The VENTX (also known as VENT homeobox or VENTX2) gene is a member of the homeobox family of transcription factors. The ortholog of VENTX was first described in Xenopus where it participates in BMP and Nanog signaling pathways and controls dorsoventral mesoderm patterning (Onichtchouk et al. 1996, Scerbo et al. 2012). The zebrafish ortholog of VENTX is also involved in dorsoventral patterning in the early embryo (Imai et al. 2001). Rodents lack the VENTX ortholog (Zhong and Holland 2011). VENTX is expressed in human blood cells (Moretti et al. 2001) and appears to play an important role in hematopoiesis. The role of VENTX in hematopoiesis was first suggested based on its role in mesoderm patterning in Xenopus and zebrafish (Davidson and Zon 2000). VENTX promotes cell cycle arrest and differentiation of hematopoietic stem cells and/or progenitor cells (Wu, Gao, Ke, Giese and Zhu 2011, Wu et al. 2014). Ventx suppression leads to expansion of hematopoietic stem cells and multi-progenitor cells (Gao et, J. Biol.Chem, 2012). VENTX induces transcription of cell cycle inhibitors TP53 (p53) and p16INK4A and activates tumor suppressor pathways regulated by TP53 and p16INK4A (Wu, Gao, Ke, Hager et al. 2011), as well as macrophage colony stimulating factor receptor (CSF1R) (Wu, Gao, Ke, Giese and Zhu 2011) and inhibits transcription of cyclin D1 (CCND1) (Gao et al. 2010) and Interleukin-6 (IL6) (Wu et al. 2014). Chromatin immunoprecipitation showed that EGR3 transcription factor directly binds to the promoter of IL6 and IL8 genes (Baron VT et al, BJC 2015). While VENTX expression may suppress lymphocytic leukemia (Gao et al. 2010), high levels of VENTX have been reported in acute myeloid leukemia cells, with a positive effect on their proliferation (Rawat et al. 2010). Another homeobox transcription factor that regulates differentiation of hematopoietic stemm cells is DLX4 (Bon et al. 2015). Studies on colon cancer showed that VentX regulates tumor associated macrophages and reverts immune suppression in tumor microenvironment (Le et al. 2018). MEK1 is required for Xenopus Ventx2 asymmetric distribution during blastula cell division. Ventx2 inhibition by MEK1 is required for embryonic cell commitment (Scerbo et al, eLife, 2017). VENTX induces TP53-independent apoptosis in cancer cells (Gao H, Oncotarget, 2016). During Xenopus embryonic development, VENTX ortholog regulates transcription of the sox3 gene (Rogers et al. 2007) as well as the early neuronal gene zic3 (Umair et al. 2018).