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Blood. 1995 Feb 1;85(3):692-7.

The role of the homeobox gene, HOX B7, in human myelomonocytic differentiation.

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Department of Medicine and Biological Chemistry, UCLA School of Medicine 90024-1678.


Homeobox genes encode transcription factors known to be important morphogenic regulators during embryogenesis. An increasing body of work implies a role for homeobox genes in both hematopoiesis and oncogenesis. We have analyzed the role of the homeobox gene, HOX B7, in the program of differentiation of the biphenotypic myeloid cell line, HL60. Induction of monocytic differentiation in HL-60 cells by vitamin D3 resulted in rapid expression of HOX B7 mRNA, but stimulation with phorbol ester or dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) did not. Constitutive overexpression of HOX B7 in the HL60 cell line inhibited the granulocytic differentiation associated with stimulation with DMSO or retinoic acid, but had no effect on the monocytic differentiation induced by vitamin D3. Normal human monocytes do not constitutively express HOX B7, nor are they able to be induced to do so by stimulation with colony-stimulating factor 1 (CSF-1) and gamma interferon (IFN gamma), or with vitamin D3 and lipopolysaccharide. Human bone marrow (BM) cells were found to express HOX B7 in response to granulocyte-macrophage CSF (GM-CSF) and antisense oligonucleotides directed against HOX B7 inhibited the formation of colonies derived from GM-CSF-stimulated BM. These data suggest a critical role for HOX B7 in myelomonocytic differentiation.

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