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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2008 Apr;20(2):201-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ceb.2008.01.004. Epub 2008 Mar 4.

Stem cell regulation by polycomb repressors: postponing commitment.

Author information

1
Netherlands Cancer Institute, Molecular Genetics, P1, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands. a.pietersen@nki.nl

Abstract

Polycomb group proteins (PcGs) are involved in gene repression through chromatin modifications and required for the maintenance of both embryonic and adult stem cells. Genome-wide studies demonstrate that genes targeted by PcG are predominantly developmental transcription factors. In embryonic stem cells, these genes carry not only a repressive PcG mark but also an activating mark, resulting in so-called 'bivalent domains'. New data suggest that genes with bivalent domains are primed for differential expression upon differentiation. We propose that the resolution of a bivalent domain into either an active or repressed state constitutes a cell fate decision, and that by postponing these decisions PcG contributes to pluripotency.

PMID:
18291635
DOI:
10.1016/j.ceb.2008.01.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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