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Gene Review

VAX2  -  ventral anterior homeobox 2

Homo sapiens

Synonyms: DRES93, Ventral anterior homeobox 2
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High impact information on VAX2

  • We show that subcellular localization of Vax2 is controlled by phosphorylation of a single serine residue, S170, downstream from its homeodomain, and that this modification results in the exclusion of Vax2 from the nucleus [1].
  • The overexpression of either the frog Xvax2 or the human VAX2 in Xenopus embryos leads to an aberrant eye phenotype and, in particular, determines a ventralizing effect on the developing eye [2].
  • Abrogation of Vax1 and Vax2 activity leads to a failure to close the choroid fissure and progressive expansion of retinal tissue into the optic nerve, finally resulting in a fusion of retinal neurons and pigment epithelium with forebrain tissue [3].
  • Finally, we show that Pax2.1 and Vax1/Vax2 are likely to act in parallel downstream of Hh activity and that the bel locus (yet to be cloned) mediates the ability of Hh-, and perhaps Fgf-, signals to induce Vax expression in the preoptic area [3].


  1. Hedgehog-regulated localization of Vax2 controls eye development. Kim, J.W., Lemke, G. Genes Dev. (2006) [Pubmed]
  2. A homeobox gene, vax2, controls the patterning of the eye dorsoventral axis. Barbieri, A.M., Lupo, G., Bulfone, A., Andreazzoli, M., Mariani, M., Fougerousse, F., Consalez, G.G., Borsani, G., Beckmann, J.S., Barsacchi, G., Ballabio, A., Banfi, S. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1999) [Pubmed]
  3. Hedgehog signalling maintains the optic stalk-retinal interface through the regulation of Vax gene activity. Take-uchi, M., Clarke, J.D., Wilson, S.W. Development (2003) [Pubmed]
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