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The Role of HOX Transcription Factors in Cancer Predisposition and Progression

Paralogous HOX13 Genes in Human Cancers

Scientific Direction, Istituto Nazionale Tumori IRCCS Fondazione G. Pascale, 80131 Naples, Italy
Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, School of Medicine, University of Naples Federico II, 80131 Naples, Italy
Pathology Unit, Istituto Nazionale Tumori IRCCS Fondazione G. Pascale, 80131 Naples, Italy
Pathological Anatomy Laboratory, Casa di Cura Maria Rosaria, 80045 Pompei, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cancers 2019, 11(5), 699;
Received: 1 April 2019 / Revised: 17 April 2019 / Accepted: 16 May 2019 / Published: 20 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue HOX Genes in Cancer)
Hox genes (HOX in humans), an evolutionary preserved gene family, are key determinants of embryonic development and cell memory gene program. Hox genes are organized in four clusters on four chromosomal loci aligned in 13 paralogous groups based on sequence homology (Hox gene network). During development Hox genes are transcribed, according to the rule of “spatio-temporal collinearity”, with early regulators of anterior body regions located at the 3’ end of each Hox cluster and the later regulators of posterior body regions placed at the distal 5’ end. The onset of 3’ Hox gene activation is determined by Wingless-type MMTV integration site family (Wnt) signaling, whereas 5’ Hox activation is due to paralogous group 13 genes, which act as posterior-inhibitors of more anterior Hox proteins (posterior prevalence). Deregulation of HOX genes is associated with developmental abnormalities and different human diseases. Paralogous HOX13 genes (HOX A13, HOX B13, HOX C13 and HOX D13) also play a relevant role in tumor development and progression. In this review, we will discuss the role of paralogous HOX13 genes regarding their regulatory mechanisms during carcinogenesis and tumor progression and their use as biomarkers for cancer diagnosis and treatment. View Full-Text
Keywords: HOX gene network; paralogous HOX 13 genes; tumor diseases HOX gene network; paralogous HOX 13 genes; tumor diseases
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MDPI and ACS Style

Botti, G.; Cillo, C.; De Cecio, R.; Malzone, M.G.; Cantile, M. Paralogous HOX13 Genes in Human Cancers. Cancers 2019, 11, 699.

AMA Style

Botti G, Cillo C, De Cecio R, Malzone MG, Cantile M. Paralogous HOX13 Genes in Human Cancers. Cancers. 2019; 11(5):699.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Botti, Gerardo, Clemente Cillo, Rossella De Cecio, Maria G. Malzone, and Monica Cantile. 2019. "Paralogous HOX13 Genes in Human Cancers" Cancers 11, no. 5: 699.

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