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Polycomb group (PcG) proteins are epigenetic modifiers involved in controlling gene repression. Organized within multiprotein complexes, they regulate developmental genes in multiple cell types and tissue contexts, including embryonic and adult stem cells, and are essential for cell fate transitions and proper development. Here, we summarize recent breakthroughs that have revealed the diversity of PcG complexes acting in different cell types and genomic contexts. Intriguingly, it appears that particular PcG proteins have specific functions in embryonic development, in pluripotent stem cells and in reprogramming somatic cells into a pluripotent-like state. Finally, we highlight recent results from analyzing PcG protein functions in multipotent stem cells, such as neural, hematopoietic and epidermal stem cells.


Luigi Aloia, Bruno Di Stefano, Luciano Di Croce. Polycomb complexes in stem cells and embryonic development. Development (Cambridge, England). 2013 Jun;140(12):2525-34

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PMID: 23715546

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