Polarized regulatory landscape and Wnt responsiveness underlie Hox activation in embryos

Roel Neijts, Shilu Amin, Carina van Rooijen, Sander Tan, Menno P Creyghton, Wouter de Laat, Jacqueline Deschamps

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


Sequential 3'-to-5' activation of the Hox gene clusters in early embryos is a most fascinating issue in developmental biology. Neither the trigger nor the regulatory elements involved in the transcriptional initiation of the 3'-most Hox genes have been unraveled in any organism. We demonstrate that a series of enhancers, some of which are Wnt-dependent, is located within a HoxA 3' subtopologically associated domain (subTAD). This subTAD forms the structural basis for multiple layers of 3'-polarized features, including DNA accessibility and enhancer activation. Deletion of the cassette of Wnt-dependent enhancers proves its crucial role in initial transcription of HoxA at the 3' side of the cluster.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1937-42
Number of pages6
JournalGenes & Development
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sept 2016


  • Journal Article


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