Regionalized Twist1 activity in the forelimb bud drives the morphogenesis of the proximal and preaxial skeleton

David A F Loebel, Angelyn C C Hor, Heidi Bildsoe, Vanessa J Jones, You Tzung Chen, Richard R Behringer, Patrick P L Tam

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Development of the mouse forelimb bud depends on normal Twist1 activity. Global loss of Twist1 function before limb bud formation stops limb development and loss of Twist1 throughout the mesenchyme after limb bud initiation leads to polydactyly, the ulnarization or loss of the radius and malformations and reductions of the shoulder girdle. Here we show that conditional deletion of Twist1 by Mesp1-Cre in the mesoderm that migrates into the anterior-proximal part of the forelimb bud results in the development of supernumerary digits and carpals, the acquisition of ulna-like characteristics by the radius and malformations of the humerus and scapula. The mirror-like duplications and posteriorization of pre-axial tissues are preceded by disruptions to anterior-posterior Shh, Bmp and Fgf signaling gradients and dysregulation of transcription factors that regulate anterior-posterior limb patterning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-140
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Conditional mutant
  • Forelimb
  • Mouse
  • Polydactyly
  • Tissue patterning
  • Twist1

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