Developmental expression of α4 protein phosphatase regulatory subunit in tissues affected by opitz syndrome

Allen D. Everett, David L. Brautigan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Mutations in the Mid1 gene are responsible for X-linked Opitz syndrome, characterized by midline defects of the brain, face, heart, and trachea. The regulatory subunit α4 binds protein phosphatase 2A to Mid1 and promotes Mid1 dephosphorylation, in opposition to MAP kinase. To examine the relationship between α4 expression and human defects in Opitz syndrome, developmental expression of α4 in embryonic day (E) 8-E16 mouse embryos was mapped by immunohistochemistry. At E10, α4 was first detected only in the heart. At E11, α4 was expressed in epithelium of the mandibular and maxillary arches and in specific subsets of mesenchymal cells within the arches. The fetal heart and brain also highly expressed α4. At E16, α4 expression broadened to include the heart, brain, skeletal muscle, and tracheal and esophageal epithelium but not smooth muscle. Consistent with immunolocalization in embryos, Western immunoblotting of adult rabbit tissues demonstrated high levels of α4 expression in brain, heart, lung, liver, and skeletal muscle with low expression in kidney, uterus, and intestine. Expression in slow type I skeletal muscle was much higher than in fast type II muscle. By using double immunohistochemical staining, α4 was coexpressed in mouse skeletal muscle cells containing slow type myosin. Expression of α4 overlaps with the tissue defects in Opitz syndrome. The α4 gene lies in the linkage interval for FG syndrome, characterized by skeletal muscle and brain defects that coincide closely to the expression pattern of α4.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-464
Number of pages4
JournalDevelopmental Dynamics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain
  • Heart
  • Mid1
  • Midline development
  • PP2A
  • Skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology


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