Epigenetic regulation of: the waltz of methylsHox: the waltz of methylsgene activation: the waltz of methyls

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Genetic studies have revealed that the antagonistic interplay between PcG and TrxG/MLL complexes is essential for the proper maintenance of vertebrateHoxgene expression in time and space.Hoxgenes must be silenced in totipotent embryonic stem cells and, in contrast, rapidly activated during embryogenesis. Here we discuss some recently published articles(1,2,3,4) that propose a novel mechanism for the induction ofHoxgene transcription. These studies report a new family of histone demethylases that remove H3K27me3/me2 repressive marks atHoxpromoters during differentiation of stem cells. Though the overall importance of these enzymes for proper embryogenesis was demonstrated, their precise role inHoxgene epigenetic regulation during development still remains to be firmly established.

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