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FEBS Lett. 1996 Feb 12;380(1-2):103-7.

Relationship between DNA methylation and gene expression of the HOXB gene cluster in small cell lung cancers.

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Institut Curie, CNRS, Paris, France.


The expression pattern of the HOXB gene cluster in four xenografted small-cell lung cancers was compared to the methylation of the DNA in the corresponding genomic regions. In 90% (17/19) of the studied cases, the expressed genes were in methylated regions whereas 70% (12/17) of the unexpressed genes were in unmethylated regions. This specific behavior could correspond to a particular gene expression regulation mechanism of the HOX gene network. Since some genes (HOXB2, HOXB4, HOXB7) were always inactive when unmethylated, this unexpected relationship might indicate their key function(s) in the HOX gene network.

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