Polycomb repressive complex 2 in embryonic stem cells: an overview

Protein & Cell
Amanda Jones, Hengbin Wang

Abstract

Polycomb Group Proteins (PcG) are a family of epigenetic regulators responsible for the repression of an array of genes important in development and cell fate specification. PcG proteins complex to form two types of epigenetic regulators: Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 and 2 (PRC1 and PRC2). Although the mechanisms regulating PRC2 recruitment and activity in mammals remain poorly understood, recent work has identified a non-canonical PRC2 in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESC) with unique activities required for repression of PRC2 target genes and necessary for mESC differentiation and somatic cell reprogramming. Here we review the functions of PRC2 in embryonic stem cells and explore the role of the newly identified mESC specific PRC2 regulatory subunits Jarid2 (jumonji, AT rich interactive domain 2), Mtf2 (metal response element binding transcription factor 2) and esPRC2p48.

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