Special Issue "Hox Genes and Development"
A special issue of Journal of Developmental Biology (ISSN 2221-3759).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2015).
Interests: Hox genes; TALE genes; transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation; NUP98 oncoproteins; molecular biology of cancer; cell proliferation
Over three decades have passed since the seminal discovery that a restricted group of fruitfly genes controlling segment identity share a common sequence (the homeobox), which codes for an evolutionarily conserved and widespread DNA binding motif (the homeodomain). An utter breakthrough, which has opened up entirely new areas of investigation and revived "lagging" ones. Despite the passage of time, the field of Hox genes is far from looking "aged"; indeed, many aspects regarding Hox gene function are, to various extents, still obscure. How do Hox gene products gain their functional specificity in vivo? What are the genetic networks controlled by Hox proteins and how do they vary between different Hox proteins? What does it mean in molecular terms to specify a morphological trait? How do morphological changes in evolution relate to changes in Hox gene function? What is the biological significance of the evolutionary conservation of the collinear arrangement of Hox genes? What exactly is phenotypic suppression/posterior prevalence and what are the molecular mechanism(s) underlying it? What is the role played by Hox gene deregulation in human disease? These and many other questions in the "Hox field" are still awaiting definitive answers. This Special Issue of the Journal of Developmental Biology, while surely not having the ambition to provide conclusive answers to all the questions listed above, would like to represent an opportunity for "Hox people", old and new, to take stock of the situation of Hox gene research. Thus, all contributions regarding regulation and function at all levels, evo-devo, and role in disease of Hox genes are welcome. They can comprise new methods and approaches to study Hox gene function, including mathematical modelling, and reviews of what is known about how Hox proteins operate, how their expression is regulated, and on how Hox gene function goes awry in disease or disease models.
Dr. Vincenzo Zappavigna
Manuscript Submission Information
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- embryonic axis patterning
- transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation in development
- Hox transcription factors
- TALE transcription factors
- epigenetic control of gene expression
- chromatin structure and gene expression
- cell proliferation
- cell differentiation