Emerging Roles for Polycomb-Group Proteins in Stem Cells and Cancer

Ho Lam Chan, L. Morey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Polycomb-group (PcG) complexes are multiprotein, evolutionarily conserved epigenetic machineries that regulate stem cell fate decisions and development, and are also implicated in cancer and other maladies. The PcG machinery can be divided into two major complexes: Polycomb repressive complex 1 and 2 (PRC1 and PRC2). Traditionally, PcG complexes have been associated with maintenance of gene repression mainly via histone-modifying activities. However, during the last years, increasing evidence indicates that the PcG complexes can also positively regulate gene transcription and modify non-histone substrates in multiple biological processes, cellular stages, and cancers. In this review, we will illustrate recent findings in PcG-mediated gene regulation, with special focus on the recently described non-classical functions of PcG complexes in stem cells and cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)688-700
Number of pages13
JournalTrends in Biochemical Sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • PRC1
  • PRC2
  • gene transcription
  • methylation
  • ubiquitination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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