The homeodomain-containing proteins: an update on their interacting partners

Biochem Pharmacol. 1999 Dec 15;58(12):1851-7. doi: 10.1016/s0006-2952(99)00234-8.


Homeodomain-containing proteins are transcription regulators controlling the coordinated expression of genes involved in development, differentiation, and cellular transformation. They share a highly conserved 60-amino-acid region (the "homeodomain"), which allows them to bind DNA and modulate the expression of multiple target genes, whose identities remain largely unknown. Although each HOX gene product exhibits in vivo specificity, they harbor very similar DNA-binding affinities in vitro, suggesting that other mechanisms such as protein-protein interactions are critical to modulate their function. In this commentary, we describe the proteins that can interact with the HOX gene products, including newly identified partners such as CREB binding protein and the NF-kappaB/IkappaB-alpha proteins. We also outline the molecular programs that are regulated by the transcriptional complexes involving the HOX gene products and where new pharmacological tools could find interesting targets.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Animals
  • Drug Design
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Histones / physiology
  • Homeodomain Proteins / physiology*
  • Humans
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / physiology


  • Histones
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • NF-kappa B
  • Transcription Factors