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J Soc Gynecol Investig. 1998 Sep-Oct;5(5):277-80.

Expression of HOXD10 gene in normal endometrium and endometrial adenocarcinoma.

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Division of Gynecologic Oncology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA.



Hox genes encode DNA transcription regulatory proteins that contain a conserved 61 amino acid protein called the homeodomain. Although best known for their role in cellular differentiation during embryonic development, aberrant expression of these genes has been associated with hematologic and solid neoplasms. The purpose of this study was to determine the relative expression of HOXD10 in human endometrial adenocarcinomas.


mRNA was isolated from 7 normal endometrial specimens and 28 endometrial adenocarcinoma specimens. cDNA was synthesized using random hexamer primers. The expression of HOXD10 relative to beta-tubulin (internal control) was assessed by densitometric comparison of co-amplified Phosphorus-32 (32P) labeled gene products separated by agarose gel electrophoresis. Direct sequencing of purified HOXD10 polymerase chain reaction product was also performed.


The sequence of the purified HOXD10 product corresponds to the known DNA sequence reported in the National Institute of Health Gene Bank. mRNA expression of HOXD10 relative to beta-tubulin is significantly lower in endometrial carcinomas than in normal endometrium. Furthermore, the ratio of HOXD10 to beta-tubulin expression varies inversely with the histologic grade of the tumor (P = .0009).


Cancer is a multistep process involving the aberrant expression of genes that regulate cell growth and differentiation. Human HOXD10 gene expression is altered in endometrial carcinoma and varies with the histologic grade of differentiation. This observation supports the theory that homeobox genes play a role in oncogenesis.

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