Ancient origin of the Hox gene cluster

Nat Rev Genet. 2001 Jan;2(1):33-8. doi: 10.1038/35047605.


The Hox gene cluster has a crucial function in body patterning during animal development. How and when this gene cluster originated is being clarified by recent data from Cnidaria, a basal animal phylum. The characterization of Hox-like genes from Hydra, sea anemones and jellyfish has revealed that a Hox gene cluster is extremely ancient, having originated even before the divergence of these basal animals.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning
  • Cnidaria / classification
  • Cnidaria / genetics
  • Genes, Homeobox*
  • Humans
  • Hydra / classification
  • Hydra / genetics
  • Multigene Family*
  • Phylogeny*
  • Scyphozoa / classification
  • Scyphozoa / genetics
  • Sea Anemones / classification
  • Sea Anemones / genetics