EomesrestrictsBrachyuryfunctions at the onset of mammalian gastrulation

Schüle KM, Weckerle J, Probst S, Wehmeyer AE, Zissel L, Schröder CM, Tekman M, Kim G, Schlägl I, Sagar, Arnold SJ.
Preprint from
27 January 2023
Mammalian specification of mesoderm and definitive endoderm (DE) is instructed by the two related Tbx transcription factors (TFs) Eomesodermin ( Eomes ) and Brachyury sharing partially redundant functions. Gross differences of mutant embryonic phenotypes suggest specific functions of each TF. To date, the molecular details of separated lineage-specific gene-regulation by Eomes and Brachyury remain poorly understood. Here, we combine embryonic and stem cell-based analyses to delineate the non-overlapping, lineage-specific transcriptional activities. On a genome-wide scale binding of both TFs overlaps at promoters of target genes, but shows specificity for distal enhancer regions, that is conferred by differences in Tbx DNA-binding motifs. The unique binding to enhancer sites instructs the specification of anterior mesoderm (AM) and DE by Eomes and caudal mesoderm by Brachyury . Remarkably, EOMES antagonizes BRACHYURY gene-regulatory functions in co-expressing cells during early gastrulation to ensure the proper sequence of early AM and DE lineage specification followed by posterior mesoderm derivatives.


Detailed comparative analysis of the two critical developmental regulators Eomes and Brachyury in mouse embryos and differentiating embryonic stem cells Tbx factors EOMES and BRACHYURY control distinct gene programs to specify different mesoderm and endoderm subsets Program specificity is conferred by binding to non-overlapping enhancers with distinct binding motifs EOMES restricts the activities of BRACHYURY thus ensuring the proper sequence of mesoderm and endoderm lineage specification