Polycomb proteins in hematologic malignancies

  • Martin-Perez D
  • Piris M
  • Sanchez-Beato M
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Abstract

The Polycomb group (PcG) of proteins is a major mechanism of epigenetic regulation that has been broadly linked to cancer. This system can repress gene expression by chromatin modification and is essential for establishing cell identity. PcG proteins are important forstemcell functionanddifferen- tiation and have a profound impact during hematopoiesis. In recent years, several pub- lished studies have deepened our knowl- edge of the biology of the PcG in health and disease. In this article,wereview the current understanding of the mechanisms of PcG- mediated repression and their relation to DNAmethylation, and we discuss the role of the PcG system in hematopoiesis and hematologic malignancies. We suggest that alteration of different PcG members is a frequent event in leukemia and lym- phomas that confers the stem cell proper- ties on tumor cells. Thus, drugs targeting Polycomb complexes could be useful for treating patients with these diseases

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Authors

  • Daniel Martin-Perez

  • Miguel A. Piris

  • Margarita Sanchez-Beato

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