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Conserved elements within open reading frames of mammalian Hox genes

Joost M Woltering1 and Denis Duboule12*

Author affiliations

1 National Research Centre 'Frontiers in Genetics', Department of Zoology and Animal Biology, University of Geneva, Sciences III, Quai Ernest-Ansermet 30, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland

2 National Research Centre 'Frontiers in Genetics', School of Life Sciences, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

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Citation and License

Journal of Biology 2009, 8:17  doi:10.1186/jbiol116

Published: 6 February 2009


A recent study in BMC Evolutionary Biology shows that many of the open reading frames in mammalian Hox genes are more conserved than expected on the basis of their protein sequence. The presence of highly conserved DNA elements is thus not confined to the noncoding DNA in neighboring regions but clearly overlaps with coding sequences. These findings support an emerging view that gene regulatory and coding sequences are likely to be more intermingled than once believed.