As cells undergo terminal differentiation, the composition of Polycomb-repressive complex 2 (PRC2) changes and the histone H3K27 methyltransferase Ezh2 is progressively replaced by its homolog Ezh1. By identifying an enzymatically inactive splice variant of Ezh1 that is sensitive to cellular stress, Bodega et al. now demonstrate that PRC2–Ezh1 has an essential role in establishing an altered gene expression program required for postmitotic muscle cells to adapt to environmental changes.
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Work in the Brand and Dilworth labs is supported by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (MOP-82813 to M.B. and FDN-143330 to F.J.D.).
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Brand, M., Dilworth, F. Splicing of Ezh1 gets muscle out of stressful situations. Nat Struct Mol Biol 24, 435–437 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/nsmb.3406