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Nat Rev Cancer. 2016 Dec;16(12):803-810. doi: 10.1038/nrc.2016.83. Epub 2016 Sep 23.

Maintaining cell identity: PRC2-mediated regulation of transcription and cancer.

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Biotech Research and Innovation Centre (BRIC) and the Centre for Epigenetics, University of Copenhagen, Ole Maal√łes Vej 5, 2200 Copenhagen, Denmark.
Francis Crick Institute, 1 Midland Road, London NW1 1AT, UK.
The Danish Stem Cell Center (Danstem), University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Blegdamsvej 3, 2200 Copenhagen, Denmark.


Enhancer of zeste homologue 2 (EZH2), the catalytic subunit of Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2), has attracted broad research attention in the past few years because of its involvement in the development and maintenance of many types of cancer and the use of specific EZH2 inhibitors in clinical trials. Several observations show that PRC2 can have both oncogenic and tumour-suppressive functions. We propose that these apparently opposing roles of PRC2 in cancer are a consequence of the molecular function of the complex in maintaining, rather than specifying, the transcriptional repression state of its several thousand target genes.

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