Recently, we have described physiological expression patterns of NKL homeobox genes in early hematopoiesis and in subsequent lymphopoiesis. We identified nine genes which constitute the so-called NKL-code. Aberrant overexpression of code-members or ectopically activated non-code NKL homeobox genes are described in T-cell leukemia and in T- and B-cell lymphoma, highlighting their oncogenic role in lymphoid malignancies. Here, we introduce the NKL-code in normal hematopoiesis and focus on deregulated NKL homeobox genes in B-cell lymphoma, including HLX
in Hodgkin lymphoma; HLX, NKX2-1
in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; and NKX2-3
in splenic marginal zone lymphoma. Thus, the roles of various members of the NKL homeobox gene subclass are considered in normal and pathological hematopoiesis in detail.
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