches suggesting an important role in patterning these structures. Here we discuss the cellular and molecular mechanisms controlling segmentation and specification in the branchial region of the head. In addition, based on the recent phenotypical and molecular analysis of loss-of-function mutants in the mouse, we speculate that Hox genes may act like Drosophila selector genes in this system.