In this episode of the Epigenetics Podcast, we caught up with Dr. Danny Reinberg from the New York University School of Medicine to talk about his work on transcription and polycomb in inheritance and disease.

Dr. Danny Reinberg is a pioneer in the characterization of transcription factors for human RNA polymerase II. In his groundbreaking work in the 1990s, he purified the essential transcription factors and reconstituted the polymerase in vitro on both naked DNA and chromatin.  Dr. Reinberg next started focusing on the polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2), which is the only known methyltransferase for lysine 27 on histone H3. He biochemically characterized the PRC2 subunits EZH1 and EZH2. More recently, Dr. Reinberg has been investigating the role of PRC2 in neurons. 

This interview discusses the story behind how Dr. Danny Reinberg started his research career by identifying the essential RNA polymerase transcription factors, how he discovered and characterized the polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2), and what his research holds for the future.



  • H. Lu, L. Zawel, … D. Reinberg (1992) Human general transcription factor IIH phosphorylates the C-terminal domain of RNA polymerase II (Nature) DOI: 10.1038/358641a0
  • A. Merino, K. R. Madden, … D. Reinberg (1993) DNA topoisomerase I is involved in both repression and activation of transcription (Nature) DOI: 10.1038/365227a0
  • G. Orphanides, W. H. Wu, … D. Reinberg (1999) The chromatin-specific transcription elongation factor FACT comprises human SPT16 and SSRP1 proteins (Nature) DOI: 10.1038/22350
  • Andrei Kuzmichev, Kenichi Nishioka, … Danny Reinberg (2002) Histone methyltransferase activity associated with a human multiprotein complex containing the Enhancer of Zeste protein (Genes & Development) DOI: 10.1101/gad.1035902
  • Andrei Kuzmichev, Raphael Margueron, … Danny Reinberg (2005) Composition and histone substrates of polycomb repressive group complexes change during cellular differentiation (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America) DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0409875102
  • Ozgur Oksuz, Varun Narendra, … Danny Reinberg (2018) Capturing the Onset of PRC2-Mediated Repressive Domain Formation (Molecular Cell) DOI: 10.1016/j.molcel.2018.05.023


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