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Overview of Polycomb Proteins

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The polycomb group of proteins represents a large, evolutionarily conserved complexome involved in chromatin remodeling and gene silencing. Polycomb proteins function in multiprotein complexes called Polycomb repressive complexes (PRCs). PRCs are responsible for the di- and trimethylation of histone H3 that leads to repression of gene expression.  Although they were first discovered in fruit flies, polycomb proteins are now known to be vital in cell-type identity and differentiation in mammals. In addition, polycomb proteins are often mutated or deregulated in cancers.1

Initially two major PRCs were identified, however, it is becoming increasingly clear that PRCs are much more diverse. Fifteen polycomb proteins have been discovered in Drosophila while thirty-seven have been identified in mammals. It is predicted that over 180 different PRCs could form using the known mammalian proteins. In addition, polycomb proteins function with additional multiprotein complexes to facilitate ubiquitination and deubiquitination of proteins.2,3 Continued research is needed to understand the biological function of different polycomb complexomes.


Below is the entire list of targets involved in Polycomb research. Can’t find what you are looking for? Bethyl offers a custom antibody service.



1. Tang J, Wang G, Zhang M, Li F, Sang Y, Wang B, et al. (2014). Paradoxical role of CBX8 in proliferation and metastasis of colorectal cancer. Oncotarget. 5(21)10778–90. 

  1. [Bethyl antibody used: anti-CBX8]

2. Pradeepa MM, Grimes GR, Taylor GCA, Sutherland HG, Bickmore WA. (2014). Psip1/Ledgf p75 restrains Hox gene expression by recruiting both trithorax and polycomb group proteins. Nucl Acids Res. 42(14):9021–32. [Bethyl antibodies used: anti-Psip1/p75, anti-Psip1/p52]

3. Okino Y, Machina Y, Frankland-Searby S, Machida YJ. (2015). BRCA1-associated protein 1 (BAP1) deubquitinase antagonizes the ubiquitin-mediated activation of FoxK2 target genes. J Biol Chem. 290:1580–91. [Bethyl antibodies used: anti-FoxK1 and anti-FoxK2]