Scientific article
Open access

Dbx2 regulation in limbs suggests inter tad sharing of enhancers

Published inDevelopmental dynamics, vol. 250, no. 9, p. 1280-1299
Publication date2021-03
First online date2021-03


During tetrapod limb development, the HOXA13 and HOXD13 transcription factors are critical for the emergence and organization of the autopod, the most distal aspect where digits will develop. Since previous work had suggested that the Dbx2 gene is a target of these factors, we set up to analyze in detail this potential regulatory interaction.


We show that HOX13 proteins bind to mammalian‐specific sequences at the vicinity of the Dbx2 locus that have enhancer activity in developing digits. However, the functional inactivation of the DBX2 protein did not elicit any particular phenotype related to Hox genes inactivation in digits, suggesting either redundant or compensatory mechanisms. We report that the neighboring Nell2 and Ano6 genes are also expressed in distal limb buds and are in part controlled by the same Dbx2 enhancers despite being localized into two different topologically associating domains (TADs) flanking the Dbx2 locus.


We conclude that Hoxa13 and Hoxd genes cooperatively activate Dbx2 expression in developing digits through binding to mammalian specific regulatory sequences in the Dbx2 neighborhood. Furthermore, these enhancers can overcome TAD boundaries in either direction to co‐regulate a set of genes located in distinct chromatin domains.

  • Hox
  • TAD boundary
  • Chromatin architecture
  • Digit development
  • Gene regulation
Citation (ISO format)
BECCARI, Léonardo et al. Dbx2 <i>regulation</i> in limbs suggests inter tad sharing of enhancers. In: Developmental dynamics, 2021, vol. 250, n° 9, p. 1280–1299. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.303
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1058-8388

Technical informations

Creation03/26/2024 5:00:56 PM
First validation04/23/2024 12:59:05 PM
Update time04/23/2024 12:59:05 PM
Status update04/23/2024 12:59:05 PM
Last indexation05/06/2024 6:27:01 PM
All rights reserved by Archive ouverte UNIGE and the University of GenevaunigeBlack