University of Oulu

Li, B.; Huang, Q.; Wei, G.-H. The Role of HOX Transcription Factors in Cancer Predisposition and Progression. Cancers 2019, 11, 528.

The role of HOX transcription factors in cancer predisposition and progression

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Author: Li, Bo1; Huang, Qilai1; Wei, Gong-Hong2
Organizations: 1Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Animal Cell and Developmental Biology, School of Life Sciences, Shandong University, Qingdao 266237, China
2Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, 90220 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-04-14


Homeobox (HOX) transcription factors, encoded by a subset of homeodomain superfamily genes, play pivotal roles in many aspects of cellular physiology, embryonic development, and tissue homeostasis. Findings over the past decade have revealed that mutations in HOX genes can lead to increased cancer predisposition, and HOX genes might mediate the effect of many other cancer susceptibility factors by recognizing or executing altered genetic information. Remarkably, several lines of evidence highlight the interplays between HOX transcription factors and cancer risk loci discovered by genome-wide association studies, thereby gaining molecular and biological insight into cancer etiology. In addition, deregulated HOX gene expression impacts various aspects of cancer progression, including tumor angiogenesis, cell autophagy, proliferation, apoptosis, tumor cell migration, and metabolism. In this review, we will discuss the fundamental roles of HOX genes in cancer susceptibility and progression, highlighting multiple molecular mechanisms of HOX involved gene misregulation, as well as their potential implications in clinical practice.

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Series: Cancers
ISSN: 2072-6694
ISSN-E: 2072-6694
ISSN-L: 2072-6694
Volume: 11
Issue: 4
Article number: 528
DOI: 10.3390/cancers11040528
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 3122 Cancers
3111 Biomedicine
1182 Biochemistry, cell and molecular biology
Funding: This work was supported by the grants Shandong Provincial Natural Science Foundation, China, ZR2016CM50, the Academy of Finland, the Finnish Cancer Foundation, and the Jane and Aatos Erkkos Foundation.
Copyright information: © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (