Polycomb complexes and epigenetic states

Yuri B. Schwartz, Vincenzo Pirrotta

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

237 Scopus citations


Important advances in the study of Polycomb Group (PcG) complexes in the past two years have focused on the role of this repressive system in programing the genome. Genome-wide analyses have shown that PcG mechanisms control a large number of genes regulating many cellular functions and all developmental pathways. Current evidence shows that, contrary to the classical picture of their role, PcG complexes do not set a repressed chromatin state that is maintained throughout development but have a much more dynamic role. PcG target genes can become repressed or be reactivated or exist in intermediate states. What controls the balance between repression and derepression is a crucial question in understanding development and differentiation in higher organisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)266-273
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Cell Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cell Biology


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