Hox genes in time and space during vertebrate body formation

Dev Growth Differ. 2007 May;49(4):265-75. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-169X.2007.00928.x.


Vertebrae display distinct morphological features at different levels of the body axis. Links between collinear Hox gene activation and the progressive mode of body axis elongation have provided a fascinating blueprint of the mechanisms for establishing these morphological identities. In this review, we first discuss the regulation and possible role of collinear Hox gene activation during body formation and then highlight the direct role of Hox genes in controlling cellular movements during gastrulation, therefore contributing to body formation. Additional related research aspects, such as imaging of chromatin regulation, roles of micro RNAs and evolutional findings are also discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Body Patterning*
  • Gastrula / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Genes, Homeobox*
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Spine / embryology*
  • Transcriptional Activation


  • MicroRNAs