MSX1 is a transcriptional repressor that belongs to the Msh homeobox family. It plays a role in cranofacial development and, via an ionic hedgehog-controlled cascade that includes MSX1 acts in parallel with the Wnt1 network, establishes the midbrain dopaminergic progenitor domain, which gives rise to a neuronal population that is critical for normal function of the human brain. It is an excellent marker for this population of neural progenitors.
Pathologies in dopaminergic neurons result in a number of neurological diseases including Parkinson's Disease.
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