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Gene Review

HOXA4  -  homeobox A4

Gallus gallus

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High impact information on HOXA4


Biological context of HOXA4

  • Comparison of the avian bsp promoter sequence to those of other genes expressed in vertebrate skeletal tissues, identified the presence of homeobox protein binding sequence motifs for engrailed (en-1) and Msx 2 (Hox 8.1), and two collagen type II gene silencer elements [5].
  • A unique mutation of the paired box (Pax)-6 gene (a kind of homeobox gene) was found in a new rat strain "rSey" which showed no induction of both lens and nasal placodes in the homozygote [6].

Anatomical context of HOXA4

  • During early stages of normal chick limb development, the homeobox-containing (HOX) gene GHox-4.6 is expressed throughout the posterior mesoderm of the wing bud from which most of the skeletal elements including the digits will develop, whereas GHox-8 is expressed in the anterior limb bud mesoderm which will not give rise to skeletal elements [7].
  • Chicken homeobox gene Msx-1: structure, expression in limb buds and effect of retinoic acid [8].
  • Goosecoid (gsc) is an evolutionarily conserved homeobox gene expressed in the gastrula organizer region of a variety of vertebrate embryos, including zebrafish, Xenopus, chicken and mouse [9].
  • A homeobox gene involved in node, notochord and neural plate formation of chick embryos [10].
  • We analyzed the spatial expression patterns of Hox genes belonging to the HoxA and HoxB cluster (Hoxa-4 approximately a-9, Hoxb-5 approximately b-9) in the developing chick digestive tract [11].

Other interactions of HOXA4

  • Expression of the chicken homeobox-containing gene GHox-8 during embryonic chick limb development [12].
  • We report the cloning and expression pattern of the chicken DLX3 gene, a homeobox gene highly related to the DLX5 gene with regard to both the encoded protein structure and the expression pattern [13].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of HOXA4

  • The binding profiles of these proteins to the 5'-leader and 5'-upstream sequences of Chox-1.4 and Chox-a coding regions were analyzed by immunoprecipitation and DNase I footprint assays [14].
  • PCR also proved to be a rapid method for identifying homeobox sequences from diverse metazoan species [15].


  1. Molecular programming of stem cells into mesodiencephalic dopaminergic neurons. Burbach, J.P., Smidt, M.P. Trends Neurosci. (2006) [Pubmed]
  2. Induction of a mesencephalic phenotype in the 2-day-old chick prosencephalon is preceded by the early expression of the homeobox gene en. Martinez, S., Wassef, M., Alvarado-Mallart, R.M. Neuron (1991) [Pubmed]
  3. Foregut endoderm is required at head process stages for anteriormost neural patterning in chick. Withington, S., Beddington, R., Cooke, J. Development (2001) [Pubmed]
  4. Tlx-1 and Tlx-3 homeobox gene expression in cranial sensory ganglia and hindbrain of the chick embryo: markers of patterned connectivity. Logan, C., Wingate, R.J., McKay, I.J., Lumsden, A. J. Neurosci. (1998) [Pubmed]
  5. Structural analysis and characterization of tissue and hormonal responsive expression of the avian bone sialoprotein (BSP) gene. Yang, R., Gerstenfeld, L.C. J. Cell. Biochem. (1997) [Pubmed]
  6. The genes involved in the morphogenesis of the eye. Matsuo, T. Jpn. J. Ophthalmol. (1993) [Pubmed]
  7. Role of the chicken homeobox-containing genes GHox-4.6 and GHox-8 in the specification of positional identities during the development of normal and polydactylous chick limb buds. Coelho, C.N., Upholt, W.B., Kosher, R.A. Development (1992) [Pubmed]
  8. Chicken homeobox gene Msx-1: structure, expression in limb buds and effect of retinoic acid. Yokouchi, Y., Ohsugi, K., Sasaki, H., Kuroiwa, A. Development (1991) [Pubmed]
  9. Goosecoid is not an essential component of the mouse gastrula organizer but is required for craniofacial and rib development. Rivera-Pérez, J.A., Mallo, M., Gendron-Maguire, M., Gridley, T., Behringer, R.R. Development (1995) [Pubmed]
  10. A homeobox gene involved in node, notochord and neural plate formation of chick embryos. Stein, S., Kessel, M. Mech. Dev. (1995) [Pubmed]
  11. HoxA and HoxB cluster genes subdivide the digestive tract into morphological domains during chick development. Sakiyama, J., Yokouchi, Y., Kuroiwa, A. Mech. Dev. (2001) [Pubmed]
  12. Expression of the chicken homeobox-containing gene GHox-8 during embryonic chick limb development. Coelho, C.N., Sumoy, L., Rodgers, B.J., Davidson, D.R., Hill, R.E., Upholt, W.B., Kosher, R.A. Mech. Dev. (1991) [Pubmed]
  13. Expression of DLX3 in chick embryos. Pera, E., Kessel, M. Mech. Dev. (1999) [Pubmed]
  14. Specific DNA binding of the two chicken Deformed family homeodomain proteins, Chox-1.4 and Chox-a. Sasaki, H., Yokoyama, E., Kuroiwa, A. Nucleic Acids Res. (1990) [Pubmed]
  15. Detection of homeobox genes in development and evolution. Murtha, M.T., Leckman, J.F., Ruddle, F.H. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1991) [Pubmed]
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