The autonomy of segment-specific regulatory domains in the Bithorax complex is conferred by boundary elements and associated Polycomb response elements (PREs). The Fab-6 boundary is located at the junction of the iab-5 and iab-6 domains. Previous studies mapped it to a nuclease hypersensitive region 1 (HS1), while the iab-6 PRE was mapped to a second hypersensitive region HS2 nearly 3 kb away. To analyze the role of HS1 and HS2 in boundary we generated deletions of HS1 or HS1 + HS2 that have attP site for boundary replacement experiments. The 1389 bp HS1 deletion can be rescued by a 529 bp core Fab-6 sequence that includes two CTCF sites. However, Fab-6 HS1 cannot rescue the HS1 + HS2 deletion or substitute for another BX-C boundary – Fab-7. For this it must be combined with a PRE, either Fab-7 HS3, or Fab-6 HS2. These findings suggest that the boundary function of Fab-6 HS1 must be bolstered by a second element that has PRE activity.
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