Six family of homeobox genes and related mechanisms in tumorigenesis protocols


In recent years, the homeobox gene superfamily has been introduced as a master regulator in downstream target genes related to cell development and proliferation. An indispensable role of this family involved in organogenesis development has been widely demonstrated since expression of Six family led to a distinct increase in development of various organs. These functions of Six family genes are primarily based on structure as well as regulatory role in response to external or internal stimuli. In addition to these roles, mutation or aberrant expression of Six family plays a fundamental role in initiation of carcinogenesis, a multistep process including transformation, proliferation, angiogenesis, migration, and metastasis. This suggests that the Six superfamily members can be considered as novel target molecules to inhibit tumor growth and progression. This review focuses on the structure, function, and mechanisms of the Six family in cancer processes and possible strategies to apply these family members for diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic purposes.

Tumori 2016; 102(3): 236 - 243

Article Type: REVIEW



Marzieh Armat, Fatemeh Ramezani, Ommoleila Molavi, Mehdi Sabzichi, Nasser Samadi

Article History


Financial support: No financial support was received for this submission.
Conflict of interest: None of the authors has conflict of interest with this submission.

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  • Drug Applied Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz - Iran
  • Biotechnology Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz - Iran
  • Students’ Research Committee, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz - Iran
  • Research Center for Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology and Faculty of Advanced Medical Science, Tabriz University of Medical Science, Tabriz - Iran

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