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Polycomb in the prostate

Prostate cancer becomes fatal when associated with metastasis. In the October 10 Nature, Varambally et al. describe a microarray-based analysis of genes whose expression is altered in metastatic prostate cancer (Nature 2002, 419:624-629). They identified 55 genes that were upregulated in metastatic tumors relative to localized ones, and found that the gene encoding the polycomb-group protein Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) was significantly upregulated in metastatic cells and correlated with cancer progression. Disruption of EZH2expression by RNAi caused growth inhibition and growth arrest at the G2- to M-phase transition in the cell cycle. Overexpression of EZH2 in cancer cells caused repression of a subset of genes, and this required the EZH2 'SET' domain and endogenous histone deacetylase activity.


  1. Delineation of prognostic biomarkers in prostate cancer.

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  3. Polycomb group protein complexes: do different complexes regulate distinct target genes?

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Weitzman, J.B. Polycomb in the prostate. Genome Biol 3, spotlight-20021017-01 (2002).

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