MesP1: A novel basic helix-loop-helix protein expressed in the nascent mesodermal cells during mouse gastrulation

Yumiko Saga, Naomi Hata, Satoru Kobayashi, Terry Magnuson, Michael F Seldin, Makoto M. Taketo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Scopus citations


A subtractive hybridization strategy was used to isolate putative genes involved in the development of mouse primordial germ cells (PGC), Complimentary DNA was amplified on RNA isolated from the base of the allantois where PGC are located in the 7.5 days post coitum (dpc) mouse embryo. It was then subtracted by hybridization with cDNA amplified on RNA of the anterior region where PGC are absent. A novel gene thus isolated is designated as Mesp1 and encodes a possible transcription factor MesP1 containing a basic helix-loop-helix motif. Its earliest expression was observed at the onset of gastrulation, as early as 6.5 dpc, in the nascent mesodermal cells that first ingressed at the end of the primitive streak. These expressing cells in the lateral and extraembryonic mesoderm showed a wing-shaped distribution. Its initial expression was soon down-regulated at 7.5 dpc before the completion of gastrulation, except at the proximal end of the primitive streak which included the extraembryonic mesoderm and the base of allantois. At 8 dpc, the expression at the base of the allantois moved laterally. This distribution between 7.0 and 8.0 dpc was similar to that of PGC detected by the alkaline phosphatase activity. However, the expression of Mesp1 was down-regulated thereafter, when PGC entered in the migration stage, After birth, Mesp1 expression was detected only in mature testes, but in a different isoform from that expressed in the embryo, Mesp1 was mapped to the mid region of chromosome 7, near the mesodermal deficiency gene (mesd). However, a Southern hybridization study clearly showed that Mesp1 was distinctly different from mesd. The amino acid sequence and its expression pattern suggest that MesP1 plays an important role in the development of the nascent mesoderm including PGC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2769-2778
Number of pages10
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1996


  • Gastrulation
  • Mesoderm
  • Mesp1
  • Mouse
  • Primordial germ cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Cell Biology


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