Protein in Context

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Science  17 Dec 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6011, pp. 1588
DOI: 10.1126/science.330.6011.1588-c

Proper cell differentiation requires permissive chromatin structure and specific transcription factor participation. The adult intestinal epithelium is an excellent model for studying transcriptional regulation during differentiation. The homeodomain protein CDX2 is expressed in progenitor and differentiated cells of the mammalian intestinal epithelium, where it likely acts as a master regulator for intestine development. Whether this factor regulates genes in the same way in both the proliferating and differentiated cells, however, is unclear. Verzi et al. now show that CDX2 is needed for appropriate chromatin modifications in intestinal epithelium; however, rather than showing a conserved mode of regulation, CDX2 associates with different binding sites and participates with variable chromatin and transcription factors among progenitor and differentiated intestinal cells. Hence, temporal function and cellular context dictate the mechanism of action of CDX2.

Dev. Cell 19, 713 (2010).

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