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Genes methylated in cancer cells are specifically packaged with nucleosomes containing histone H3 trimethylated on Lys27 (PMID: 17200670). Methylation on H3K27 facilitates binding of Polycomb (PC), a component of the PRC1 complex, to histone H3 amino-terminal tail, thus playing a role in Polycomb mediated silencing of the Hox genes (PMID: 12351676). Eed-Ezh2 mediated H3K27 methylation plays a role during initiation of both imprinted and random X inactivation but this methylation alone is not sufficient for silencing of the Xi (PMID: 12649488). Demethylation of H3K27 by Jmjd3 is important for commitment to the neural lineage.(PMID: 18716661). It has been studied in the context of embryonic carcinomas, that trimethylated state is much more stable than dimethylated state since these trimethylated marks are more resistant to demethylation (PMID: 17314394). In mice, H3K27me3 marks contribute to the establishment of 'bivalent domains' in embryonic stem cells that maintain the developmentally essential genes in a poised state for activation or repression (PMID: 16630819).

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H3K27me3 infosheet
Modified variants Histone H3.1, Histone H3.2, Histone H3.3
Writer/s Histone-lysine N-methyltransferase EZH2, Histone-lysine N-methyltransferase NSD3
Eraser/s Lysine-specific demethylase 6A, Lysine-specific demethylase 6B
Disease associations
Cancer: Epithelial ovarian cancer; PMID: 21115743
Neurological disorders: Fragile X syndrome; PMID: 18628788
Cancer: B cell lymphoma/ Burkitt's lymphoma (BL); PMID: 19557159
Cancer: T cell leukemia/ lymphoma; PMID: 21228036
Cancer: Hepatocellular carcinoma/ Lung cancer; PMID: 21512140
Cancer: Hodgkin's Lymphoma; PMID: 21242977
Cancer: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM); PMID: 19887624
Cancer: Breast cancer; PMID: 19340297
Cancer: Colon cancer; PMID: 18632628
Cancer: Hepatocellular carcinoma/ Lung cancer; PMID: 18318442

Sites of lysine methylation H1K186me1, H1K25me1, H2BK5me1, H3K27me1, H3K27me2, H3K27me3, H3K36me1, H3K36me2, H3K36me3, H3K4me1, H3K4me2, H3K4me3, H3K79me1, H3K79me2, H3K79me3, H3K9me1, H3K9me2, H3K9me3, H4K20me1, H4K20me2, H4K20me3