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Trends Biochem Sci. 2004 Sep;29(9):478-85.

Division of labor in polycomb group repression.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


The epigenetic maintenance of gene expression patterns is essential for developing and maintaining the diverse types of cell that cooperate to form the larger organism. Recent data suggest that proteins of the Polycomb group (PcG) use a combination of posttranslational modifications and structural changes to the underlying chromatin structure to maintain silenced epigenetic states. We are now beginning to understand the mechanisms by which the PcG proteins are able to silence genes and to maintain this silencing over many cell divisions.

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