Downstream of the HOX genes: explaining conflicting tumour suppressor and oncogenic functions in cancer

Morgan, Richard ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8721-4479, Hunter, Keith and Pandha, Hardev (2022) Downstream of the HOX genes: explaining conflicting tumour suppressor and oncogenic functions in cancer. International Journal of Cancer. ISSN 0020-7136

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Abstract

The HOX genes are a highly conserved group of transcription factors that have key roles in early development, but which are also highly expressed in most cancers. Many studies have found strong associative relationships between the expression of individual HOX genes in tumours and clinical parameters including survival. For the majority of HOX genes, high tumour expression levels seem to be associated with a worse outcome for patients, and in some cases this has been shown to result from the activation of pro-oncogenic genes and pathways. However, there are also many studies that indicate a tumour suppressor role for some HOX genes, sometimes with conclusions that contradict earlier work. In this review, we have attempted to clarify the role of HOX genes in cancer by focusing on their downstream targets as identified in studies that provide experimental evidence for their activation or repression. On this basis, the majority of HOX genes would appear to have a pro-oncogenic function, with the notable exception of HOXD10, which acts exclusively as a tumour suppressor. HOX proteins regulate a wide range of target genes involved in metastasis, cell death, proliferation, and angiogenesis, and activate key cell signalling pathways. Furthermore, for some functionally related targets, this regulation is achieved by a relatively small subgroup of HOX genes.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.1002/ijc.33949
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors. International Journal of Cancer published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of UICC.
Keywords: HOX, oncogene, PBX, tumour, suppressor
Subjects: Natural sciences > Cell and molecular biology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Richard Morgan
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2022 11:32
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2022 11:01
URI: https://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/8805

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