Molecular Biology

Polycomb Recruitment via lncRNA

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Science  31 Jan 2014:
Vol. 343, Issue 6170, pp. 462
DOI: 10.1126/science.343.6170.462-c

There are many protein complexes that modulate gene expression during differentiation and development. Each must be targeted to the correct regulatory sequences in the genome, to orchestrate the appropriate cell- or tissue-specific gene expression programs. Some complexes target DNA by direct binding to a specific DNA sequence. Others must be recruited by auxiliary factors to their place of action. None of the core components of the polycomb repressive complex-2 (PRC2) are able to bind DNA, yet PRC2 is targeted to, and critical for, repressing cell type–specific genes throughout development. The Jumonji family, ARID domain–containing protein JARID2, an accessory subunit of PRC2, is somehow involved in that recruitment process. Kaneko et al. show that JARID2 can bind to long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), among them Meg3, and this interaction recruits PRC2 to a subset of its target genes. Meg3 binding to JARID2 also stimulates the interaction of JARID2 with one of the core subunits of PRC2, EZH2, with which Meg3 can also interact. Binding of JARID2 to the Meg3 lncRNA thus serves both to recruit and assemble PRC2 on chromatin.

Mol. Cell 53,10.1016/j.molcel.2013.11.012 (2014).

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