Polycomb silencers control cell fate, development and cancer

Nat Rev Cancer. 2006 Nov;6(11):846-56. doi: 10.1038/nrc1991.


Polycomb group (PcG) proteins are epigenetic gene silencers that are implicated in neoplastic development. Their oncogenic function might be associated with their well-established role in the maintenance of embryonic and adult stem cells. In this review, we discuss new insights into the possible mechanisms by which PcGs regulate cellular identity, and speculate how these functions might be relevant during tumorigenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Gene Silencing*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Polycomb-Group Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins / physiology*


  • Polycomb-Group Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins