Studies in animal models have shown that laterality decisions are mediated by a cascade of genes that lead to the asymmetric expression of Nodal, LEFTA, LEFTB and PITX2 in the lateral plate mesoderm. A search for mutations in genes implicated in left–right patterning in animal models allowed genes associated with heterotaxia defects in humans to be identified. In a study published in the European Journal of Human Genetics (Vol. 14, No. 7, pp. 809-815), the authors report on research conducted on a consanguineous family of Turkish origin, composed of two unaffected parents and three children, two of whom presented Kartagener syndrome. Their data provide a basis for the identification of a novel gene implicated in Kartagener syndrome.
Dr. Miikka Vikkula, Laboratory of Human Molecular Genetics, Christian de Duve Institute of Cellular Pathology and Université catholique de Louvain, Avenue Hippocrate 74+5, bp 75.39. Brussels, B-1200, Belgium. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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