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A functionally conserved boundary element from the mouse HoxD locus requires GAGA factor in Drosophila.

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Hox genes are necessary for proper morphogenesis and organization of various body structures along the anterior-posterior body axis. These genes exist in clusters and their expression pattern follows spatial and temporal co-linearity with respect to their genomic organization. This colinearity is conserved during evolution and is thought to be constrained by the regulatory mechanisms that involve higher order chromatin structure. Earlier studies, primarily in Drosophila, have illustrated the role of chromatin-mediated regulatory processes, which include chromatin domain boundaries that separate the domains of distinct regulatory features. In the mouse HoxD complex, Evx2 and Hoxd13 are located ∼ 9 kb apart but have clearly distinguishable temporal and spatial expression patterns. Here, we report the characterization of a chromatin domain boundary element from the Evx2-Hoxd13 region that functions in Drosophila as well as in mammalian cells. We show that the Evx2-Hoxd13 region has sequences conserved across vertebrate species including a GA repeat motif and that the Evx2-Hoxd13 boundary activity in Drosophila is dependent on GAGA factor that binds to the GA repeat motif. These results show that Hox genes are regulated by chromatin mediated mechanisms and highlight the early origin and functional conservation of such chromatin elements.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftDevelopment (Cambridge, England)
Vol/bind137
Udgave nummer24
Sider (fra-til)4239-4247
Antal sider9
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 15 dec. 2010
Eksternt udgivetJa

ID: 97919242