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Cell. 2010 Jan 8;140(1):99-110. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.12.022.

A region of the human HOXD cluster that confers polycomb-group responsiveness.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.

Abstract

Polycomb group (PcG) proteins are essential for accurate axial body patterning during embryonic development. PcG-mediated repression is conserved in metazoans and is targeted in Drosophila by Polycomb response elements (PREs). However, targeting sequences in humans have not been described. While analyzing chromatin architecture in the context of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) differentiation, we discovered a 1.8kb region between HOXD11 and HOXD12 (D11.12) that is associated with PcG proteins, becomes nuclease hypersensitive, and then shows alteration in nuclease sensitivity as hESCs differentiate. The D11.12 element repressed luciferase expression from a reporter construct and full repression required a highly conserved region and YY1 binding sites. Furthermore, repression was dependent on the PcG proteins BMI1 and EED and a YY1-interacting partner, RYBP. We conclude that D11.12 is a Polycomb-dependent regulatory region with similarities to Drosophila PREs, indicating conservation in the mechanisms that target PcG function in mammals and flies.

PMID:
20085705
PMCID:
PMC3324942
DOI:
10.1016/j.cell.2009.12.022
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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