Regulation of gene transcription by Polycomb proteins

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Science Advances  04 Dec 2015:
Vol. 1, no. 11, e1500737
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500737


The Polycomb group (PcG) of proteins defines a subset of factors that physically associate and function to maintain the positional identity of cells from the embryo to adult stages. PcG has long been considered a paradigmatic model for epigenetic maintenance of gene transcription programs. Despite intensive research efforts to unveil the molecular mechanisms of action of PcG proteins, several fundamental questions remain unresolved: How many different PcG complexes exist in mammalian cells? How are PcG complexes targeted to specific loci? How does PcG regulate transcription? In this review, we discuss the diversity of PcG complexes in mammalian cells, examine newly identified modes of recruitment to chromatin, and highlight the latest insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying the function of PcGs in transcription regulation and three-dimensional chromatin conformation.

  • Gene Regulation
  • Chromatin
  • Epigenetics

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