Lin28a/let-7 pathway modulates the hox code via polycomb regulation during axial patterning in vertebrates

Tempei Sato, Kensuke Kataoka, Yoshiaki Ito, Shigetoshi Yokoyama, Masafumi Inui, Masaki Mori, Satoru Takahashi, Keiichi Akita, Shuji Takada, Hiroe Ueno-Kudoh, Hiroshi Asahara

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11 Scopus citations


The body plan along the anteroposterior axis and regional identities are specified by the spatiotemporal expression of Hox genes. Multistep controls are required for their unique expression patterns; however, the molecular mechanisms behind the tight control of Hox genes are not fully understood. In this study, we demonstrated that the Lin28a/let-7 pathway is critical for axial elongation. Lin28a–/– mice exhibited axial shortening with mild skeletal transformations of vertebrae, which were consistent with results in mice with tail bud-specific mutants of Lin28a. The accumulation of let-7 in Lin28a–/– mice resulted in the reduction of PRC1 occupancy at the Hox cluster loci by targeting Cbx2. Consistently, Lin28a loss in embryonic stem-like cells led to aberrant induction of posterior Hox genes, which was rescued by the knockdown of let-7. These results suggest that the Lin28/let-7 pathway is involved in the modulation of the ‘Hox code’ via Polycomb regulation during axial patterning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere53608
StatePublished - May 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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