HOX genes are highly conserved transcription factors that determine the identity of cells and tissues along the anterior-posterior body axis in developing embryos. Aberrations in HOX gene expression have been shown in various tumors. However, the correlation of HOX gene expression patterns with tumorigenesis and cancer progression has not been fully characterized. Here, to analyze putative candidate HOX genes involved in breast cancer tumorigenesis and progression, the expression patterns of 39 HOX genes were analyzed using breast cancer cell lines and patient-derived breast tissues. In vitro analysis revealed that HOXA and HOXB gene expression occurred in a subtype-specific manner in breast cancer cell lines, whereas most HOXC genes were strongly expressed in most cell lines. Among the 39 HOX genes analyzed, 25 were chosen for further analysis in malignant and non-malignant tissues. Fourteen genes, encoding HOXA6, A13, B2, B4, B5, B6, B7, B8, B9, C5, C9, C13, D1, and D8, out of 25 showed statistically significant differential expression patterns between non-malignant and malignant breast tissues and are putative candidates associated with the development and malignant progression of breast cancer. Our data provide a valuable resource for furthering our understanding of HOX gene expression in breast cancer and the possible involvement of HOX genes in tumor progression.
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Acknowledgments This research was supported by funds from the National Health Insurance Service Ilsan Hospital (2010-01), the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2010-0026759, 2010-0025149, 2013008399), and partly by a Grant from the BioGreen 21 Program, RDA, Korea (PJ00905601).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Molecular Biology