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, 37 (12), 841-50

Polycomb-mediated Gene Silencing in Arabidopsis Thaliana


Polycomb-mediated Gene Silencing in Arabidopsis Thaliana

Dong-Hwan Kim et al. Mol Cells.


Polycomb group (PcG) proteins are conserved chromatin regulators involved in the control of key developmental programs in eukaryotes. They collectively provide the transcriptional memory unique to each cell identity by maintaining transcriptional states of developmental genes. PcG proteins form multi-protein complexes, known as Polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1) and Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2). PRC1 and PRC2 contribute to the stable gene silencing in part through catalyzing covalent histone modifications. Components of PRC1 and PRC2 are well conserved from plants to animals. PcG-mediated gene silencing has been extensively investigated in efforts to understand molecular mechanisms underlying developmental programs in eukaryotes. Here, we describe our current knowledge on PcG-mediated gene repression which dictates developmental programs by dynamic layers of regulatory activities, with an emphasis given to the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana.

Keywords: chromatin looping; epigenetics; gene silencing; polycomb; trithorax.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Conserved components of PRC1 and PRC2 between Drosophila and Arabidopsis. Core components of Drosophila PRC2 and PRC1 (upper) and the homologous subunits found in Arabidopsis (bottom) were presented. Functional equivalents of PcG complex are indicated with the same color. EMF1 and VRN1 are plant-specific proteins in Arabidopsis PRC1-like complex.
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Several proposed modes of the recruitment of PcG and TrxG complexes. (A) PcG complexes, PRC1 or PRC2 physically interacts with transcription factors (TFs) or lncRNAs to be recruited to specific target loci, containing PRE. Recruited PRC1 and PRC2 catalyze H2Aub1 (red circle) and H3K27me3 (green triangle) on target loci, respectively. Some TFs (i.e. AG) competes PRC2 out of target loci in a time-dependent manner. (B) TrxG complex is recruited to target loci through the interaction with TFs or lncRNAs. Recruited TrxG complex catalyze H3K4me3 (blue triangle) or H3K36me3 (purple pentagon) which inhibit PRC2 activity. TrxG-recruiting lncRNAs or DNA elements have not been identified in Arabidopsis.

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