A CTCF-dependent mechanism underlies the Hox timer: relation to a segmented body plan.

  • publication
  • 21-02-2024

Rekaik H, Duboule D. Curr Opin Genet Dev 2024 Apr;85():102160. 10.1016/j.gde.2024.102160. S0959-437X(24)00009-1.

During gastrulation, Hox genes are activated in a time-sequence that follows the order of the genes along their clusters. This property, which is observed in all animals that develop following a progressive rostral-to-caudal morphogenesis, is associated with changes in the chromatin structure and epigenetic profiles of Hox clusters, suggesting a process at least partly based on sequential gene accessibility. Here, we discuss recent work on this issue, as well as a possible mechanism based on the surprising conservation in both the distribution and orientation of CTCF sites inside vertebrate Hox clusters.

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