[en] Coordinated expression of genes involved in development, differentiation and malignant transformation is regulated by transcription factors including homeodomain-containing proteins. However, most of their cDNA sequences are still unknown. We report here the molecular characterization of three newly cloned HOXA1 transcripts from human breast cancer cells. In addition, we provide evidence that these alternatively spliced transcripts encode one homeodomain-containing protein and two products lacking the conserved DNA-binding domain. Moreover, we demonstrate that all three HOXA1 transcripts are induced by retinoic acid in MCF7 cells. Taken together, our results suggest that HOXA1 gene may be a key element in the establishment of the breast cancer cell phenotype.