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Gene Review

HOXA2  -  homeobox A2

Homo sapiens

Synonyms: HOX1K, Homeobox protein Hox-1K, Homeobox protein Hox-A2, MCOHI
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High impact information on HOXA2


Biological context of HOXA2

  • Up-regulation of the Hoxa2 gene in the first branchial arch may have encouraged r4 cells to move in the anterior direction [5].
  • Comparison of the striped bass HoxA cluster paralog group 2 (PG2) genes to their orthologs and trans-orthologs shows that the striped bass hoxa2a gene expression pattern is similar to the overall expression pattern described for the hoxa2 genes in the lobe-finned fish lineage and for the hoxa2b gene from zebrafish [6].

Anatomical context of HOXA2

  • A series of fixed hindbrains between E6 and E9 were probed for transcripts of Hoxa-2 and Hoxb-1 [7].
  • Next, we have attempted to identify the precise branchiomotor subtypes that are generated after misexpression and our results suggest that the ectopic motor neurons generated following Hoxa2 misexpression are trigeminal-like, while those generated following Hoxb1 misexpression are facial-like [8].
  • The next day following bead implantation, expression domains of Hoxa2 and Hoxb1 were shifted in an anterior direction up to the mesencephalon and Msx-2 was slightly down-regulated in the hindbrain [5].
  • When first arch neural crest alone is targeted, first arch elements are lost, but the Hoxa2-expressing crest is unable to develop into second arch elements [4].

Other interactions of HOXA2

  • Real-time PCR analyses of islet RNA derived from MCH-KO revealed altered expression of islet-enriched genes such as glucagon, forkhead homeobox A2, hepatocyte nuclear factor (HNF)4alpha, and HNF1alpha [9].
  • The early designation of an Otx2-negative, Hoxa2-negative region, prior to the appearance of the isthmic organiser, is a key initial step in the specification of the cerebellum [10].
  • FGF8 signaling from the isthmus alters Hoxa2 expression and consequently branchial arch patterning, demonstrating that neural crest cells are patterned by environmental signals [11].
  • We find that after exchange of first and third arch crest by rotation of r1-7, crest alters its expression of hoxa-2 and hoxa-3 to match its new location within the embryo resulting in the reestablishment of the normal branchial arch Hox code [12].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of HOXA2

  • We screened FACS-sorted malignant PCs from a panel of 32 MM patients for the expression of HOXA 2, 3, 4, 7, 9, 10, and 11 genes by RT-PCR assays specific for each gene [13].
  • Microsurgery, coupled with electroporation, to target Hoxa2 overexpression to rhombic lip precursors, reveals a profound, autonomous respecification of migration [10].


  1. SATB2 is a multifunctional determinant of craniofacial patterning and osteoblast differentiation. Dobreva, G., Chahrour, M., Dautzenberg, M., Chirivella, L., Kanzler, B., Fariñas, I., Karsenty, G., Grosschedl, R. Cell (2006) [Pubmed]
  2. Bone formation: The nuclear matrix reloaded. Ellies, D.L., Krumlauf, R. Cell (2006) [Pubmed]
  3. Hox genes, neural crest cells and branchial arch patterning. Trainor, P.A., Krumlauf, R. Curr. Opin. Cell Biol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  4. Homeotic transformation of branchial arch identity after Hoxa2 overexpression. Grammatopoulos, G.A., Bell, E., Toole, L., Lumsden, A., Tucker, A.S. Development (2000) [Pubmed]
  5. Locally released retinoic acid repatterns the first branchial arch cartilages in vivo. Plant, M.R., MacDonald, M.E., Grad, L.I., Ritchie, S.J., Richman, J.M. Dev. Biol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  6. Differential expression of hoxa2a and hoxa2b genes during striped bass embryonic development. Scemama, J.L., Vernon, J.L., Stellwag, E.J. Gene Expr. Patterns (2006) [Pubmed]
  7. Persistence of rhombomeric organisation in the postsegmental hindbrain. Wingate, R.J., Lumsden, A. Development (1996) [Pubmed]
  8. Specification of distinct motor neuron identities by the singular activities of individual Hox genes. Jungbluth, S., Bell, E., Lumsden, A. Development (1999) [Pubmed]
  9. Melanin concentrating hormone is a novel regulator of islet function and growth. Pissios, P., Ozcan, U., Kokkotou, E., Okada, T., Liew, C.W., Liu, S., Peters, J.N., Dahlgren, G., Karamchandani, J., Kudva, Y.C., Kurpad, A.J., Kennedy, R.T., Maratos-Flier, E., Kulkarni, R.N. Diabetes (2007) [Pubmed]
  10. Segmental identity and cerebellar granule cell induction in rhombomere 1. Eddison, M., Toole, L., Bell, E., Wingate, R.J. BMC Biol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  11. Role of the isthmus and FGFs in resolving the paradox of neural crest plasticity and prepatterning. Trainor, P.A., Ariza-McNaughton, L., Krumlauf, R. Science (2002) [Pubmed]
  12. Stability and plasticity of neural crest patterning and branchial arch Hox code after extensive cephalic crest rotation. Hunt, P., Clarke, J.D., Buxton, P., Ferretti, P., Thorogood, P. Dev. Biol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  13. Expression of HOXA genes in patients with multiple myeloma. Hudlebusch, H.R., Lodahl, M., Johnsen, H.E., Rasmussen, T. Leuk. Lymphoma (2004) [Pubmed]
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