Involvement of Polycomb-group genes in establishing HoxD temporal colinearity



Temporal colinearity in mouse HoxD is dependent on repressive activity of sequences within the 5′ end of the complex. We show that a 5-kb DNA fragment from this region represses transgenes when combined in mouse as well as in Drosophila melanogaster. Moreover, repressive activity in Drosophila depends on some members of the Polycomb-group (PcG) genes, for example, extra sex combs. We also showed direct association of these factors with the repressive fragment, both in transgenic flies and in the context of the native mouse HoxD complex. These results suggest that the global repressive region of the HoxD complex functions in two very different species and that some PcG genes are involved in establishing the early repressive state of the HoxD complex, thus contributing to temporal colinearity. genesis 45:570–576, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.