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Scientifica (Cairo). 2013;2013:738257. doi: 10.1155/2013/738257. Epub 2013 Dec 30.

Hox targets and cellular functions.

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1
Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa (CSIC-UAM), Nicolás Cabrera 1, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain.

Erratum in

  • Scientifica (Cairo). 2014;2014:529298.

Abstract

Hox genes are a group of genes that specify structures along the anteroposterior axis in bilaterians. Although in many cases they do so by modifying a homologous structure with a different (or no) Hox input, there are also examples of Hox genes constructing new organs with no homology in other regions of the body. Hox genes determine structures though the regulation of targets implementing cellular functions and by coordinating cell behavior. The genetic organization to construct or modify a certain organ involves both a genetic cascade through intermediate transcription factors and a direct regulation of targets carrying out cellular functions. In this review I discuss new data from genome-wide techniques, as well as previous genetic and developmental information, to describe some examples of Hox regulation of different cell functions. I also discuss the organization of genetic cascades leading to the development of new organs, mainly using Drosophila melanogaster as the model to analyze Hox function.

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