Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Rev Genet. 2007 Jan;8(1):9-22.

Polycomb silencing mechanisms and the management of genomic programmes.

Author information

Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Rutgers University, Nelson Laboratories, 604 Allison Road, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854, USA.


Polycomb group complexes, which are known to regulate homeotic genes, have now been found to control hundreds of other genes in mammals and insects. First believed to progressively assemble and package chromatin, they are now thought to be localized, but induce a methylation mark on histone H3 over a broad chromatin domain. Recent progress has changed our view of how these complexes are recruited, and how they affect chromatin and repress gene activity. Polycomb complexes function as global enforcers of epigenetically repressed states, balanced by an antagonistic state that is mediated by Trithorax. These epigenetic states must be reprogrammed when cells become committed to differentiation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center