Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Homeobox Genes

  • Stacey Stein
  • Cory Abate-Shen
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_2788-2

Definition

Homeobox genes are a class of developmental regulatory genes that encode homeoproteins. Homeoproteins function as transcription factors to regulate downstream targets, turning on (activating) or turning off (repressing) other genes that in turn regulate developmental processes. Aberrant expression of homeobox genes has been implicated as causal factors in leukemia and solid tumors.

Characteristics

Homeobox genes are often referred to as master control genes. They are active during embryonic development and regulate important processes such as morphogenesis and cellular differentiation. They were first identified in Drosophila as the homeotic cluster (HOM-C) genes and were later found to have homologues in many species. They are now known to be highly evolutionarily conserved and are present in animals, plants, and fungi.

Homeobox genes share a common sequence motif (the homeobox), which is 180 nucleotides in length and encodes a 60 amino acid region (the homeodomain). The...

Keywords

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Homeobox Gene Lymphoid Acute Leukemia Mutant Mouse Model Active Protein Complex 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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References

  1. Cillo C, Faiella A, Cantile M et al (1999) Homeobox genes and cancer. Exp Cell Res 248:1–9CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Cristina M, Largman C, Lawrence J (1997) Effects of HOX homeobox genes in blood cell differentiation. J Cell Physiol 173:168–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Look A (1997) Oncogenic transcription factors in the human acute leukemias. Science 278:1059–1064CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Mark M, Rijli F, Chambon P (1997) Homeobox genes in embryogenesis and pathogenesis. Pediatr Res 42:421–429CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Advanced Biotechnology and MedicineUMDMJ – Robert Wood Johnson Medical SchoolPiscatawayUSA
  2. 2.Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer CenterColumbia University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA