Molecular cloning and expression of the human and mouse homologues of the Drosophila dachshund gene

Zbynek Kozmik, Peter Pfeffer, Jarmila Kralova, Jan Paces, Vaclav Paces, Anna Kalousova, Ales Cvekl

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Recent genetic analysis of the Drosophila dachshund (dac) gene has established that dac encodes a novel nuclear protein that is involved in both eye and leg development. In the Drosophila eye, dac expression appears to be controlled by the product of the eyeless/Pax6 gene. In order to analyze the Pax6 pathway in vertebrates we have isolated and characterized the cDNA and genomic clones corresponding to the human and mouse homologues of Drosophila dac. A full-length human cDNA encoding dachshund (DACH) encodes the 706 amino acids protein with predicted molecular weight of 73 kDa. A 109 amino acid domain located at the N-terminus of the DACH showed significant sequence and secondary structure homologies to the ski/sno oncogene products. Northern blot analysis found human DACH predominantly in adult kidney, heart, and placenta, with less expression detected in the brain, lung, skeletal muscle and pancreas. A panel of human cell lines was studied and most notably a large proportion of neuroblastomas expressed DACH mRNA. Mouse Dach encodes a protein of 751 amino acids with predicted molecular weight of 78 kDa that is 95% identical to the human DACH. RNase protection analysis showed the highest Dach mRNA expression in the adult mouse kidney and lung, whereas lower expression was detected in the brain and testis. RT/PCR analysis readily detected Dach mRNA in the adult mouse cornea and retina. Dach mRNA expression in the mouse E11.5 embryo was observed primarily in the fore and hind limbs, as well as in the somites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-545
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopment Genes and Evolution
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Oct 6 1999



  • Dachshund
  • Eye
  • Limb
  • Mammalian development
  • Pax6

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology

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