homeobox

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homeobox

[′hō·mē·ə‚bäks]
(cell and molecular biology)
A highly conserved sequence of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) that occurs in the coding region of development-controlling regulatory genes and codes for a protein domain that is similar in structure to certain DNA-binding proteins and is thought to be involved in the control of gene expression during morphogenesis and development.
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Thus, the Hox cluster in bivalve molluscs has probably 11 genes (Fig.
However, Hox colinearity is not universal, and no single mechanism has been identified that can explain Hox colinearity or the persistence of Hox clusters in diverse metazoan lineages.
However, the short Hox cluster of the acoelomorphs invites the question of homology of "bilaterality" in cnidarians, acoelomorphs, and eubilaterians, but so far this can only be speculation.
It is now clear that at least two of the atypical Drosophila Hox genes - zen and ftz - derive from ancient members of the Hox cluster that have evolved particularly rapidly within the insect lineage (4, 5).