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RefSeq (mRNA)



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Homeobox protein Emx2 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the EMX2 gene.[1][2]


The homeodomain transcription factor EMX2 is critical for central nervous system and urogenital development. EMX1 (MIM 600034) and EMX2 are related to the 'empty spiracles' gene expressed in the developing Drosophila head.[supplied by OMIM].[2]

The EMX2 gene encodes for a transcription factor that is a homolog to Drosophila melanogaster “empty spiracles” gene.[2] The “empty spiracles gene” is needed for the proper head development/formation as well as the development of posterior spiracles in Drosophila melanogaster.[3]

In humans, EMX2 shows high expression in the dorsal telencephalon, olfactory neuroepithelium, as well as the urogenetial system.[2] In the developing uroepithelium, EMX2 is negatively regulated by HOXA10.[2] EMX2 has been associated with Schizencephaly,[2] a disease where there are large parts of the brain hemispheres absent and that are replaced with cerebrospinal fluid, clinical observations can include seizures, blindness, and inability to walk/speak.[4] EMX2 has also been shown to have an important role in tumorigenesis. One study found that the expression of EMX2 is significantly decreased in tissues and cells with colorectal cancer. It is suspected that EMX2 could be used as a treatment of colorectal cancer.[5]

See also


  1. Kastury K, Druck T, Huebner K, Barletta C, Acampora D, Simeone A, Faiella A, Boncinelli E (Dec 1994). "Chromosome locations of human EMX and OTX genes". Genomics. 22 (1): 41–5. doi:10.1006/geno.1994.1343. PMID 7959790.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "EMX2 empty spiracles homeobox 2". Entrez Gene.
  3. Walldorf U, Gehring WJ (June 1992). "Empty spiracles, a gap gene containing a homeobox involved in Drosophila head development". The EMBO Journal. 11 (6): 2247–59. PMC 556692. PMID 1376248.
  4. "Schizencephaly". Genetic Testing Registry (GTR). National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  5. Zhang Y, Cao G, Yuan QG, Li JH, Yang WB (April 2017). "Empty Spiracles Homeobox 2 (EMX2) Inhibits the Invasion and Tumorigenesis in Colorectal Cancer Cells". Oncology Research. 25 (4): 537–544. doi:10.3727/096504016X14756640150695. PMID 27712600.

Further reading

External links

This article incorporates text from the United States National Library of Medicine, which is in the public domain.