What Is The Role Of Hox Genes In Animal Development?

Hox genes encode a family of transcriptional regulators that elicit distinct developmental programmes along the head-to-tail axis of animals. The specific regional functions of individual Hox genes largely reflect their restricted expression patterns, the disruption of which can lead to developmental defects and disease.

What are the Hox genes and what do they do?

Homeotic (Hox) genes are transcription factors that dictate the development and compartmentalization (regionalization) of body parts in animals along the anterior-posterior (head to tail) axis.

How are mutations in Hox genes affect limb development?

Mutations in human Hox genes result in limb development defects. For example, the duplication of a digit (polydactyly) occurs as a result of mutations in the human Hoxd13 gene.

What are the genes that determine the general body plan?

The animal genes containing homeobox sequences are specifically referred to as Hox genes. This family of genes is responsible for determining the general body plan, such as the number of body segments of an animal, the number and placement of appendages, and animal head-tail directionality.

What are the genes that determine the structure of an animal?

Near the end of the twentieth century, a particular class of genes was discovered that had this very job. These genes that determine animal structure are called “homeotic genes,” and they contain DNA sequences called homeoboxes. The animal genes containing homeobox sequences are specifically referred to as Hox genes.

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