Genes of the Polycomb group in Drosophila melanogaster function as long-term transcriptional repressors. A few members of the group encode proteins found in two evolutionarily conserved chromatin complexes, Polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1) and the ESC-E(Z) complex. The majority of the group, lacking clear biochemical functions, might be indirect regulators. The transcript levels of seven Polycomb group genes were assayed in embryos mutant for various other genes in the family. Three Polycomb group genes were identified as upstream positive regulators of the core components of PRC1. There is also negative feedback regulation of some PRC1 core components by other PRC1 genes. Finally, there is positive regulation of PRC1 components by the ESC-E(Z) complex. These multiple pathways of cross-regulation help to explain the large size of the Polycomb group family of genes, but they complicate the genetic analysis of any single member.