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

1
Department of Cancer and Inflammation Research, Institute for Molecular Medicine, University of Southern Denmark, 5000 Odense, Denmark
2
Department of Oncology, Odense University Hospital, 5000 Odense, Denmark
3
Academy of Geriatric Cancer Research (AgeCare), Odense University Hospital, 5000 Odense, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cells 2020, 9(1), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010226 (registering DOI)
Received: 16 December 2019 / Revised: 13 January 2020 / Accepted: 14 January 2020 / Published: 16 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heterochromatin Formation and Function)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: polycomb protein; Pericentromeric heterochromatin; SSX; genomic instability polycomb protein; Pericentromeric heterochromatin; SSX; genomic instability
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Johansen, S.; Gjerstorff, M.F. Interaction between Polycomb and SSX Proteins in Pericentromeric Heterochromatin Function and Its Implication in Cancer. Cells 2020, 9, 226.

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