Transcriptional regulation by Polycomb group proteins

Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2013 Oct;20(10):1147-55. doi: 10.1038/nsmb.2669.


Polycomb group (PcG) proteins are epigenetic regulators of transcription that have key roles in stem-cell identity, differentiation and disease. Mechanistically, they function within multiprotein complexes, called Polycomb repressive complexes (PRCs), which modify histones (and other proteins) and silence target genes. The dynamics of PRC1 and PRC2 components has been the focus of recent research. Here we discuss our current knowledge of the PRC complexes, how they are targeted to chromatin and how the high diversity of the PcG proteins allows these complexes to influence cell identity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / cytology
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Humans
  • Polycomb-Group Proteins / genetics
  • Polycomb-Group Proteins / physiology*
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Chromatin
  • Polycomb-Group Proteins