Homeobox genes in normal and malignant cells

Clemente Cillo, Monica Cantile, Antonio Faiella, Edoardo Boncinelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Homeobox genes are transcription factors primarily involved in embryonic development. Several homeobox gene families have so far been identified: Hox, EMX, PAX, MSX as well as many isolated divergent homeobox genes. Among these, Hox genes are most intriguing for having a regulatory network structure organization. Recent indications suggest the involvement of homeobox genes in (i) crucial adult eukariotic cell functions and (ii) human diseases, spanning from diabetes to cancer. In this review we will discuss the mechanisms through which homeobox genes act, and will propose a model for the function of the Hox gene network as decoding system for achieving specific genetic programs. New technologies for whole-genome RNA expression will be crucial to evaluate the clinical relevance of homeobox genes in structural and metabolic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-169
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Homeobox genes in normal and malignant cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this