Homeotic Gene Regulation: A Paradigm for Epigenetic Mechanisms Underlying Organismal Development

  • Navneet K. Matharu
  • Vasanthi Dasari
  • Rakesh K. MishraEmail author
Part of the Subcellular Biochemistry book series (SCBI, volume 61)


The organization of eukaryotic genome into chromatin within the nucleus eventually dictates the cell type specific expression pattern of genes. This higher order of chromatin organization is established during development and dynamically maintained throughout the life span. Developmental mechanisms are conserved in bilaterians and hence they have body plan in common, which is achieved by regulatory networks controlling cell type specific gene expression. Homeotic genes are conserved in metazoans and are crucial for animal development as they specify cell type identity along the anterior-posterior body axis. Hox genes are the best studied in the context of epigenetic regulation that has led to significant understanding of the organismal development. Epigenome specific regulation is brought about by conserved chromatin modulating factors like PcG/trxG proteins during development and differentiation. Here we discuss the conserved epigenetic mechanisms relevant to homeotic gene regulation in metazoans.


Retinoic Acid Homeotic Gene Homeotic Transformation PRC2 Complex Polycomb Response Element 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Navneet K. Matharu
    • 1
  • Vasanthi Dasari
    • 1
  • Rakesh K. Mishra
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre for Cellular and Molecular BiologyCouncil of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)HyderabadIndia

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