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Epigenetics. 2009 Nov 16;4(8):537-40. Epub 2009 Nov 21.

Epigenetic regulation of vertebrate Hox genes: a dynamic equilibrium.

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  • 1National Research Centre Frontiers in Genetics, Department of Zoology and Animal Biology, University of Geneva, Sciences III, Geneva, Switzerland.


Temporal and spatial control of Hox gene expression is essential for correct patterning of many animals. In both Drosophila and vertebrates, Polycomb and Trithorax group complexes control the maintenance of Hox gene expression in appropriate domains. In vertebrates, dynamic changes in chromatin modifications are also observed during the sequential activation of Hox genes in the embryo, suggesting that progressive epigenetic modifications could regulate collinear gene activation.

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