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J Biol Chem. 2003 Nov 21;278(47):46968-73. Epub 2003 Sep 1.

Crystal structure of the malignant brain tumor (MBT) repeats in Sex Comb on Midleg-like 2 (SCML2).

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  • 1Medical Research Council Centre for Protein Engineering, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2QH, United Kingdom.


Sex Comb on Midleg (SCM) belongs to the Polycomb group of proteins, which are involved in transcriptional regulation in Drosophila. It is one of the components of Polycomb repressive complex 1, a multiprotein complex of Polycomb group proteins involved in the maintenance of repression and the blocking of chromatin remodeling. SCM contains two approximately 100-residue malignant brain tumor (MBT) repeats at the N terminus. These repeats are also found in other proteins involved in transcriptional repression. Here, we report the 1.78-A crystal structure of the two MBT repeats of SCM-like 2 (SCML2), a human homologue of SCM. Each repeat consists of an extended arm and a beta-barrel core. There are significant structural similarities to the Tudor, PWWP, and chromo domains, suggesting probable evolutionary relationships and functional similarities between the MBT repeats and these domains.

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