E2F-6 contributes to gene silencing in a manner independent of retinoblastoma protein family members. To better elucidate the molecular mechanism of repression by E2F-6, we have purified the factor from cultured cells. E2F-6 is found in a multimeric protein complex that contains Mga and Max, and thus the complex can bind not only to the E2F-binding site but also to Myc- and Brachyury-binding sites. Moreover, the complex contains chromatin modifiers such as a novel histone methyltransferase that modifies lysine 9 of histone H3, HP1gamma, and Polycomb group (PcG) proteins. The E2F-6 complex preferentially occupies target promoters in G0 cells rather than in G1 cells. These data suggest that these chromatin modifiers contribute to silencing of E2F- and Myc-responsive genes in quiescent cells.
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