The homeobox gene functions in regulating morphogenesis and embryo differentiation, admitting the possibility of its abnormal expression to participate in the progression of tumors. Preliminary studies in our laboratory had verified the participation of some homeobox genes in oral squamous cell carcinoma, in an attempt to determine them as markers of aggressiveness. The genes HOXD10, HOXD11, IRX4, ZHX1 and PROX1 showed differences in the expression of mRNA in tumor tissue in relation to its margin, and in more aggressive and less aggressive tumors depending on the gene, which may be associated with the function of oncogenes for some, or the silencing of tumor suppressor function for others. Thus, given that changes associated with carcinogenesis share events of genomic amplification and silencing of tumor suppressor genes by methylation, this work aims to extend the study of above-mentioned homeobox genes through epigenetic and genetic analysis in oral squamous cell carcinoma, in order to correlate to correlate this information with the findings of transcripts expression, as well as with the clinical behavior of the tumor. The previous results also showed low levels of expression of the gene HOXC13 between the samples of tumors and margins, suggesting that this gene might play role in the maintenance of tissue architecture, which also motivates its study.
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