Nucleosome-binding activities within JARID2 and EZH1 regulate the function of PRC2 on chromatin

Jinsook Son, Steven S. Shen, Raphael Margueron, Danny Reinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations


Polycomb-repressive complex 2 (PRC2) comprises specific members of the Polycomb group of epigenetic modulators. PRC2 catalyzes methylation of histone H3 at Lys 27 (H3K27me3) through its Enhancer of zeste (Ezh) constituent, of which there are two mammalian homologs: Ezh1 and Ezh2. Several ancillary factors, including Jarid2, modulate PRC2 function, with Jarid2 facilitating its recruitment to target genes. Jarid2, like Ezh2, is present in poorly differentiated and actively dividing cells, while Ezh1 associates with PRC2 in all cells, including resting cells. We found that Jarid2 exhibits nucleosome-binding activity that contributes to PRC2 stimulation. Moreover, such nucleosome-binding activity is exhibited by PRC2 comprising Ezh1 (PRC2-Ezh1), in contrast to PRC2-Ezh2. The presence of Ezh1 helps to maintain PRC2 occupancy on its target genes in myoblasts where Jarid2 is not expressed. Our findings allow us to propose a model in which PRC2-Ezh2 is important for the de novo establishment of H3K27me3 in dividing cells, whereas PRC2-Ezh1 is required for its maintenance in resting cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2663-2677
Number of pages15
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 15 2013


  • EZH1
  • EZH2
  • JARID2
  • PRC2
  • Polycomb


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