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Gene Review

Phox2a  -  paired-like homeobox 2a

Rattus norvegicus

Synonyms: ARIX1 homeodomain protein, Aristaless homeobox protein homolog, Arix, Paired mesoderm homeobox protein 2A, Paired-like homeobox 2A, ...
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Disease relevance of Phox2a

  • To test this hypothesis, we examined whether the homeodomain transcription factors Phox2a/2b play a role in activity-dependent expression of the dopaminergic phenotype using petrosal ganglion (PG) sensory neurons as a model [1].

High impact information on Phox2a


Anatomical context of Phox2a

  • These results suggest that RA disrupts the differentiation of cardiac neural crest cells into ganglionic cells destined to contribute to the parasympathetic innervation of the heart, by regulating the expression of Phox2a and Phox2b [5].

Associations of Phox2a with chemical compounds

  • The timing of Phox2a/2b expression is precisely correlated with the ability of PG neurons to express the dopamine-synthesizing enzyme, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), in response to depolarizing stimuli [1].
  • We have studied the expression of the homeodomain transcriptional neuronal regulators Phox2a, Phox2b and the non-neuronal Schwann cell response using the marker S-100 in the differentiating phase of cardiac ganglionic cells in rat embryos following exogenous retinoic acid (RA) treatment of pregnant dams [5].

Other interactions of Phox2a

  • In control embryos, the expression of Phox2b (E11) preceded that of Phox2a, which, along with the terminal neuronal differentiation marker PGP9.5, was expressed from E12 onwards [5].


  1. Expression of Phox2 transcription factors and induction of the dopaminergic phenotype in primary sensory neurons. Brosenitsch, T.A., Katz, D.M. Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (2002) [Pubmed]
  2. Specification of neurotransmitter identity by Phox2 proteins in neural crest stem cells. Lo, L., Morin, X., Brunet, J.F., Anderson, D.J. Neuron (1999) [Pubmed]
  3. Age-associated changes in mRNA levels of Phox2, norepinephrine transporter and dopamine beta-hydroxylase in the locus coeruleus and adrenal glands of rats. Zhu, M.Y., Wang, W.P., Iyo, A.H., Ordway, G.A., Kim, K.S. J. Neurochem. (2005) [Pubmed]
  4. A direct role of the homeodomain proteins Phox2a/2b in noradrenaline neurotransmitter identity determination. Seo, H., Hong, S.J., Guo, S., Kim, H.S., Kim, C.H., Hwang, D.Y., Isacson, O., Rosenthal, A., Kim, K.S. J. Neurochem. (2002) [Pubmed]
  5. Retinoic acid influences Phox2 expression of cardiac ganglionic cells in the developing rat heart. Shoba, T., Dheen, S.T., Tay, S.S. Neurosci. Lett. (2002) [Pubmed]
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