International Journal of Hematology

DOI: 10.1007/s12185-019-02600-6 Pages: 170-178

Deregulated Polycomb functions in myeloproliferative neoplasms

1. Kumamoto University, Laboratory of Transcriptional Regulation in Leukemogenesis, International Research Center for Medical Sciences

2. The University of Tokyo, Division of Stem Cell and Molecular Medicine, Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, The Institute of Medical Science

Correspondence to:
Atsushi Iwama
Tel: +81-3-6409-2180



Polycomb proteins function in the maintenance of gene silencing via post-translational modifications of histones and chromatin compaction. Genetic and biochemical studies have revealed that the repressive function of Polycomb repressive complexes (PRCs) in transcription is counteracted by the activating function of Trithorax-group complexes; this balance fine-tunes the expression of genes critical for development and tissue homeostasis. The function of PRCs is frequently dysregulated in various cancer cells due to altered expression or recurrent somatic mutations in PRC genes. The tumor suppressive functions of EZH2-containing PRC2 and a PRC2-related protein ASXL1 have been investigated extensively in the pathogenesis of hematological malignancies, including myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN). BCOR, a component of non-canonical PRC1, suppresses various hematological malignancies including MPN. In this review, we focus on recent findings on the role of PRCs in the pathogenesis of MPN and the therapeutic impact of targeting the pathological functions of PRCs in MPN.

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