Hox genes are a family of genes that are vital to an animal’s embryonic development. The HOX genes belong to the homeobox gene family, which is the second-largest gene family. The Homeobox genes codes for the homeobox domain which are 61 amino acid that forms a helix turn helix structure. Homeobox domain is present in transcription factors that are important in development. Mutations in either the homeobox domain or in the HOX gene can cause serious developmental diseases. The expression pattern of HOX genes dictates the body plans of animals. In vertebrates, HOX genes are organized into clusters that are on different chromosomes named abcd which each contain 9 to 11 hox genes. In this proposal, we are focusing on HOXC genes. There are 9 HOXC genes. They are named HOXC4, HOXC5, HOXC6, HOXC8, HOXC9, HOXC10, HOXC11, HOXC12, and HOXC13. All of the HOXC genes reside on chromosome 12.
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