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Dev Biol. 2014 Apr 1;388(1):134-44. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2014.01.027. Epub 2014 Feb 10.

Long-range regulation by shared retinoic acid response elements modulates dynamic expression of posterior Hoxb genes in CNS development.

Author information

1
Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, MO 64110, USA.
2
Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, MO 64110, USA; Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Kansas University Medical Center, Kansas City, KS 66160, USA. Electronic address: rek@stowers.org.

Abstract

Retinoic acid (RA) signaling plays an important role in determining the anterior boundary of Hox gene expression in the neural tube during embryogenesis. In particular, RA signaling is implicated in a rostral expansion of the neural expression domain of 5׳ Hoxb genes (Hoxb9-Hoxb5) in mice. However, underlying mechanisms for this gene regulation have remained elusive due to the lack of RA responsive element (RARE) in the 5׳ half of the HoxB cluster. To identify cis-regulatory elements required for the rostral expansion, we developed a recombineering technology to serially label multiple genes with different reporters in a single bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) vector containing the mouse HoxB cluster. This allowed us to simultaneously monitor the expression of multiple genes. In contrast to plasmid-based reporters, transgenic BAC reporters faithfully recapitulated endogenous gene expression patterns of the Hoxb genes including the rostral expansion. Combined inactivation of two RAREs, DE-RARE and ENE-RARE, in the BAC completely abolished the rostral expansion of the 5׳ Hoxb genes. Knock-out of endogenous DE-RARE lead to significantly reduced expression of multiple Hoxb genes and attenuated Hox gene response to exogenous RA treatment in utero. Regulatory potential of DE-RARE was further demonstrated by its ability to anteriorize 5׳ Hoxa gene expression in the neural tube when inserted into a HoxA BAC reporter. Our data demonstrate that multiple RAREs cooperate to remotely regulate 5׳ Hoxb genes during CNS development, providing a new insight into the mechanisms for gene regulation within the Hox clusters.

KEYWORDS:

Central nervous system; Enhancer sharing; Enhancers; Gene regulation; Hox genes; Long-range regulation; Retinoids; Transgenic reporters

PMID:
24525295
DOI:
10.1016/j.ydbio.2014.01.027
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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