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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A genomic approach to the identification and characterization of HOXA13 functional binding elements.

HOX proteins are important transcriptional regulators in mammalian embryonic development and are dysregulated in human cancers. However, there are few known direct HOX target genes and their mechanisms of regulation are incompletely understood. To isolate and characterize gene segments through which HOX proteins regulate transcription we used cesium chloride centrifugation-based chromatin purification and immunoprecipitation (ChIP). From NIH 3T3-derived HOXA13-FLAG expressing cells, 33% of randomly selected, ChIP clones were reproducibly enriched. Hox-enriched fragments (HEFs) were more AT-rich compared with cloned fragments that failed reproducible ChIP. All HEFs augmented transcription of a heterologous promoter upon coexpression with HOXA13. One HEF was from intron 2 of Enpp2, a gene highly upregulated in these cells and has been implicated in cell motility. Using Enpp2 as a candidate direct target, we identified three additional HEFs upstream of the transcription start site. HOXA13 upregulated transcription from an Enpp2 promoter construct containing these sites, and each site was necessary for full HOXA13-induced expression. Lastly, given that HOX proteins have been demonstrated to interact with histone deacetylases and/or CBP, we explored whether histone acetylation changed at Enpp2 upon HOXA13-induced activation. No change in the general histone acetylation state was observed. Our results support models in which occupation of multiple HOX binding sites is associated with highly activated genes.[1]


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