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Gene Review

Su(z)12  -  CG8013 gene product from transcript CG8013-RB

Drosophila melanogaster

Synonyms: CG8013, Dmel\CG8013, Polycomb protein Su(z)12, SU(Z)12, Su(Z)12, ...
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High impact information on Su(z)12

  • These genes are characterized as structural homologs of Suppressor of zeste 12 [Su(z)12], a novel Polycomb group gene currently identified in Drosophila [1].
  • In contrast, two other PcG repressors in the same complex, E(Z) and Suppressor of zeste-12 [SU(Z)12], are required throughout development for viability and Hox gene repression [2].
  • The fly complex contains a catalytic SET domain subunit, E(Z), plus three noncatalytic subunits, SU(Z)12, ESC, and NURF-55 [3].
  • We describe missense mutations in surface loops of ESC, in the CXC domain of E(Z), and in the conserved VEFS domain of SU(Z)12, which each disrupt HMTase activity but preserve complex assembly [3].
  • Furthermore, Su(z)12 function is required for germ cell development [4].

Biological context of Su(z)12

  • Interestingly this region of the VEFS box has been shown to be critical for the phenotype of the Su(z)12 mutant fly [5].
  • Although PcG- and heterochromatin-mediated gene silencing have been considered distinct, mutant flies of Su(z)12 showed not only homeotic transformation but also position effect variegation [5].
  • To understand the molecular mechanisms responsible for expression of SU(Z)12 mRNA, we have analyzed the promoter region [6].
  • Because many E2F target genes encode proteins that are critical for the control of cell proliferation, we have further characterized the regulation and expression of SU(Z)12 [6].

Physical interactions of Su(z)12

  • Thus, although the fly and mammalian PcG complexes absolutely require SU(Z)12, the worm complex generates HMTase activity from a distinct partner set [3].

Regulatory relationships of Su(z)12

  • In addition SU(Z)12 represses transcription activity in the presence of HP1alpha in a reporter assay [5].

Other interactions of Su(z)12

  • By analysing PRC2 subcomplexes, we show that Su(z)12-Nurf55 is the minimal nucleosome-binding module of PRC2 and that Esc contributes to high-affinity binding of PRC2 nucleosomes [7].


  1. EMBRYONIC FLOWER2, a novel polycomb group protein homolog, mediates shoot development and flowering in Arabidopsis. Yoshida, N., Yanai, Y., Chen, L., Kato, Y., Hiratsuka, J., Miwa, T., Sung, Z.R., Takahashi, S. Plant Cell (2001) [Pubmed]
  2. Alternative ESC and ESC-like subunits of a polycomb group histone methyltransferase complex are differentially deployed during Drosophila development. Wang, L., Jahren, N., Vargas, M.L., Andersen, E.F., Benes, J., Zhang, J., Miller, E.L., Jones, R.S., Simon, J.A. Mol. Cell. Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  3. Subunit contributions to histone methyltransferase activities of fly and worm polycomb group complexes. Ketel, C.S., Andersen, E.F., Vargas, M.L., Suh, J., Strome, S., Simon, J.A. Mol. Cell. Biol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  4. Su(z)12, a novel Drosophila Polycomb group gene that is conserved in vertebrates and plants. Birve, A., Sengupta, A.K., Beuchle, D., Larsson, J., Kennison, J.A., Rasmuson-Lestander A, n.u.l.l., Müller, J. Development (2001) [Pubmed]
  5. Polycomb group suppressor of zeste 12 links heterochromatin protein 1alpha and enhancer of zeste 2. Yamamoto, K., Sonoda, M., Inokuchi, J., Shirasawa, S., Sasazuki, T. J. Biol. Chem. (2004) [Pubmed]
  6. Identification of the polycomb group protein SU(Z)12 as a potential molecular target for human cancer therapy. Kirmizis, A., Bartley, S.M., Farnham, P.J. Mol. Cancer Ther. (2003) [Pubmed]
  7. Nucleosome binding and histone methyltransferase activity of Drosophila PRC2. Nekrasov, M., Wild, B., Müller, J. EMBO Rep. (2005) [Pubmed]
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