RefSeq (protein)



Location (UCSC) Chr 7: 155.46 – 155.46 Mb Chr 5: 28.17 – 28.17 Mb PubMed search [3] [4] Wikidata
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Homeobox protein engrailed-2 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the EN2 gene.[5]


Homeobox-containing genes are thought to have a role in controlling development. In Drosophila, the 'engrailed' (en) gene plays an important role during development in segmentation, where it is required for the formation of posterior compartments. Different mutations in the mouse homologs, En1 and En2, produced different developmental defects that frequently are lethal. The human engrailed homologs 1 and 2 encode homeodomain-containing proteins and have been implicated in the control of pattern formation during development of the central nervous system.[5]

In cancer diagnosis

A method for diagnosing prostate cancer by detection of EN2 in urine has been developed. The results of a clinical trial of 288 men suggest that EN2 could be a marker for prostate cancer which might prove more reliable than current methods that use prostate-specific antigen (PSA). If effective, a urine test is considered easier and less embarrassing for the patient than blood tests or rectal examinations and, therefore, less likely to discourage early diagnosis. At the time of the report, it was not clear whether or not the EN2 test could distinguish between aggressive tumours that would require intervention and relatively benign ones that would not.[6]

Licensing and marketing

The EN2 test for prostate cancer has been licensed to Zeus Scientific, as they reported in March 2013. In that announcement they said they expected the test to be submitted to the US-FDA in a year,[7] and available worldwide in 2 years.[8]


  1. ^ a b c GRCh38: Ensembl release 89: ENSG00000164778 - Ensembl, May 2017
  2. ^ a b c GRCm38: Ensembl release 89: ENSMUSG00000039095 - Ensembl, May 2017
  3. ^ "Human PubMed Reference:". 
  4. ^ "Mouse PubMed Reference:". 
  5. ^ a b "Entrez Gene: EN2 engrailed homeobox 2". 
  6. ^ Morgan R, Boxall A, Bhatt A, Bailey M, Hindley R, Langley S, Whitaker HC, Neal DE, Ismail M, Whitaker H, Annels N, Michael A, Pandha H (March 2011). "Engrailed-2 (EN2): a tumor specific urinary biomarker for the early diagnosis of prostate cancer". Clin. Cancer Res. 17 (5): 1090–8. doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-10-2410. PMID 21364037. Lay summaryBBC News. 
  7. ^ "University of Surrey licenses the patented use of EN2 protein as a diagnostic biomarker for prostate and bladder cancer to ZEUS Scientific". 13 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "Licence deal brings breakthrough prostate cancer test closer to clinical use". 13 March 2013. 

Further reading

External links

This article incorporates text from the United States National Library of Medicine, which is in the public domain.