Functions of mammalian Polycomb group and trithorax group related genes

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1997 Aug;7(4):488-94. doi: 10.1016/s0959-437x(97)80075-5.


Genes of the Polycomb and trithorax groups (PcG and trxG) are part of a cellular memory system that maintains inactive and active states of homeotic gene expression in Drosophila. Recent genetic evidence indicates that several related loci in mammals are also involved in the regulation of Hox genes. Like their Drosophila counterparts, the vertebrate gene products are components of multiprotein complexes that regulate transcriptional activation, repression and aspects of chromatin structure. Initial indications suggest the existence of a large mammalian PcG and trxG family, with a potential to encode multiple specialised functions in cell fate and cell-cycle control.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning / genetics
  • Cell Cycle / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Genes, cdc
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase
  • Humans
  • Insect Proteins / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Myeloid-Lymphoid Leukemia Protein
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 1
  • Proto-Oncogenes*
  • Transcription Factors*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Insect Proteins
  • KMT2A protein, human
  • Pc protein, Drosophila
  • Transcription Factors
  • Trl protein, Drosophila
  • Myeloid-Lymphoid Leukemia Protein
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase
  • Kmt2a protein, mouse
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 1