A subgroup of homeobox genes, which play an important role in the developmental processes of a variety of multicellular organisms, Hox genes have been shown to play a critical role in vertebrate pattern formation. Hox genes can be thought of as general purpose control genes—that is, they are similar in many organisms and direct the same processes in a variety of organisms, from mouse, to fly, to human.

Key Features

* Provides researchers an overview and synthesis of the latest research findings and contemporary thought in the area * Inclusion of chapters that discuss the evolutionary development of a wide variety of organisms * Gives researchers and clinicians insight into how defective Hox genes trigger developmental abnormalities in embryos


Researchers in cell, developmental, and molecular biology; genetics

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 The Bithorax Complex of Drosophila

1. Pseudoallelism and the History of the BX-C

2. The Ed Lewis Model

3. Molecular Genetics of the BX-C

4. Initiation and Maintenance Phases in BX-C Regulation

5. Initiators, Maintenance Elements, and Segment-Specific Enhancers

6. Organization of the Cis-Regulatory Regions into Chromosomal Domains

7. Chromatin Boundaries Flank the Parasegment-Specific Domains

8. Boundaries Versus Insulators and Long-Distance Interactions

9. Mixing the Old and the New

10. Colinearity in the BX-C

Chapter 2 Evolution of the Hox Gene Complex from an Evolutionary Ground State

1. Introduction

2. The Lewis Model

3. The Developmental and Evolutionary Ground State

4. Mechanisms of Epistatic Hox-Hox Interactions

5. The Evolutionary Origin of the Hox Cluster

6. Duplication and Divergence as a General Evolutionary Principle

7. Conclusion


Chapter 3 Hox Specificity

1. An Introduction to the Problem

2. Too Many Binding Sites, Not Enough Specificity

3. How Specific Do Hox Proteins Need to be?

4. Hox Cofactors

5. What Do In Vivo Hox-Binding Sites Look Like?

6. Insights into Hox Specificity from Structural Studies

7. Activity Regulation of Hox Proteins: The Role of Hox Collaborators

8. Insights into Hoxasome Function from cis‐Regulatory Element Architecture

9. Conclusions


Chapter 8 Hox Genes and Segmentation of the Vertebrate Hindbrain

1. Introduction

2. Hindbrain Segmentation

3. Expression of Hox Genes in the Hindbrain

4. Hox Gene Regulatory Networks in Hindbrain Segmentation


Chapter 5 Hox Genes in Neural Patterning and Circuit Formatio


No. of pages:
© 2009
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:
Print ISBN:
Print ISBN:

About the serial-volume-editor

Olivier Pourquie

Affiliations and Expertise

Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, MO, USA