Jacqueline Deschamps

Regulation of the expression of genes that control embryonic patterning has been the theme of Jacqueline Deschamps’ research for many years. The group has ceased its activities in December 2016 due to her retirement.

Jacqueline Deschamps obtained her PhD (cum laude) at the University of Brussels with work in yeast genetics. After a first postdoctoral stay in Brussels, and a second postdoctoral training at the Salk Institute in San Diego California, she was recruited by the Hubrecht Institute where she later obtained a group leader position. Early on, she set up the transgenic facility in the institute in order to be able to analyse gene regulation and gene function in embryos in vivo. With her colleagues, she took on investigations on the genetic regulatory mechanisms of development controlling genes, among which the Hox genes, emblematic transcription factor-encoding genes that pattern the animal body since the emergence of bilaterians. They used the mouse as model system of mammals to address key questions on the genetic and epigenetic control of these genes in embryos in vivo, and in pluripotent stem cells.

Team membersDeschamps

Shilu Amin


Carina van Rooijen

Lab Assistant

Salvatore Simmini


Salvatore Simmini

Roel Neijts

PhD Student

Joris Slingerland


Jacqueline Deschamps

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Deschamps: Genetics of morphogenesis during axial elongation in the mouse embryo

Differential expression of the genome underlies the well-controlled emergence of the various tissues and organs deriving from a single cell, the fertilized egg. The first cell divisions generate multipotent descendants, some of which later lose pluripotency and establish the first differentiated cell lineages. This initial and the subsequent cell differentiation events during embryonic development are orchestrated by a program of gene expression control operating at the integrated epigenetic and genetic levels. Understanding how gene regulation is managed in embryos and stem cells of model animals for humans, is a powerful way of shedding light on the intricacy of genomic...

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Key publications

Deschamps J and Duboule D (2017) Embryonic timing, axial stem cells, chromatin dynamics, and the Hox clock. Genes and Development 31:1406-1416
(download Deschamps and Duboule, 2017)

Amin S, Neijts R, Simmini S, van Rooijen C, Tan SC, Kester L, van Oudenaarden A, Creyghton MP and Deschamps J. (2016) Cdx and T Brachyury co-activate growth signaling in the embryonic axial progenitor niche. Cell Reports, Dec 20; 17, 3165–3177
(download Amin et al., 2016)

Neijts R, Amin S, van Rooijen C, Tan D, Creyghton MP, de Laat W, and Deschamps J. (2016) Polarized regulatory landscape and Wnt responsiveness underlie Hox activation in embryos. Genes & Development , Sep 1; 30 (17)
(download Neijts et al. 2016)

Deschamps J. (2016). Birth and upgrowth of the Hox topological domains during evolution. Nature Genetics (News and Views) Feb 24;48(3):227-228


Simmini S., Bialecka M., Huch M., Kester L., van de Wetering M., Sato T., Beck F., van Oudenaarden A., Clevers H. and Deschamps J. (2014). Transformation of intestinal stem cells into gastric stem cells upon loss of transcription factor Cdx2. Nature Communications, Dec 11; 5: 5728.


Neijts R., Simmini S., Giuliani F., van Rooijen C and Deschamps J. (2014) Region-Specific Regulation of Posterior Axial Elongation During Vertebrate Embryogenesis. Dev. Dynamics 243, 88-98.


van Rooijen C., Simmini S., Bialecka M., Neijts R., van de Ven C., Beck F. and Deschamps J. (2012). Evolutionary conserved requirement of Cdx for post-occipital tissue emergence. Development 139, 2576-2583.


Van de Ven C., Bialecka M., Neijts R., Young, T., Rowland J., Stringer E.,van Rooijen C, Meijlink F., Novoa A., Freund JN., Mallo M., Beck F. and Deschamps J. (2011). Concerted involvement of Hox/Cdx genes and Wnt signaling in morphogenesis of the caudal neural tube and cloacal derivatives from the posterior growth zone. Development 138, 3451-3462.


Bialecka M., Wilson V and Deschamps (2010). Cdx mutations causing posterior axial truncations do not impair the long term tissue progenitors in the embryonic posterior growth zone. Developmental Biology 347, 228-234.


Young, T., Rowland, J., van de Ven, C., Bialecka, M., Novoa, A., Carapuco, M., van Nes, J., de Graaff, W., Duluc, I., Freund, JN., Beck, F., Mallo, M. and Deschamps, J. (2009). Cdx and Hox genes differentially regulate posterior axial growth in mammalian embryos. Developmental Cell 17, 516-526.


Young T., and Deschamps J. (2009) Hox and Cdx genes in axial extension and patterning in the mouse embryo. Cur. Topics in Genetics and Development 88, 33-53. .


Deschamps J. and Van Nes J. (2005). Developmental regulation of the Hox genes during axial morphogenesis in the mouse. Development 132, 2931-2942.


Holstege J., de Graaff W., Hossaini, M., Cardone-Cardo., S., Jaarsma D., van den Akker, E. and Deschamps J. (2008) Loss of Hoxb8 alters spinal dorsal laminae and sensory responses in mice. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105, 6338-6343.


Deschamps J.,(2007) Ancestral and recently recruited global control of the Hox genes in development. Current Opin. Genet Dev . 17, 422-427.


van Nes J, de Graaff W., Lebrin F., Gerhard, M., Beck F. and Deschamps J. (2006) The Cdx4 mutation affects axial development and reveals an essential role of Cdx genes in the ontogenesis of the placental labyrinth in mice. Development 133. 419-28.


Deschamps J. and van Nes J. (2005) Developmental regulation of the Hox genes during axial morphogenesis in the mouse. Development 132, 2931-2942.


Forlani, S., Lawson, K.A. and Deschamps, J. (2003) Acquisition of Hox codes during gastrulation and axial elongation in the mouse embryo. Development 130, 3807-3819.


Oosterveen, T, Nierderreither K., Dollé P., Chambon, P., Meijlink, F. and Deschamps J. (2003) Retinoids regulate the anterior boundaries of 5’Hoxb genes in posterior hindbrain. EMBO J., 22, 262-269