Faculty Research 1990 - 1999


Expression pattern of Motch, a mouse homolog of Drosophila Notch, suggests an important role in early postimplantation mouse development.

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Development 1992 Jul;115(3):737-44


The Notch gene of Drosophila encodes a large transmembrane protein involved in cell-cell interactions and cell fate decisions in the Drosophila embryo. To determine if a gene homologous to Drosophila Notch plays a role in early mouse development, we screened a mouse embryo cDNA library with probes from the Xenopus Notch homolog, Xotch. A partial cDNA clone encoding the mouse Notch homolog, which we have termed Motch, was used to analyze expression of the Motch gene. Motch transcripts were detected in a wide variety of adult tissues, which included derivatives of all three germ layers. Differentiation of P19 embryonal carcinoma cells into neuronal cell types resulted in increased expression of Motch RNA. In the postimplantation mouse embryo Motch transcripts were first detected in mesoderm at 7.5 days post coitum (dpc). By 8.5 dpc, transcript levels were highest in presomitic mesoderm, mesenchyme and endothelial cells, while much lower levels were detected in neuroepithelium. In contrast, at 9.5 dpc, neuroepithelium was a major site of Motch expression. Transcripts were also abundant in cell types derived from neural crest. These data suggest that the Motch gene plays multiple roles in patterning and differentiation of the early postimplantation mouse embryo.

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