Polycomb group (PcG) proteins are well-conserved chromatin factors that repress the transcription of their target genes. They bind to the genome at specific sites and act on chromatin through the regulation of both post-translational histone modifications and higher-order chromatin structure. Recent work has revealed that PcG-bound regulatory regions can interact with promoters and modulate their activity via mechanisms involving looping between regulatory elements and also long-distance interactions in cis or in trans (on different chromosomes). This indicates that the 3D organization of PcG proteins contributes significantly to their function. Moreover, because long-range chromosomal contacts have been shown to involve many genomic loci in addition to Polycomb target genes, their regulatory impact could extend beyond the function of Polycomb proteins.
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