Noncoding RNAs within the HOX gene network in tumor pathogenesis and progression

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HOX genes are involved with normal development, cell identity, cell differentiation, cell metabolism, apoptosis, autophagy as well as with diseases such as tumor pathogenesis and progression. In particular, the genes belonging to HOX paralogous 13 seem to carry out a relevant role in both tumor development and disease progression. In recent years, several noncoding RNAs (ncRNA) sequences have been identified in HOX loci, including long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) and microRNA (miRNA), highly conserved during evolution. Many studies have shown that specific intergenic ncRNAs in HOX loci could directly modulate HOX genes expression in normal and pathological conditions. In the present review we attempt to describe the role of these ncRNAs, through the regulation of the HOX gene network, in normal cell biology, and, with particular emphasis, in diseases such as in cancer pathogenesis and progression.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • HOX gene network
  • noncoding RNAs
  • tumor evolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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