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Nucleic Acids Res. 1993 Mar 11;21(5):1245-9.

HEX: a novel homeobox gene expressed during haematopoiesis and conserved between mouse and human.

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Leukaemia Research Fund Centre, Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK.


We describe the cloning of a novel homeodomain-containing gene, which is highly conserved between mouse and human. The human cDNA was initially isolated from human haematopoietic tissue and denoted HEX (haematopoietically expressed homeobox). Sequence analysis of the coding sequences from mouse and the partial cDNA from human shows that the homeodomain is most closely related to those of the HIx and HOX11 proteins. The HEX gene is present as a single copy in the human genome. Analysis of murine genomic DNA shows, in addition to an intron-containing gene homologous to HEX, the presence of a processed copy of the gene which has arisen within the last few million years. Analysis of human and murine haematopoietic cells and cell lines, revealed expression of the HEX gene in multipotential progenitors, as well as cells of the B-lymphocyte and myeloid lineages. However HEX was not expressed in T-lymphocytes or erythroid cells. This pattern of HEX gene expression suggests that it may play a role in haematopoietic differentiation.

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