The recently described homeodomain protein ARIX is expressed specifically in noradrenergic cell types of the sympathetic nervous system, brain, and adrenal medulla. ARIX interacts with regulatory elements of the genes encoding the noradrenergic biosynthetic enzymes tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine β-hydroxylase, suggesting a role for ARIX in expression of the noradrenergic phenotype. In the study described here, the mouse and human ARIX genes are mapped. Using segregation analysis of two panels of mouse backcross DNA, mouse Arix was positioned approximately 50 cM distal to the centromere of chromosome 7, near Hbb. Human ARIX was positioned through analysis of somatic cell hybrids and fluorescence in situ hybridization of human metaphase chromosomes to chromosome 11q13.3-q13.4. These map locations extend and further define regions of conserved synteny between mouse and human genomes and identify a new candidate gene for inherited developmental disorders linked to human 11q13.
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