Interaction between Polycomb and SSX Proteins in Pericentromeric Heterochromatin Function and Its Implication in Cancer

Simone Johansen, Morten Frier Gjerstorff*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

The stability of pericentromeric heterochromatin is maintained by repressive epigenetic control mechanisms, and failure to maintain this stability may cause severe diseases such as immune deficiency and cancer. Thus, deeper insight into the epigenetic regulation and deregulation of pericentromeric heterochromatin is of high priority. We and others have recently demonstrated that pericentromeric heterochromatin domains are often epigenetically reprogrammed by Polycomb proteins in premalignant and malignant cells to form large subnuclear structures known as Polycomb bodies. This may affect the regulation and stability of pericentromeric heterochromatin domains and/or the distribution of Polycomb factors to support tumorigeneses. Importantly, Polycomb bodies in cancer cells may be targeted by the cancer/testis-related SSX proteins to cause derepression and genomic instability of pericentromeric heterochromatin. This review will discuss the interplay between SSX and Polycomb factors in the repression and stability of pericentromeric heterochromatin and its possible implications for tumor biology.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCells
Volume9
Issue number1
ISSN2073-4409
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16. Jan 2020

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