HOX gene analysis of endothelial cell differentiation in human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells.
Human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) have been shown to possess multilineage differentiation potential. HOX genes function in transcriptional regulators, and are involved in stem cell differentiation. The aim of the present study was to demonstrate HOX genes that are related to angiogenesis. To identify the expression patterns of 37 HOX genes in the endothelial cell differentiation of hMSCs, we analyzed HOX genes through profiling with multiplex RT-PCR. The results showed that the expression patterns of four HOX genes, HOXA7, HOXB3, HOXA3, and HOXB13, significantly changed during angiogenesis. The expression levels of HOXA7 and HOXB3 were dramatically increased, whereas those of HOXA3 and HOXB13 were decreased during endothelial cell differentiation. When further analysis of the expressions of these HOX genes was performed with real-time PCR and an immunoblot assay, the expression patterns were also found to be well-matched with the results of multiplex RT-PCR. Here, we report that HOXA7, HOXB3, HOXA3, and HOXB13 might be involved in the angiogenesis of hMSCs.