The ESC-E(Z) complex participates in the hedgehog signaling pathway

Norihisa Shindo, Atsushi Sakai, Daisuke Arai, Osamu Matsuoka, Yukihiko Yamasaki, Toru Higashinakagawa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Polycomb group (PcG) genes are required for stable inheritance of epigenetic states throughout development, a phenomenon termed cellular memory. In Drosophila and mice, the product of the E(z) gene, one of the PcG genes, constitutes the ESC-E(Z) complex and specifically methylates histone H3. It has been argued that this methylation sets the stage for appropriate repression of certain genes. Here, we report the isolation of a well-conserved homolog of E(z), olezh2, in medaka. Hypomorphic knock-down of olezh2 resulted in a cyclopia phenotype and markedly perturbed hedgehog signaling, consistent with our previous report on oleed, a medaka esc. We also found cyclopia in embryos treated with trichostatin A, an inhibitor of histone deacetylase, which is a transient component of the ESC-E(Z) complex. The level of tri-methylation at lysine 27 of histone H3 was substantially decreased in both olezh2 and oleed knock-down embryos, and in embryos with hedgehog signaling perturbed by forskolin. We conclude that the ESC-E(Z) complex per se participates in hedgehog signaling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1179-1187
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Feb 25
Externally publishedYes


  • Cellular memory
  • Cyclopia
  • Enhancer of zeste
  • Epigenetics
  • Extra sex combs
  • Histone methylation
  • Knock-down
  • Medaka
  • Polycomb group
  • hedgehog signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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