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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(12), 23231-23243; doi:10.3390/ijms141223231

The Homeobox Only Protein Homeobox (HOPX) and Colorectal Cancer

Department of Surgery, Kitasato University School of Medicine, Asamizodai 2-1-1, Minami-ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-0374, Japan
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Received: 5 August 2013 / Revised: 31 October 2013 / Accepted: 1 November 2013 / Published: 25 November 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis and Prevention of Colorectal Cancer)
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Abstract

The HOP (homeobox only protein) homeobox (HOPX) is most closely related to the homeobox protein that contains a homeobox-like domain but lacks certain conserved residues required for DNA binding. Here, we review the current understanding of HOPX in the progression of colorectal cancer (CRC). HOPX was initially reported as a differentiation marker and is expressed in various normal tissues. In the colon, HOPX is expressed uniquely in the quiescent stem cell, +4, and in differentiated mucosal cells of the colon. HOPX expression is markedly suppressed in a subset of cancers, mainly in an epigenetic manner. CRC may include separate entities which are differentially characterized by HOPX expression from a prognostic point of view. HOPX itself can regulate epigenetics, and defective expression of HOPX can result in loss of tumor suppressive function and differentiation phenotype. These findings indicate that HOPX may be both a central regulator of epigenetic dynamics and a critical determinant for differentiation in human cells. HOPX downstream targets were identified in CRC cell lines and hold promise as candidates for therapeutic targets of CRC, such as EphA2 or AP-1. Further analysis will elucidate and confirm the precise role of such proteins in CRC progression.
Keywords: HOPX; colorectal cancer; methylation; tumor suppressor gene HOPX; colorectal cancer; methylation; tumor suppressor gene
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Yamashita, K.; Katoh, H.; Watanabe, M. The Homeobox Only Protein Homeobox (HOPX) and Colorectal Cancer. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 23231-23243.

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