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Polycomb group (PcG) proteins maintain transcriptional repression during development, likely by creating repressive chromatin states. The Extra Sex Combs (ESC) and Enhancer of Zeste [E(Z)] proteins are partners in an essential PcG complex, but its full composition and biochemical activities are not known. A SET domain in E(Z) suggests this complex might(More)
The Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) confers transcriptional repression through histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3). Here, we examined how PRC2 is modulated by histone modifications associated with transcriptionally active chromatin. We provide the molecular basis of histone H3 N terminus recognition by the PRC2 Nurf55-Su(z)12 submodule.(More)
Polycomb response elements (PREs) are specific cis-regulatory sequences needed for transcriptional repression of HOX and other target genes by Polycomb group (PcG) proteins. Among the many PcG proteins known in Drosophila, Pho is the only sequence-specific DNA-binding protein. To gain insight into the function of Pho, we purified Pho protein complexes from(More)
Polycomb group (PcG) proteins are transcriptional repressors that control processes ranging from the maintenance of cell fate decisions and stem cell pluripotency in animals to the control of flowering time in plants. In Drosophila, genetic studies identified more than 15 different PcG proteins that are required to repress homeotic (HOX) and other(More)
Polycomb group (PcG) and trithorax group (trxG) proteins act as antagonistic regulators to maintain transcriptional OFF and ON states of HOX and other target genes. To study the molecular basis of PcG/trxG control, we analyzed the chromatin of the HOX gene Ultrabithorax (Ubx) in Ubx(OFF)and Ubx(ON)cells purified from developing Drosophila. We find that PcG(More)
Polycomb group proteins (PcG) repress homeotic genes in cells where these genes must remain inactive during Drosophila and vertebrate development. This repression depends on cis-acting silencer sequences, called Polycomb group response elements (PREs). Pleiohomeotic (Pho), the only known sequence-specific DNA-binding PcG protein, binds to PREs but pho(More)
Dosage compensation in Drosophila is dependent on MSL proteins and involves hypertranscription of the male X chromosome, which ensures equal X-linked gene expression in both sexes. Here, we report the purification of enzymatically active MSL complexes from Drosophila embryos, Schneider cells, and human HeLa cells. We find a stable association of the histone(More)
Although many metazoan enzymes that add or remove specific modifications on histone proteins are essential transcriptional regulators, the functional significance of posttranslational modifications on histone proteins is not well understood. Here, we show in Drosophila that a point mutation in lysine 27 of histone H3 (H3-K27) fails to repress transcription(More)
Polycomb group proteins are conserved transcriptional repressors that control animal and plant development. Here, we found that the Drosophila Polycomb group gene super sex combs (sxc) encodes Ogt, the highly conserved glycosyltransferase that catalyzes the addition of N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) to proteins in animals and plants. Genome-wide profiling in(More)
PRC2 is thought to be the histone methyltransferase (HMTase) responsible for H3-K27 trimethylation at Polycomb target genes. Here we report the biochemical purification and characterization of a distinct form of Drosophila PRC2 that contains the Polycomb group protein polycomblike (Pcl). Like PRC2, Pcl-PRC2 is an H3-K27-specific HMTase that mono-, di- and(More)