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Mech Dev. 2003 Aug;120(8):949-54.

Molecular and genetic analysis of the Polycomb group gene Sex combs extra/Ring in Drosophila.

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  • 1EMBL, Gene Expression Programme, Meyerhofstr 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany.


Polycomb group (PcG) proteins repress homeotic genes and other developmental regulatory genes in cells where these genes must remain inactive during development. In Drosophila and in vertebrates, PcG proteins exist in two distinct multiprotein complexes, the Esc/Eed-E(z) complex and PRC1. Drosophila PRC1 contains Polycomb, Posterior sexcombs and Polyhomeotic, the products of three PcG genes that are critically needed for PcG silencing. Formation of stable PRC1 requires Ring, the product of a gene for which no mutations have been described. Here, we show that Sex combs extra (Sce) encodes Ring and that Sce/Ring function is critically required for PcG silencing.

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