Journal article

Deep conservation of the enhancer regulatory code in animals

Emily S Wong, Dawei Zheng, Siew Z Tan, Neil L Bower, Victoria Garside, Gilles Vanwalleghem, Federico Gaiti, Ethan Scott, Benjamin M Hogan, Kazu Kikuchi, Edwina McGlinn, Mathias Francois, Bernard M Degnan

Science | AMER ASSOC ADVANCEMENT SCIENCE | Published : 2020


Interactions of transcription factors (TFs) with DNA regulatory sequences, known as enhancers, specify cell identity during animal development. Unlike TFs, the origin and evolution of enhancers has been difficult to trace. We drove zebrafish and mouse developmental transcription using enhancers from an evolutionarily distant marine sponge. Some of these sponge enhancers are located in highly conserved microsyntenic regions, including an Islet enhancer in the Islet-Scaper region. We found that Islet enhancers in humans and mice share a suite of TF binding motifs with sponges, and that they drive gene expression patterns similar to those of sponge and endogenous Islet enhancers in zebrafish. O..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Research Council (ARC)

Awarded by University of Queensland

Awarded by National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

Awarded by ARC

Funding Acknowledgements

Supported by Australian Research Council (ARC) awards DE160100755 and DP200100250 and University of Queensland Early Career Grant UQECR1832697 (E.S.W.); National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants APP1107643 and APP116400 and fellowship APP1111169 and ARC grant DP200100250 (M.F.); and ARC grants DP160100573 and FL110100044 (B.M.D.). The Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute is supported by grants from the State Government of Victoria and the Australian Government.