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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The Drosophila Polycomb Group proteins ESC and E(Z) are present in a complex containing the histone- binding protein p55 and the histone deacetylase RPD3.

The Drosophila Polycomb Group (PcG) proteins are required for stable long term transcriptional silencing of the homeotic genes. Among PcG genes, esc is unique in being critically required for establishment of PcG-mediated silencing during early embryogenesis, but not for its subsequent maintenance throughout development. We previously showed that ESC is physically associated in vivo with the PcG protein E(Z). We report here that ESC, together with E(Z), is present in a 600 kDa complex that is distinct from complexes containing other PcG proteins. We have purified this ESC complex and show that it also contains the histone deacetylase RPD3 and the histone- binding protein p55, which is also a component of the chromatin remodeling complex NURF and the chromatin assembly complex CAF-1. The association of ESC and E(Z) with p55 and RPD3 is conserved in mammals. We show that RPD3 is required for silencing mediated by a Polycomb response element (PRE) in vivo and that E(Z) and RPD3 are bound to the Ubx PRE in vivo, suggesting that they act directly at the PRE. We propose that histone deacetylation by this complex is a prerequisite for establishment of stable long-term silencing by other continuously required PcG complexes.[1]


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