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We identified two novel mouse mutants with abnormal head-shaking behavior and neural tube defects during the course of independent ENU mutagenesis experiments. The heterozygous and homozygous mutants exhibit defects in the orientation of sensory hair cells in the organ of Corti, indicating a defect in planar cell polarity. The homozygous mutants exhibit(More)
The onset of X inactivation is preceded by a marked increase in the level of Xist RNA. Here we demonstrate that increased stability of Xist RNA is the primary determinant of developmental up-regulation. Unstable transcript is produced by both alleles in XX ES cells and in XX embryos prior to the onset of random X inactivation. Following differentiation,(More)
The expression pattern of bone morphogenetic protein-7 (BMP-7) in the hindbrain region of the headfold and early somite stage developing mouse embryo suggests a role for BMP-7 in the patterning of this part of the cranial CNS. In chick embryos it is thought that BMP-7 is one of the secreted molecules which mediates the dorsalizing influence of surface(More)
The putative transcription factor ZIC2 is associated with a defect of forebrain development, known as Holoprosencephaly (HPE), in humans and mouse, yet the mechanism by which aberrant ZIC2 function causes classical HPE is unexplained. The zinc finger domain of all mammalian Zic genes is highly homologous with that of the Gli genes, which are transcriptional(More)
The generation of an embryonic body plan is the outcome of inductive interactions between the progenitor tissues that underpin their specification, regionalization and morphogenesis. The intercellular signalling activity driving these processes is deployed in a time- and site-specific manner, and the signal strength must be precisely controlled. Receptor(More)
As the human genome project approaches completion, the challenge for mammalian geneticists is to develop approaches for the systematic determination of mammalian gene function. Mouse mutagenesis will be a key element of studies of gene function. Phenotype-driven approaches using the chemical mutagen ethylnitrosourea (ENU) represent a potentially efficient(More)
ATRX is an X-encoded member of the SNF2 family of ATPase/helicase proteins thought to regulate gene expression by modifying chromatin at target loci. Mutations in ATRX provided the first example of a human genetic disease associated with defects in such proteins. To better understand the role of ATRX in development and the associated abnormalities in the(More)
The early mammalian embryo is patterned by signals emanating from extraembryonic and embryonic signalling centres, most notably the anterior visceral endoderm (AVE) and the node, respectively. The AVE is responsible for anterior development, whereas further axis specification depends on the node, the equivalent of Spemann's organizer. Formation of the node,(More)
Dorsolateral bending of the neural plate, an undifferentiated pseudostratified epithelium, is essential for neural tube closure in the mouse spinal region. If dorsolateral bending fails, spina bifida results. In the present study, we investigated the molecular signals that regulate the formation of dorsolateral hinge points (DLHPs). We show that Bmp2(More)
Heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in ZIC2 result in the severe brain malformation known as holoprosencephaly (HPE), indicating that forebrain development is exquisitely sensitive to the activity of this poorly understood transcription factor. To identify the regions of ZIC2 that are essential for activity, we have assessed the ability of a variety of(More)