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Genes Dev. 2017 Jul 15;31(14):1406-1416. doi: 10.1101/gad.303123.117.

Embryonic timing, axial stem cells, chromatin dynamics, and the Hox clock.

Author information

1
Hubrecht Institute, University Medical Center Utrecht, 3584 CT Utrecht, the Netherlands.
2
School of Life Sciences, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale, Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.
3
Department of Genetics and Evolution, University of Geneva, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland.

Abstract

Collinear regulation of Hox genes in space and time has been an outstanding question ever since the initial work of Ed Lewis in 1978. Here we discuss recent advances in our understanding of this phenomenon in relation to novel concepts associated with large-scale regulation and chromatin structure during the development of both axial and limb patterns. We further discuss how this sequential transcriptional activation marks embryonic stem cell-like axial progenitors in mammals and, consequently, how a temporal genetic system is further translated into spatial coordinates via the fate of these progenitors. In this context, we argue the benefit and necessity of implementing this unique mechanism as well as the difficulty in evolving an alternative strategy to deliver this critical positional information.

KEYWORDS:

Hox genes; TAD; chromatin; collinearity; embryos; stem cells; transcription

PMID:
28860158
PMCID:
PMC5588924
DOI:
10.1101/gad.303123.117
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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