Document Detail

Alx3-deficient mice exhibit folic acid-resistant craniofacial midline and neural tube closure defects.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20534379     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Neural tube closure defects are among the most frequent congenital malformations in humans. Supplemental maternal intake of folic acid before and during pregnancy reduces their incidence significantly, but the mechanism underlying this preventive effect is unknown. As a number of genes that cause neural tube closure defects encode transcriptional regulators in mice, one possibility is that folic acid could induce the expression of transcription factors to compensate for the primary genetic defect. We report that folic acid is required in mouse embryos for the specific expression of the homeodomain gene Alx3 in the head mesenchyme, an important tissue for cranial neural tube closure. Alx3-deficient mice exhibit increased failure of cranial neural tube closure and increased cell death in the craniofacial region, two effects that are also observed in wild type embryos developing in the absence of folic acid. Folic acid cannot prevent these defects in Alx3-deficient embryos, indicating that one mechanism of folic acid action is through induced expression of Alx3. Thus, Alx3 emerges as a candidate gene for human neural tube defects and reveals the existence of induced transcription factor gene expression as a previously unknown mechanism by which folic acid prevents neural tube closure defects.
Sita Lakhwani; Patricia García-Sanz; Mario Vallejo
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2010-06-08
Journal Detail:
Title:  Developmental biology     Volume:  344     ISSN:  1095-564X     ISO Abbreviation:  Dev. Biol.     Publication Date:  2010 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-08-02     Completed Date:  2010-08-30     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0372762     Medline TA:  Dev Biol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  869-80     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas Alberto Sols, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas/Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.
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MeSH Terms
DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics,  metabolism
Embryo, Mammalian
Folic Acid / genetics,  metabolism*,  pharmacology
Mesoderm / metabolism
Neural Tube Defects / genetics*,  prevention & control
Transcription Factors / genetics,  metabolism
Reg. No./Substance:
0/DNA-Binding Proteins; 0/Hematinics; 0/Transcription Factors; 59-30-3/Folic Acid

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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