Another lymphatic marker is Prox-1, the homologue of the Drosophila homeobox gene prospero, is a marker for the subpopulation of endo-thelial cells that bud and sprout to give rise to the lymphatic system during early development (23). Prox-1 gene spans more than 40 kb, consists of at least five exons and four introns and encodes an 83 kDa protein. Prox-1 gene is mapped to human chromosome 1q32.2-q32.3.

Chicken Prox-1 is highly expressed in the developing lens, retina, and pancreas (24). Mouse Prox-1 expression was detected in the young neurons of the subventricular region of the CNS as well as the developing lens and the pancreas (25). Targeted deletion of the Prox-1 gene does not affect development of the blood vascular system, but the budding and sprouting of the developing lymphatics is ablated, suggesting that prox-1 plays a key role in lymphatic system development (26). These data point towards a possible exclusive expression of prox-1 in lymphatic endothelium.

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