Members of the T-box family of transcription factors play essential roles in cell type specification, differentiation, and proliferation during embryonic development. All T-box family members share a common DNA binding domain - the T-domain - and can therefore recognize similar sequences. Consequently, T-box proteins that are co-expressed during development have the potential to compete for binding at downstream targets. In the mouse, Tbx6 is expressed in the primitive streak and presomitic mesoderm, and is sharply down-regulated upon segmentation of the paraxial mesoderm. We sought to determine the phenotypic and molecular consequences of ectopically expressing Tbx6 within the segmented paraxial mesoderm and its derivatives using a 3-component transgenic system. The vertebral column, ribs, and appendicular skeleton were all affected in these embryos, which resembled Tbx18 and Tbx15 null embryos. We hypothesize that these phenotypes result from competition between the ectopically expressed Tbx6 and the endogenously expressed Tbx18 and Tbx15 at the binding sites of target genes. In vitro luciferase transcriptional assays provide further support for this hypothesis. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.
Wehn, A. K., & Chapman, D. L. (2010). Tbx18 and Tbx15 null-like phenotypes in mouse embryos expressing Tbx6 in somitic and lateral plate mesoderm. Developmental Biology, 347(2), 404–413. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2010.09.001