This gene encodes a transcription factor that belongs to the homeobox gene family. Genes of this family are highly conserved among vertebrates and essential for vertebrate embryonic development. This gene has been implicated to play a role in fetal skin development and cutaneous regeneration. In mice, a similar gene was shown to exhibit temporal and spatial colinearity in the main body axis of the embryo, but was not expressed in the secondary axes, which suggests functions in body patterning along the axis. This gene and other HOXB genes form a gene cluster at chromosome the 17q21-22 region.