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INTRODUCTION During embryonic development, cells are determined,

During embryonic development, cells are determined,
differentiate and become organised into tissues. These events
are regulated by extrinsic and intrinsic signals that are often
translated into changes in the expression and/or activity of
transcription factors. Therefore, how transcription factor
activities are regulated is important for understanding most
developmental processes. For example, the HOX genes encode
transcription factors that pattern tissues along the
anteroposterior axis of most or all animals (reviewed in
McGinnis and Krumlauf, 1992). Recently, the identification of
co-factors that act with HOX proteins have given insights into
the mechanism by which they regulate their targets (for recent
reviews, see Fisher and Caudy, 1998; Mann and Affolter,
1998). However, how developmental transcription factors act
in the context of chromatin is still largely unknown.
Recent studies have revealed that a gene's transcriptional
activity can be regulated through chromatin modifications:
hyperacetylated chromatin is generally associated with active
genes, whereas hypoacetylated chromatin is associated with


Source: Ahringe, Julie - Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge


Collections: Biology and Medicine