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Polycomb repression complex 2 (PRC2) component EZH2 tri-methylates H3K27 and exerts epigenetic repression on target gene expression. EZH2-mediated epigenetic control of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) transcribed coding gene transcription has been well established. However, little is known about EZH2-mediated epigenetic regulation of RNA polymerase III (Pol III) transcription. Here we present a paradigm that EZH2 is involved in the repression of Pol III transcription via interaction with transcriptional factor complex IIIC (TFIIIC). EZH2 and H3K27me3 co-occupy the promoter of tRNA(Tyr), 5S rRNA and 7SL RNA genes. Depletion of EZH2 or inhibition of EZH2 methyltransferase activity led to upregulation of Pol III target gene transcription. EZH2-mediated repression of Pol III transcribed gene expression requires presence of SUZ12. SUZ12 was able to interact with TFIIIC complex and knockdown of SUZ12 decreased occupancy of EZH2 and H3K27me3 at the promoter of Pol III target genes. Our findings pointed out a previously unidentified role of PRC2 complex in suppressing transcription of Pol III transcribed non-translated RNA genes, putting Pol III on a new layer of epigenetic regulation. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.


Chang Liu, Shuai Li, Xiaoyan Dai, Ji Ma, Junhu Wan, Hao Jiang, Peng Wang, Zhaoli Liu, Hongquan Zhang. PRC2 regulates RNA polymerase III transcribed non-translated RNA gene transcription through EZH2 and SUZ12 interaction with TFIIIC complex. Nucleic acids research. 2015 Jul 27;43(13):6270-84

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PMID: 26038315

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