DNA elements tether canonical Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 to human genes.

Barrasa JI, Kahn TG, Lundkvist MJ, Schwartz YB

Nucleic Acids Res. 51 (21) 11613-11633 [2023-11-27; online 2023-10-19]

Development of multicellular animals requires epigenetic repression by Polycomb group proteins. The latter assemble in multi-subunit complexes, of which two kinds, Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 (PRC1) and Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2), act together to repress key developmental genes. How PRC1 and PRC2 recognize specific genes remains an open question. Here we report the identification of several hundreds of DNA elements that tether canonical PRC1 to human developmental genes. We use the term tether to describe a process leading to a prominent presence of canonical PRC1 at certain genomic sites, although the complex is unlikely to interact with DNA directly. Detailed analysis indicates that sequence features associated with PRC1 tethering differ from those that favour PRC2 binding. Throughout the genome, the two kinds of sequence features mix in different proportions to yield a gamut of DNA elements that range from those tethering predominantly PRC1 or PRC2 to ones capable of tethering both complexes. The emerging picture is similar to the paradigmatic targeting of Polycomb complexes by Polycomb Response Elements (PREs) of Drosophila but providing for greater plasticity.

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PubMed 37855680

DOI 10.1093/nar/gkad889

Crossref 10.1093/nar/gkad889

pii: 7321990
pmc: PMC10681801

Publications 9.5.0