The Msx1 homeoprotein recruits polycomb to the nuclear periphery during development

Jingqiang Wang, Roshan M. Kumar, Vanessa J. Biggs, Hansol Lee, Yun Chen, Michael H. Kagey, Richard A. Young, Cory Abate-Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Control of gene expression during development requires the concerted action of sequence-specific transcriptional regulators and epigenetic modifiers, which are spatially coordinated within the nucleus through mechanisms that are poorly understood. Here we show that transcriptional repression by the Msx1 homeoprotein in myoblast cells requires the recruitment of Polycomb to target genes located at the nuclear periphery. Target genes repressed by Msx1 display an Msx1-dependent enrichment of Polycomb-directed trimethylation of lysine 27 on histone H3 (H3K27me3). Association of Msx1 with the Polycomb complex is required for repression and regulation of myoblast differentiation. Furthermore, Msx1 promotes a dynamic spatial redistribution of the H3K27me3 repressive mark to the nuclear periphery in myoblast cells and the developing limb in vivo. Our findings illustrate a hitherto unappreciated spatial coordination of transcription factors with the Polycomb complex for appropriate regulation of gene expression programs during development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-588
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopmental cell
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 13 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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