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J. Dev. Biol. 2016, 4(2), 14; doi:10.3390/jdb4020014

Hox Genes in Cardiovascular Development and Diseases

Aix Marseille Université, GMGF UMRS910, Faculté de Médecine, 27 Bd Jean Moulin, Marseille 13385, France
Inserm U910, Faculté de Médecine, 27 Bd Jean Moulin, Marseille 13005, France
Laboratory of Genetics and Development, Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montréal (IRCM), Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC H3C 3T5, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Vincenzo Zappavigna and Simon J. Conway
Received: 24 February 2016 / Revised: 16 March 2016 / Accepted: 23 March 2016 / Published: 24 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hox Genes and Development)
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Congenital heart defects (CHD) are the leading cause of death in the first year of life. Over the past 20 years, much effort has been focused on unraveling the genetic bases of CHD. In particular, studies in human genetics coupled with those of model organisms have provided valuable insights into the gene regulatory networks underlying CHD pathogenesis. Hox genes encode transcription factors that are required for the patterning of the anterior–posterior axis in the embryo. In this review, we focus on the emerging role of anteriorly expressed Hox genes (Hoxa1, Hoxb1, and Hoxa3) in cardiac development, specifically their contribution to patterning of cardiac progenitor cells and formation of the great arteries. Recent evidence regarding the cooperative regulation of heart development by Hox proteins with members of the TALE-class of homeodomain proteins such as Pbx and Meis transcription factors is also discussed. These findings are highly relevant to human pathologies as they pinpoint new genes that increase susceptibility to cardiac anomalies and provide novel mechanistic insights into CHD. View Full-Text
Keywords: Hox; heart development; cardiogenesis; second heart field; pharyngeal aortic arches; transcription factors Hox; heart development; cardiogenesis; second heart field; pharyngeal aortic arches; transcription factors

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Roux, M.; Zaffran, S. Hox Genes in Cardiovascular Development and Diseases. J. Dev. Biol. 2016, 4, 14.

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