Modulated expression of human homeobox genes in differentiating intestinal cells

G. Sebastio, M. D'Esposito, M. Montanucci, A. Simeone, S. Auricchio, E. Boncinelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Homeobox genes (Hox genes) control segmentation and segment specificity in Drosophila. Hox genes have been detected in several species from insects to vertebrates. Differential and stage-related expression has been observed in human embryonic tissues as well. We have investigated whether the cell line Caco-2 and human adult intestine express Hox genes. Caco-2 is a cell line derived from a human colon carcinoma and exhibits a spontaneous enterocytic differentiation after cellular confluency in vitro. At 7, 14 and 21 days after seeding we have found that Hox-2.3and one Hox-3 gene hybridize to poly(A)+RNA in a stage-related fashion. Moreover, the 21 days pattern of hybridization resembles that one observed in adult small intestine. The Caco-2 cell line provides a model system that allows a detailed analysis of cellular factors controlling transcription and stability of Hox gene products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751-756
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 31 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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