Moretti, P.A., Davidson, A.J., Baker, E., Lilley, B., Zon, L.I., and D'Andrea, R.J. (2001) Molecular cloning of a human vent-like homeobox gene. Genomics. 76(1-3):21-29.
We have isolated a previously unknown human homeobox-containing cDNA, VENT-like homeobox-2 (VENTX2), using PCR with a bone marrow cDNA library and primers designed from the VENTX1 (alias HPX42) homeobox sequence. Here we describe the molecular cloning, chromosomal localization to 10q26.3, and functional analysis of this gene. The 2.4-kb human VENTX2 cDNA encoded a protein with a predicted molecular weight of 28 kDa containing a homeodomain with 65% identity to the Xenopus laevis ventralizing gene Xvent2B. VENTX2 antisera detected a 28-kDa protein in cells transfected with a VENTX2 expression construct, in a human erythroleukemic cell line and in bone marrow samples obtained from patients in recovery phase after chemotherapy. The similarity of the homeodomains from VENTX2 and the X. laevis Vent gene family places them in the same homeodomain class. Consistent with this structural classification, overexpression of VENTX2 in zebrafish embryos led to anterior truncations and failure to form a notochord, which are characteristics of ventralization.