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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology

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Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology | Cell Biology | Developmental Biology | Genetic Phenomena


TALE factors are broadly expressed embryonically and known to function in complexes with transcription factors (TFs) like Hox proteins at gastrula/segmentation stages, but it is unclear if such generally expressed factors act by the same mechanism throughout embryogenesis. We identify a TALE-dependent gene regulatory network (GRN) required for anterior development and detect TALE occupancy associated with this GRN throughout embryogenesis. At blastula stages, we uncover a novel functional mode for TALE factors, where they occupy genomic DECA motifs with nearby NF-Y sites. We demonstrate that TALE and NF-Y form complexes and regulate chromatin state at genes of this GRN. At segmentation stages, GRN-associated TALE occupancy expands to include HEXA motifs near PBX:HOX sites. Hence, TALE factors control a key GRN, but utilize distinct DNA motifs and protein partners at different stages - a strategy that may also explain their oncogenic potential and may be employed by other broadly expressed TFs.


Pbx, Prep, chromatin, developmental biology, gene network, maternal regulation, pioneer factor, regenerative medicine, stem cells, zebrafish

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Copyright Ladam et al. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

DOI of Published Version



Elife. 2018 Jun 18;7. pii: 36144. doi: 10.7554/eLife.36144. Link to article on publisher's site

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.