The Tmem26 gene encodes a novel protein that we have previously shown to be regulated by hedgehog signalling in the mouse limb. We now report that Tmem26 expression is spatially and temporally restricted in other regions of the mouse embryo, most notably the facial primordia. In particular, Tmem26 expression in the mesenchyme of the maxillary and nasal prominences is coincident with fusion of the primary palate. In the secondary palate, Tmem26 is expressed in the palatal shelves during their growth and fusion but is downregulated once fusion is complete. Expression was also detected at the midline of the expanding mandible and at the tips of the eyelids as they migrate across the cornea. Given the spatio-temporally restricted expression of Tmem26, we sought to uncover a functional role in embryonic development through targeted gene inactivation in the mouse. However, ubiquitous inactivation of Tmem26 led to no overt phenotype in the resulting embryos or adult mice, suggesting that TMEM26 function is dispensable for embryonic survival
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