Encyclopedia of Systems Biology

2013 Edition
| Editors: Werner Dubitzky, Olaf Wolkenhauer, Kwang-Hyun Cho, Hiroki Yokota

Polycomb Complexes

  • Vani Brahmachari
  • Shruti Jain
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-9863-7_854



Polycomb complexes are protein complexes involved in the regulation of development and were first identified in Drosophila melanogaster. The name is a description of the phenotype of the mutants of the first gene identified in this group, namely, polycomb (pc). All the genes coding for proteins that bring about similar phenotypic effect are said to belong to polycomb group and the proteins are called polycomb proteins. Homologues of these proteins are found across eukaryotes including humans. Polycomb complexes recognize sequences on the DNA and bind at sites referred to as polycomb responsive elements (PRE). There are different polycomb complexes with different proteins as partners in the complex, some of which bring about transcriptional repression through  histone modifications (Ringrose and Paro 2004).



  1. Ringrose L, Paro R (2004) Epigenetic regulation of cellular memory by the polycomb and trithorax group proteins. Annu Rev Genet 38:413–443PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Center for Biomedical Research, University of DelhiDelhiIndia