Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 in Eukaryotes-An Evolutionary Perspective

Epigenomes. 2022 Jan 17;6(1):3. doi: 10.3390/epigenomes6010003.


Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) represents a group of evolutionarily conserved multi-subunit complexes that repress gene transcription by introducing trimethylation of lysine 27 on histone 3 (H3K27me3). PRC2 activity is of key importance for cell identity specification and developmental phase transitions in animals and plants. The composition, biochemistry, and developmental function of PRC2 in animal and flowering plant model species are relatively well described. Recent evidence demonstrates the presence of PRC2 complexes in various eukaryotic supergroups, suggesting conservation of the complex and its function. Here, we provide an overview of the current understanding of PRC2-mediated repression in different representatives of eukaryotic supergroups with a focus on the green lineage. By comparison of PRC2 in different eukaryotes, we highlight the possible common and diverged features suggesting evolutionary implications and outline emerging questions and directions for future research of polycomb repression and its evolution.

Keywords: H3K27me3; PRC2; SAR; algae; animal; evolution; fungi; green lineage; plant; polycomb.

Publication types

  • Review