The chicken NKX2.8 homeobox gene: A novel member of the NK-2 gene family
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We have isolated the chicken homeobox gene NKX2.8, which represents a novel member of the NK-2 gene family. Besides the homeodomain, the NKX2.8 protein contains two other conserved sequences, a TN and an NK2 domain. NKX2.8 is expressed in the ventral foregut, the developing heart, in the epithelial layers of the branchial arches and in the dorsal mesocardium. Thus, its expression overlaps partially, but also differs significantly from another chicken tinman orthologue, the NKX2.5 gene. It is suggestive that NKX2.8 and NKX2.5 play a cooperative role in early heart development.
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