Correct expression of specific sets of genes in time and space ensures the establishment and maintenance of cell identity, which is required for proper development of multicellular organisms. Polycomb and Trithorax group proteins form multisubunit complexes that antagonistically act in epigenetic gene repression and activation, respectively. The traditional view of Polycomb repressive complexes (PRCs) as executors of long-lasting and stable gene repression is being extended by evidence of flexible repression in response to developmental and environmental cues, increasing the complexity of mechanisms that ensure selective and properly timed PRC targeting and release of Polycomb repression. Here, we review advances in understanding of the composition, mechanisms of targeting, and function of plant PRCs and discuss the parallels and differences between plant and animal models.
Keywords: Polycomb repressive complex; Trithorax; epigenetics; gene repression; plant development.