The Msx1 Homeoprotein Recruits Polycomb to the Nuclear Periphery during Development

Dev Cell. 2011 Sep 13;21(3):575-88. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2011.07.003.


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.

Publication types

  • Comment
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't