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Mol Cell. 1998 Jun;1(7):1057-64.

The Drosophila Polycomb group gene pleiohomeotic encodes a DNA binding protein with homology to the transcription factor YY1.

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Laboratory of Developmental Biology, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Genes of the Polycomb group (PcG) of Drosophila encode proteins necessary for the maintenance of transcriptional repression of homeotic genes. PcG proteins are thought to act by binding as multiprotein complexes to DNA through Polycomb group response elements (PREs); however, specific DNA binding has not been demonstrated for any of the PcG proteins. We have identified a sequence-specific DNA binding protein that interacts with a PRE from the Drosophila engrailed gene. This protein (PHO) is a homolog of the ubiquitous mammalian transcription factor Yin Yang-1 and is encoded by pleiohomeotic, a known member of the PcG. We propose that PHO acts to anchor PcG protein complexes to DNA.

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