Division of labor in polycomb group repression

Trends Biochem Sci. 2004 Sep;29(9):478-85. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2004.07.007.


The epigenetic maintenance of gene expression patterns is essential for developing and maintaining the diverse types of cell that cooperate to form the larger organism. Recent data suggest that proteins of the Polycomb group (PcG) use a combination of posttranslational modifications and structural changes to the underlying chromatin structure to maintain silenced epigenetic states. We are now beginning to understand the mechanisms by which the PcG proteins are able to silence genes and to maintain this silencing over many cell divisions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila Proteins / chemistry
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Gene Silencing
  • Models, Genetic
  • Models, Molecular
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 1
  • Polycomb-Group Proteins
  • Protein Conformation
  • Repressor Proteins / chemistry
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / chemistry
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Xenopus Proteins / chemistry
  • Xenopus Proteins / metabolism
  • Xenopus laevis


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Pc protein, Drosophila
  • Polycomb-Group Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Xenopus Proteins
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 1