MetaHox gene clusters.
Coulier F, Popovici C, Villet R, Birnbaum D
Homeobox genes encode important developmental control proteins. The Drosophila fruit fly HOM complex genes are clustered in region 84-89 of chromosome 3. Probably due to large-scale genome duplication events, their human HOX orthologs belong to four paralogous regions. A series of 13 other homeobox genes are also clustered in region 88-94, on the same chromosome of Drosophila. We suggest that they also duplicated during vertebrate evolution and belong to paralogous regions in humans. These regions are on chromosome arms 4p, 5q, 10q, and 2p or 8p. We coined the term “paralogon” to designate paralogous regions in general. We propose to call these genes “meta Hox” genes. Like Hox genes, metaHox genes are present in one cluster in Drosophila and four clusters (metaHox A-D) in humans on the 4p/5q/10q paralogon.Read the article