A human Mix-like homeobox gene MIXL shows functional similarity to Xenopus Mix.1

Wei Guo, Agnes Pui Yee Chan, Hong Liang, Eric D. Wieder, Jeffrey J. Molldrem, Laurence D. Etkin, Lalitha Nagarajan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Molecular events involved in specification of early hematopoietic system are not well known. In Xenopus, a paired-box homeodomain family (Mix.1-4) has been implicated in this process. Although Mix-like homeobox genes have been isolated from chicken (CMIX) and mice (Mml/MIXL1), isolation of a human Mix-like gene has remained elusive. We have recently isolated and characterized a novel human Mix-like homeobox gene with a predicted open reading frame of 232 amino acids designated the Mix.1 homeobox (Xenopus laevis)-like gene (MIXL). The overall identity of this novel protein to CMIX and Mml/MIXL1 is 41% and 69%, respectively. However, the identity in the homeodomain is 66% to that of Xenopus Mix.1, 79% to that of CMIX, and 94% to that of Mml/MIXL1. In normal hematopoiesis, MIXL expression appears to be restricted to immature B- and T-lymphoid cells. Several acute leukemic cell lines of B, T, and myeloid lineage express MIXL suggesting a survival/block in differentiation advantage. Furthermore, Xenopus animal cap assay revealed that MIXL could induce expression of the α-globin gene, suggesting a functional conservation of the homeodomain. Isolation of the MIXL gene is the first step toward understanding novel regulatory circuits in early hematopoietic differentiation and malignant transformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-95
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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