During cellular differentiation, both permissive and repressive epigenetic modifications must be negotiated to create cell-type-specific gene expression patterns. The T-box transcription factor family is important in numerous developmental systems ranging from embryogenesis to the differentiation of adult tissues. By analyzing point mutations in conserved sequences in the T-box DNA-binding domain, we found that two overlapping, but physically separable regions are required for the physical and functional interaction with H3K27-demethylase and H3K4-methyltransferase activities. Importantly, the ability to associate with these histone-modifying complexes is a conserved function for the T-box family. These novel mechanisms for T-box-mediated epigenetic regulation are essential, because point mutations that disrupt these interactions are found in a diverse array of human developmental genetic diseases. © 2008 by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.