Deconstructing repression: evolving models of co-repressor action

Nat Rev Genet. 2010 Feb;11(2):109-23. doi: 10.1038/nrg2736.


A crucial aspect of development, homeostasis and prevention of disease is the strict maintenance of patterns of gene repression. Gene repression is largely achieved by the combinatorial action of various enzymatic complexes - known as co-repressor complexes - that are recruited to DNA by transcription factors and often act through enzymatic modification of histone protein tails. Our understanding of how co-repressors act has begun to change over recent years owing to the increased availability of genome-scale data. Here, we consider specific strategies that underlie repression events - for example, those mediated by the nuclear receptor co-repressor (NCoR, also known as NCOR1) and silencing mediator of retinoic acid and thyroid hormone receptor (SMRT, also known as NCOR2) co-repressor complexes - and discuss emerging themes in gene repression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Co-Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Co-Repressor Proteins / metabolism*
  • DNA / chemistry
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / genetics


  • Co-Repressor Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • DNA