The chicken Hox-4 homeogenes, like those of the mouse, are coordinately expressed in partially overlapping domains during wing development. Local application of retinoic acid, a putative endogenous morphogen, induces de novo transcription of Hox-4 genes. The mirror-image patterns of Hox-4 gene expression, which are obtained in this way, correlate with the subsequent development of mirror-image patterns of digits. Hox-4 genes probably encode positional information.
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