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Histone methyltransferase activity of a Drosophila Polycomb group repressor complex.

Cell | Oct 18, 2002

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12408864

Polycomb group (PcG) proteins maintain transcriptional repression during development, likely by creating repressive chromatin states. The Extra Sex Combs (ESC) and Enhancer of Zeste [E(Z)] proteins are partners in an essential PcG complex, but its full composition and biochemical activities are not known. A SET domain in E(Z) suggests this complex might methylate histones. We purified an ESC-E(Z) complex from Drosophila embryos and found four major subunits: ESC, E(Z), NURF-55, and the PcG repressor, SU(Z)12. A recombinant complex reconstituted from these four subunits methylates lysine-27 of histone H3. Mutations in the E(Z) SET domain disrupt methyltransferase activity in vitro and HOX gene repression in vivo. These results identify E(Z) as a PcG protein with enzymatic activity and implicate histone methylation in PcG-mediated silencing.

Pubmed ID: 12408864 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Animals | Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone | DNA-Binding Proteins | Drosophila | Drosophila Proteins | Gene Silencing | Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase | Homeodomain Proteins | Insect Proteins | Lysine | Methyltransferases | Molecular Chaperones | Nuclear Proteins | Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 | Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 | Protein Methyltransferases | Recombination, Genetic | Repressor Proteins | Retinoblastoma-Binding Protein 4 | Transcription Factors

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