Polycomb complexes and silencing mechanisms

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2004 Jun;16(3):239-46. doi: 10.1016/j.ceb.2004.03.010.


Advances in the past couple of years have brought important new knowledge on the mechanisms by which Polycomb-group proteins regulate gene expression and on the consequences of their actions. The discovery of histone methylation imprints specific for Polycomb and Trithorax complexes has provided mechanistic insight on how this ancient epigenetic memory system acts to repress and indicates that it may share mechanistic aspects with other silencing and genome-protective processes, such as RNA interference.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Silencing / physiology*
  • Histones / genetics
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 1
  • Protein Transport
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Histones
  • Pc protein, Drosophila
  • Transcription Factors
  • Trl protein, Drosophila
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 1