Bae, Y.K., Shimizu, T., Yabe, T., Kim, C.H., Hirata, T., Nojima, H., Muraoka, O., Hirano, T., and Hibi, M. (2003) A homeobox gene, pnx, is involved in the formation of posterior neurons in zebrafish. Development (Cambridge, England). 130(9):1853-1865.
A homeobox gene, pnx, is expressed in prospective posterior neurogenic regions and later in primary neurons. pnx expression was regulated by a signal from the non-axial mesendoderm and by Notch signaling. Pnx contains an Eh1 repressor domain, which interacted with Groucho and acted as a transcriptional repressor. Misexpression of pnx increased neural precursor cells and postmitotic neurons, which express neurogenin1 and elavl3/HuC, respectively. Expression of an antimorphic Pnx (VP16Pnx) or inhibition of Pnx by antisense morpholino oligonucleotide led to the reduction in the number of a subset of primary neurons. Misexpression of pnx promoted neurogenesis independent of Notch signaling. Epistatic analyses showed that Pnx also functions downstream of the Notch signal. These data indicate that pnx is a novel repressor-type homeobox gene that regulates posterior neurogenesis.