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Journal of Skin Cancer
Volume 2012, Article ID 707260, 4 pages
Review Article

HOX Gene Aberrant Expression in Skin Melanoma: A Review

Department of Dermatopathology, Liège University Hospital, 4000 Liège, Belgium

Received 3 July 2012; Revised 4 September 2012; Accepted 4 September 2012

Academic Editor: Giuseppe Argenziano

Copyright © 2012 Gérald E. Piérard and Claudine Piérard-Franchimont. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The homeobox family and its subset of HOX gene products represent a family of transcription factors directing DNA-protein and protein-protein interactions. In the embryo, they are central regulators in cell differentiation during morphogenesis. A series of genes of the four HOX gene clusters A, B, C, and D were reported to show aberrant expressions in oncogenesis, particularly in cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM). They are involved in cell proliferation and progression in the CMM metastatic path. We present relevant peer-reviewed literature findings about the aberrant expression of HOX genes in CMM. The number of CMM cell nuclei exhibiting aberrant HOX protein expression appears correlated with tumour progression.