Retinoic acid and BMP4 cooperate with p63 to alter chromatin dynamics during surface epithelial commitment

Jillian M. Pattison, Sandra P. Melo, Samantha N. Piekos, Jessica L. Torkelson, Elizaveta Bashkirova, Maxwell R. Mumbach, Charlotte Rajasingh, Hanson Hui Zhen, Lingjie Li, Eric Liaw, Daniel Alber, Adam J. Rubin, Gautam Shankar, Xiaomin Bao, Howard Y. Chang, Paul A. Khavari, Anthony E. Oro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Human embryonic stem cell (hESC) differentiation promises advances in regenerative medicine 1–3 , yet conversion of hESCs into transplantable cells or tissues remains poorly understood. Using our keratinocyte differentiation system, we employ a multi-dimensional genomics approach to interrogate the contributions of inductive morphogens retinoic acid and bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) and the epidermal master regulator p63 (encoded by TP63) 4,5 during surface ectoderm commitment. In contrast to other master regulators 6–9 , p63 effects major transcriptional changes only after morphogens alter chromatin accessibility, establishing an epigenetic landscape for p63 to modify. p63 distally closes chromatin accessibility and promotes accumulation of H3K27me3 (trimethylated histone H3 lysine 27). Cohesin HiChIP 10 visualizations of chromosome conformation show that p63 and the morphogens contribute to dynamic long-range chromatin interactions, as illustrated by TFAP2C regulation 11 . Our study demonstrates the unexpected dependency of p63 on morphogenetic signaling and provides novel insights into how a master regulator can specify diverse transcriptional programs based on the chromatin landscape induced by exposure to specific morphogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1658-1665
Number of pages8
JournalNature Genetics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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