Meis cofactors control HDAC and CBP accessibility at Hox-regulated promoters during zebrafish embryogenesis.
ABSTRACT Hox proteins form complexes with Pbx and Meis cofactors to control gene expression, but the role of Meis is unclear. We demonstrate that Hoxb1-regulated promoters are highly acetylated on histone H4 (AcH4) and occupied by Hoxb1, Pbx, and Meis in zebrafish tissues where these promoters are active. Inhibition of Meis blocks gene expression and reduces AcH4 levels at these promoters, suggesting a role for Meis in maintaining AcH4. Within Hox transcription complexes, Meis binds directly to Pbx and we find that this binding displaces histone deacetylases (HDACs) from Hoxb1-regulated promoters in zebrafish embryos. Accordingly, Pbx mutants that cannot bind Meis act as repressors by recruiting HDACs and reducing AcH4 levels, while Pbx mutants that bind neither HDAC nor Meis are constitutively active and recruit CBP to increase AcH4 levels. We conclude that Meis acts, at least in part, by controlling access of HDAC and CBP to Hox-regulated promoters.
Article: Homeobox genes and axial patterning.Cell 02/1992; 68(2):283-302. · 31.96 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Direct auto- and cross-regulatory interactions between Hox genes serve to establish and maintain segmentally restricted patterns in the developing hindbrain. Rhombomere r4-specific expression of both Hoxb1 and Hoxb2 depends upon bipartite cis Hox response elements for the group 1 paralogous proteins, Hoxal and Hoxbl. The DNA-binding ability and selectivity of these proteins depend upon the formation of specific heterodimeric complexes with members of the PBC homeodomain protein family (Pbx genes). The r4 enhancers from Hoxb1 and Hoxb2 have the same activity, but differ with respect to the number and organisation of bipartite Pbx/Hox (PH) sites required, suggesting the intervention of other components/sequences. We report here that another family of homeodomain proteins (TALE, Three-Amino acids-Loop-Extension: Prep1, Meis, HTH), capable of dimerizing with Pbx/EXD, is involved in the mechanisms of r4-restricted expression. We show that: (1) the r4-specific Hoxb1 and Hoxb2 enhancers are complex elements containing separate PH and Prep/Meis (PM) sites; (2) the PM site of the Hoxb2, but not Hoxb1, enhancer is essential in vivo for r4 expression and also influences other sites of expression; (3) both PM and PH sites are required for in vitro binding of Prepl-Pbx and formation and binding of a ternary Hoxbl-Pbxla (or 1b)-Prepl complex. (4) A similar ternary association forms in nuclear extracts from embryonal P19 cells, but only upon retinoic acid induction. This requires synthesis of Hoxbl and also contains Pbx with either Prepl or Meisl. Together these findings highlight the fact that PM sites are found in close proximity to bipartite PH motifs in several Hox responsive elements shown to be important in vivo and that such sites play an essential role in potentiating regulatory activity in combination with the PH motifs.Development 02/2000; 127(1):155-66. · 6.21 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Meis homeodomain proteins function as Hox-cofactors by binding Pbx and Hox proteins to form multimeric complexes that control transcription of genes involved in development and differentiation. It is not known what role Meis proteins play in these complexes, nor is it clear which Hox functions require Meis proteins in vivo. We now show that a divergent Meis family member, Prep1, acts as a Hox co-factor in zebrafish. This suggests that all Meis family members have at least one shared function and that this function must be carried out by a conserved domain. We proceed to show that the Meinox domain, an N-terminal conserved domain shown to mediate Pbx binding, is sufficient to provide Meis activity to a Pbx/Hox complex. We find that this activity is separable from Pbx binding and resides within the M1 subdomain. This finding also presents a rational strategy for interfering with Meis activity in vivo. We accomplish this by expressing the Pbx4/Lzr N-terminus, which sequesters Meis proteins in the cytoplasm away from the nuclear transcription complexes. Sequestering Meis proteins in the cytoplasm leads to extensive loss of rhombomere (r) 3- and r4-specific gene expression, as well as defective rhombomere boundary formation in this region. These changes in gene expression correlate with impaired neuronal differentiation in r3 and r4, e.g. the loss of r3-specific nV branchiomotor neurons and r4-specific Mauthner neurons. We conclude that Meis family proteins are essential for the specification of r3 and r4 of the hindbrain.Development 03/2002; 129(3):585-95. · 6.21 Impact Factor