The activation of muscle-specific gene expression requires the coordinated action of muscle regulatory proteins and chromatin-remodeling enzymes. Microarray analysis performed in the presence or absence of a dominant-negative BRG1 ATPase demonstrated that approximately one-third of MyoD-induced genes were highly dependent on SWI/SNF enzymes. To understand the mechanism of activation, we performed chromatin immunoprecipitations analyzing the myogenin promoter. We found that H4 hyperacetylation preceded Brg1 binding in a MyoD-dependent manner but that MyoD binding occurred subsequent to H4 modification and Brg1 interaction. In the absence of functional SWI/SNF enzymes, muscle regulatory proteins did not bind to the myogenin promoter, thereby providing evidence for SWI/SNF-dependent activator binding. We observed that the homeodomain factor Pbx1, which cooperates with MyoD to stimulate myogenin expression, is constitutively bound to the myogenin promoter in a SWI/SNF-independent manner, suggesting a two-step mechanism in which MyoD initially interacts indirectly with the myogenin promoter and attracts chromatin-remodeling enzymes, which then facilitate direct binding by MyoD and other regulatory proteins.
The SWI/SNF family of chromatin-remodeling complexes facilitates gene activation by assisting transcription machinery to gain access to targets in chromatin. This family includes BAF (also called hSWI/SNF-A) and PBAF (hSWI/SNF-B) from humans and SWI/SNF and Rsc from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. However, the relationship between the human and yeast complexes is unclear because all human subunits published to date are similar to those of both yeast SWI/SNF and Rsc. Also, the two human complexes have many identical subunits, making it difficult to distinguish their structures or functions. Here we describe the cloning and characterization of BAF250, a subunit present in human BAF but not PBAF. BAF250 contains structural motifs conserved in yeast SWI1 but not in any Rsc components, suggesting that BAF is related to SWI/SNF. BAF250 is also a homolog of the Drosophila melanogaster Osa protein, which has been shown to interact with a SWI/SNF-like complex in flies. BAF250 possesses at least two conserved domains that could be important for its function. First, it has an AT-rich DNA interaction-type DNA-binding domain, which can specifically bind a DNA sequence known to be recognized by a SWI/SNF family-related complex at the β-globin locus. Second, BAF250 stimulates glucocorticoid receptor-dependent transcriptional activation, and the stimulation is sharply reduced when the C-terminal region of BAF250 is deleted. This region of BAF250 is capable of interacting directly with the glucocorticoid receptor in vitro. Our data suggest that BAF250 confers specificity to the human BAF complex and may recruit the complex to its targets through either protein-DNA or protein-protein interactions.
Knockdown of the Brg1 ATPase subunit of SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling enzymes in developing zebrafish caused stunted tail formation and altered sarcomeric actin organization, which phenocopies the loss of the microRNA processing enzyme Dicer, or the knockdown of myogenic microRNAs. Furthermore, myogenic microRNA expression and differentiation was blocked in Brg1 conditional myoblasts differentiated ex vivo. The binding of Brg1 upstream of myogenic microRNA sequences correlated with MyoD binding and accessible chromatin structure in satellite cells and myofibers, and it was required for chromatin accessibility and microRNA expression in a tissue culture model for myogenesis. The results implicate ATP-dependent chromatin remodelers in myogenic microRNA gene regulation.
The SWI/SNF complex is an ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complex that plays pivotal roles in gene regulation and cell cycle control. In the present study, we explored the molecular functions of the BAF57 subunit of SWI/SNF in cell cycle control via transcription regulation of cell cycle-related genes. We affinity purified SWI/SNF from HeLa cells stably expressing FLAG-tagged BAF47/Ini1 with or without stable shRNA-mediated knockdown of BAF57. The subunit composition of the holo- and BAF57-depleted SWI/SNF complexes from these cells were determined using a quantitative SILAC (Stable Isotope Labeling by Amino Acids in Cell Culture)-based proteomic approach. Depletion of BAF57 resulted in a significant co-depletion of BAF180 from the SWI/SNF complex without decreasing total cellular BAF180 levels. In biochemical assays of SWI/SNF activity, the holo- and BAF57/BAF180-depleted SWI/SNF complexes exhibited similar activities. However, in cell proliferation assays using HeLa cells, knockdown of BAF57 resulted in an accumulation of cells in the G2/M phase, inhibition of colony formation, and impaired growth in soft agar. Knockdown of BAF57 also caused transcriptional misregulation of various cell cycle-related genes, especially genes involved in late G2. Collectively, our results have a identified a new role for BAF57 within the SWI/SNF complex that is required for (1) maintaining the proper subunit composition of the complex and (2) cell cycle progression through the transcriptional regulation of a subset of cell cycle-related genes.
SWI/SNF; BAF57; BAF180; Transcription; Cell Cycle; SILAC
The mammalian SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex, whose function is of critical importance in transcriptional regulation, contains approximately 10 protein components. The expression levels of the core SWI/SNF subunits, including BRG1/Brm, BAF155, BAF170, BAF60, hSNF/Ini1, and BAF57, are stoichiometric, with few to no unbound molecules in the cell. Here we report that exogenous expression of the wild type or certain deletion mutants of BAF57, a key subunit that mediates the interaction between the remodeling complex and transcription factors, results in diminished expression of endogenous BAF57. This down-regulation process is mediated by an increase in proteasome-dependent degradation of the BAF57 protein. Furthermore, the protein levels of BAF155/170 dictate the maximum cellular amount of BAF57. We mapped the domains responsible for the interaction between BAF57 and BAF155 and demonstrated that protein-protein interactions between them play an important role in this regulatory process. These findings provide insights into the physiological mechanisms responsible for maintaining the proper stoichiometric levels of the protein components comprising multimeric enzyme complexes.
The microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) promotes melanocyte differentiation and cell cycle arrest. Paradoxically, MITF also promotes melanoma survival and proliferation, acting like a lineage survival oncogene. Thus, it is critically important to understand the mechanisms that regulate MITF activity in melanoma cells. SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling enzymes are multiprotein complexes composed of one of two related ATPases, BRG1 or BRM, and 9-12 associated factors (BAFs). We previously determined that BRG1 interacts with MITF to promote melanocyte differentiation. However, it was unclear whether SWI/SNF enzymes regulate the expression of different classes of MITF target genes in melanoma. In this study, we characterized SWI/SNF subunit expression in melanoma cells and observed down-regulation of BRG1 or BRM, but not concomitant loss of both ATPases. Re-introduction of BRG1 in BRG1 deficient SK-MEL5 cells enhanced expression of differentiation specific MITF target genes and resistance to cisplatin. Down-regulation of the single ATPase, BRM, in SK-MEL5 cells inhibited expression of both differentiation specific and pro-proliferative MITF target genes and inhibited tumorigenicity in vitro. Our data suggest that heterogeneous SWI/SNF complexes composed of either the BRG1 or BRM subunit promote expression of distinct and overlapping MITF target genes and that at least one ATPase is required for melanoma tumorigenicity.
Skeletal muscle differentiation relies on the coordinated activation and repression of specific subsets of genes. This reflects extensive changes in chromatin architecture, composition of chromatin-associated complexes and histone modifications at the promoter/enhancer elements of skeletal muscle genes. An early, key event in the activation of muscle-specific gene transcription is the disruption of the repressive conformation imposed by nucleosomes, which impede the access of pioneer transcription factors, such as the muscle-specific basic helix–loop–helix (bHLH) factors MyoD and Myf5, to their DNA-binding sites. This review focuses on our current understanding of the role of the SWI/SNF ATP-dependent chromatin-remodeling complex in the activation of the myogenic program, by inducing conformational changes permissive for muscle-gene expression. Recent findings suggest that specific combinations of individual SWI/SNF components can generate sub-complexes with specialized functions that are engaged at sequential stages of muscle-gene activation — e.g. initial displacement of the nucleosome followed by the loading of the complete myogenic transcriptosome that promotes gene transcription. SWI/SNF composition and function is regulated by the exchange of specific variants of structural sub-units. In turn, an exchange of histone variants and related epigenetic modifications might reflect the impact of distinct SWI/SNF complexes on the architecture and activity of target promoter/enhancer elements. Thus, the SWI/SNF complexes should be regarded not just as simple executors of the program imposed by transcription factors, but as multifaceted “readers” and “shapers” of the chromatin/DNA landscape within target muscle genes along the transition from myoblasts to myotubes.
Skeletal myogenesis; Transcription; Chromatin; Epigenetics; SWI/SNF
The transcription factors Smad2 and Smad3 mediate a large set of gene responses induced by the cytokine transforming growth factor β (TGFβ), but the extent to which their function depends on chromatin remodeling remains to be defined. We observed interactions between these two Smads and BRG1, BAF250b, BAF170, and BAF155, which are core components of the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex. Smad2 and Smad3 have similar affinity for these components in vitro, and their interactions are primarily mediated by BRG1. In vivo, however, BRG1 predominantly interacts with Smad3, and this interaction is enhanced by TGFβ stimulation. Our results suggest that BRG1 is incorporated into transcriptional complexes that are formed by activated Smads in the nucleus, on target promoters. Using BRG1-deficient cell systems, we defined the BRG1 dependence of the TGFβ transcriptional program genome-wide. Most TGFβ gene responses in human epithelial cells are dependent on BRG1 function. Remarkably, BRG1 is not required for the TGFβ-mediated induction of SMAD7 and SNON, which encode key mediators of negative feedback in this pathway. Our results provide a genome-wide scope of the participation of BRG1 in TGFβ action and suggest a widespread yet differential involvement of BRG1 SWI/SNF remodeler in the transcriptional response of many genes to this cytokine.
The mammalian SWI/SNF-like chromatin-remodeling BAF complex plays several important roles in controlling cell proliferation and differentiation. Interferons (IFNs) are key mediators of cellular antiviral and antiproliferative activities. In this report, we demonstrate that the BAF complex is required for the maximal induction of a subset of IFN target genes by alpha IFN (IFN-α). The BAF complex is constitutively associated with the IFITM3 promoter in vivo and facilitates the chromatin remodeling of the promoter upon IFN-α induction. Furthermore, we show that the ubiquitous transcription activator Sp1 interacts with the BAF complex in vivo and augments the BAF-mediated activation of the IFITM3 promoter. Sp1 binds constitutively to the IFITM3 promoter in the absence of the BAF complex, suggesting that it may recruit and/or stabilize the BAF complex binding to the IFITM3 promoter. Our results bring new mechanistic insights into the antiproliferative effects of the chromatin-remodeling BAF complex.
Direct generation of a homogeneous population of skeletal myoblasts from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and formation of tri-dimensional contractile structures for in dish disease modeling is a current challenge in regenerative medicine. Previous studies reported on the generation of myoblasts from ESC-derived embryoid bodies (EB), but not from undifferentiated ESCs, indicating the requirement for mesodermal transition to promote skeletal myogenesis. Here we show that selective absence of the SWI/SNF component BAF60C (encoded by SMARCD3) confers on hESCs resistance to MyoD-mediated activation of skeletal myogenesis. Forced expression of BAF60C enables MyoD to directly activate skeletal myogenesis in hESCs, by instructing MyoD nuclear positioning and allowing chromatin remodelling at target genes. BAF60C/MyoD-expressing hESCs are epigenetically committed myogenic progenitors, which bypass the mesodermal requirement and, when cultured as floating clusters, give rise to contractile tri-dimensional myospheres composed of skeletal myotubes. These results identify BAF60C as key epigenetic determinant of hESC commitment to the myogenic lineage, and establish the molecular basis for the unprecedented generation of hESC-derived myospheres exploitable for “in dish models” of muscular diseases.
SWI-SNF complexes have been implicated in transcriptional regulation by chromatin remodeling. We have identified an interaction between two components of the mammalian SWI-SNF complex and cyclin E, an essential cell cycle regulatory protein required for G1/S transition. BRG1 and BAF155, mammalian homologs of yeast SWI2 and SWI3, respectively, are found in cyclin E complexes and are phosphorylated by cyclin E-associated kinase activity. In this report, we show that overexpression of BRG1 causes growth arrest and induction of senescence-associated β-galactosidase activity, which can be overcome by cyclin E. Our results suggest that cyclin E may modulate the activity of the SWI-SNF apparatus to maintain the chromatin in a transcriptionally permissive state.
Skeletal muscle differentiation requires the coordinated activity of transcription factors, histone modifying enzymes, and ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling enzymes. The type II protein arginine methyltransferase Prmt5 symmetrically dimethylates histones H3 and H4 and numerous nonchromatin proteins, and prior work has implicated Prmt5 in transcriptional repression. Here we demonstrate that MyoD-induced muscle differentiation requires Prmt5. One of the first genes activated during differentiation encodes the myogenic regulator myogenin. Prmt5 and dimethylated H3R8 (histone 3 arginine 8) are localized at the myogenin promoter in differentiating cells. Modification of H3R8 required Prmt5, and reduction of Prmt5 resulted in the abrogation of promoter binding by the Brg1 ATPase-associated with the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling enzymes and all subsequent events associated with gene activation, including increases in chromatin accessibility and stable binding by MyoD. Prmt5 and dimethylated H3R8 were also associated with the myogenin promoter in activated satellite cells isolated from muscle tissue, further demonstrating the physiological relevance of these observations. The data indicate that Prmt5 facilitates myogenesis because it is required for Brg1-dependent chromatin remodeling and gene activation at a locus essential for differentiation. We therefore conclude that a histone modifying enzyme is necessary to permit an ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling enzyme to function.
Somatic progenitors suppress differentiation to maintain tissue self-renewal. The mammalian SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex regulates nucleosome packaging to control differentiation in embryonic and adult stem cells. Catalytic Brg1 and Brm subunits are required for these impacts, however, roles for SWI/SNF regulatory subunits are not fully understood. Here we show that ACTL6a/BAF53A modulates the SWI/SNF complex to suppress differentiation in epidermis. Conditional loss of ACTL6a resulted in terminal differentiation, cell cycle exit and hypoplasia while ectopic expression of ACTL6a promoted the progenitor state. A significant portion of genes regulated by ACTL6a were found to also be targets of KLF4, a known activator of epidermal differentiation. Mechanistically, we show that ACTL6a prevents SWI/SNF complex binding to promoters of KLF4 and other differentiation genes, and that SWI/SNF catalytic subunits are required for full induction of KLF4 targets. Thus, ACTL6a controls the epidermal progenitor state by sequestering SWI/SNF to prevent activation of differentiation programs.
Stem Cell; ACTL6a; Differentiation; KLF4; SWI/SNF
The myogenic determination factor MyoD activates the transcription of muscle-specific genes by binding to consensus DNA sites found in the regulatory sequences of these genes. The interaction of MyoD with the basal transcription machinery is not known. Several activators induce transcription by recruiting TFIID and/or TFIIB to the promoter. We asked whether MyoD interacted functionally with TFIID and TFIIB in transcription. We reconstituted in vitro DNA binding and transcription systems of MyoD and basal transcription factors, and found that MyoD function in transcription occurred during the assembly of the preinitiation complex. Interestingly, MyoD activated transcription without affecting the binding of TFIID to the promoter. However, TFIID or TBP dramatically stabilized the binding of MyoD to its recognition site. MyoD and TBP interacted in solution. Deletion analysis of MyoD suggested that interaction of MyoD with TBP is needed for its activity in transcription. At a later stage of assembly, MyoD stabilized the binding of TFIIB to the preinitiation complex. These findings suggest that MyoD is involved in two steps of preinitiation; first, TFIID stabilizes MyoD binding to its DNA recognition site and at a later stage MyoD facilitates the association of TFIIB with the preinitiation complex.
The HIV-1 long terminal repeat (LTR) is present on both ends of the integrated viral genome and contains regulatory elements needed for transcriptional initiation and elongation. Post integration, a highly ordered chromatin structure consisting of at least five nucleosomes is found at the 5′ LTR, the location and modification state of which controls the state of active viral replication as well as silencing of the latent HIV-1 provirus. In this context, the chromatin remodeling field is rapidly emerging as having a critical role in the control of viral gene expression. In the current study, we focused on unique Baf subunits that are common to the most highly recognized of chromatin remodeling proteins, the SWI/SNF complexes. We find that at least two Baf proteins, Baf53 and Baf170, are highly regulated in HIV-1 infected cells. Previously, studies have shown that the depletion of Baf53 in uninfected cells leads to the expansion of chromosomal territories and the decompaction of the chromatin. Baf53, in the presence of HIV-1 infection, co-elutes off of a chromatographic column as a different sized complex when compared to uninfected cells and appears to be predominantly phosphorylated. The innate function of Baf53-containing complexes appears to be transcriptionally suppressive, in that knocking down Baf53 increases viral gene expression from cells both transiently and chronically infected with HIV-1. Additionally, cdk9/Cyclin T in the presence of Tat is able to phosphorylate Baf53 in vitro, implying that this post-translationally modified form relieves the suppressive effect and allows for viral transcription to proceed.
Chromatin remodeling; retrovirus; infection; phosphorylation; transcription
The E2F6 protein functions as an Rb-independent repressor of gene transcription. We have previously provided evidence suggesting a role for E2F6 in repression of E2F-responsive genes at S phase. Here, we have identified BRG1, the ATPase subunit of the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex, as an E2F6 interacting protein. Immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrate that BRG1 binds specifically to E2F6 and E2F4 but not the activator E2Fs. E2F6 was also able to interact with BAF155, a BRG1-associated factor, in the SWI/SNF complex. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays demonstrate the binding of BRG1 coincident with E2F6 on G1/S gene promoters during S phase. Collectively, our studies suggest that E2F6 may recruit BRG1 in transcriptional regulation of genes important for G1/S phase transition of the cell cycle.
During muscle regeneration, the mechanism integrating environmental cues at the chromatin of muscle progenitors is unknown. We show that inflammation-activated MKK6-p38 and IGF1-induced Pi3K/AKT pathways converge on the chromatin of muscle genes to target distinct components of the muscle transcriptosome. p38 α/β kinases recruit the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex; AKT 1 and 2 promote the association of MyoD with p300 and PCAF acetyltransferases, via direct phosphorylation of p300. Pharmacological or genetic interference with either pathway led to partial assembly of discrete chromatin-bound complexes, which reflected two reversible and distinct cellular phenotypes. Remarkably, Pi3K/AKT blockade was permissive for chromatin recruitment of MEF2-SWI/SNF complex, whose remodeling activity was compromised in the absence of MyoD and acetyltransferases. The functional interdependence between p38 and IGF1/Pi3K/AKT pathways was further established by the evidence that blockade of AKT chromatin targets was sufficient to prevent the activation of the myogenic program triggered by deliberate activation of p38 signaling
Neurogenic transcription factors and evolutionarily conserved signalling pathways have been found to be instrumental in the formation of neurons1,2. However, the instructive role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in neurogenesis remains unexplored. We recently discovered that miR-9* and miR-124 instruct compositional changes of SWI/SNF-like BAF chromatin-remodelling complexes, a process important for neuronal differentiation and function3–6. Nearing mitotic exit of neural progenitors, miR-9* and miR-124 repress the BAF53a subunit of the neural-progenitor (np)BAF chromatin-remodelling complex. After mitotic exit, BAF53a is replaced by BAF53b, and BAF45a by BAF45b and BAF45c, which are then incorporated into neuron-specific (n)BAF complexes essential for post-mitotic functions4. Because miR-9/9* and miR-124 also control multiple genes regulating neuronal differentiation and function5,7–13, we proposed that these miRNAs might contribute to neuronal fates. Here we show that expression of miR-9/9* and miR-124 (miR-9/9*-124) in human fibroblasts induces their conversion into neurons, a process facilitated by NEUROD2. Further addition of neurogenic transcription factors ASCL1 and MYT1L enhances the rate of conversion and the maturation of the converted neurons, whereas expression of these transcription factors alone without miR-9/9*-124 was ineffective. These studies indicate that the genetic circuitry involving miR-9/9*-124 can have an instructive role in neural fate determination.
We investigated gene regulation at the IL-3/GM-CSF gene cluster. We found BRG1, a SWI/SNF remodeling ATPase, bound a distal element, CNSa. BRG1 binding was strongest in differentiated, stimulated T helper cells, paralleling IL-3 and GM-CSF expression. Depletion of BRG1 reduced IL-3 and GM-CSF transcription. BAF-specific SWI/SNF subunits bound to this locus and regulated IL-3 expression. CNSa was in closed chromatin in fibroblasts, open chromatin in differentiated T helper cells, and moderately open chromatin in naïve (undifferentiated) T helper cells; BRG1 was required for the most open state. CNSa increased transcription of a reporter in an episomal expression system, in a BRG1-dependent manner. The NF-κB subunit RelA/p65 bound CNSa in activated T helper cells. Inhibition of NF-κB blocked BRG1 binding to CNSa, chromatin opening at CNSa, and activation of IL-3 and GM-CSF. Together, these findings suggest CNSa is a distal enhancer that binds BRG1 and NF-κB.
Gene Regulation; T cell regulation; Chromatin Remodeling; BRG1; SWI/SNF; Cytokine Transcription; Distal Regulatory Elements
SOX10 is a Sry-related high mobility (HMG)-box transcriptional regulator that promotes differentiation of neural crest precursors into Schwann cells, oligodendrocytes, and melanocytes. Myelin, formed by Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system, is essential for propagation of nerve impulses. SWI/SNF complexes are ATP dependent chromatin remodeling enzymes that are critical for cellular differentiation. It was recently demonstrated that the BRG1 subunit of SWI/SNF complexes activates SOX10 expression and also interacts with SOX10 to activate expression of OCT6 and KROX20, two transcriptional regulators of Schwann cell differentiation. To determine the requirement for SWI/SNF enzymes in the regulation of genes that encode components of myelin, which are downstream of these transcriptional regulators, we introduced SOX10 into fibroblasts that inducibly express dominant negative versions of the SWI/SNF ATPases, BRM or BRG1. Dominant negative BRM and BRG1 have mutations in the ATP binding site and inhibit gene activation events that require SWI/SNF function. Ectopic expression of SOX10 in cells derived from NIH 3T3 fibroblasts led to the activation of the endogenous Schwann cell specific gene, myelin protein zero (MPZ) and the gene that encodes myelin basic protein (MBP). Thus, SOX10 reprogrammed these cells into myelin gene expressing cells. Ectopic expression of KROX20 was not sufficient for activation of these myelin genes. However, KROX20 together with SOX10 synergistically activated MPZ and MBP expression. Dominant negative BRM and BRG1 abrogated SOX10 mediated activation of MPZ and MBP and synergistic activation of these genes by SOX10 and KROX20. SOX10 was required to recruit BRG1 to the MPZ locus. Similarly, in immortalized Schwann cells, BRG1 recruitment to SOX10 binding sites at the MPZ locus was dependent on SOX10 and expression of dominant negative BRG1 inhibited expression of MPZ and MBP in these cells. Thus, SWI/SNF enzymes cooperate with SOX10 to directly activate genes that encode components of peripheral myelin.
Quiescent satellite cells are myogenic progenitors that enable regeneration of skeletal muscle. One of the early events of satellite cell activation following myotrauma is the induction of the myogenic regulatory factor MyoD, which eventually induces terminal differentiation and muscle function gene expression. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the mechanism by which MyoD is induced during activation of satellite cells in mouse muscle undergoing regeneration. We show that Six1, a transcription factor essential for embryonic myogenesis, also regulates MyoD expression in muscle progenitor cells. Six1 knock-down by RNA interference leads to decreased expression of MyoD in myoblasts. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays reveal that Six1 binds the Core Enhancer Region of MyoD. Further, transcriptional reporter assays demonstrate that Core Enhancer Region reporter gene activity in myoblasts and in regenerating muscle depends on the expression of Six1 and on Six1 binding sites. Finally, we provide evidence indicating that Six1 is required for the proper chromatin structure at the Core Enhancer Region, as well as for MyoD binding at its own enhancer. Together, our results reveal that MyoD expression in satellite cells depends on Six1, supporting the idea that Six1 plays an important role in adult myogenesis, in addition to its role in embryonic muscle formation.
Remodeling of the chromatin network plays an important role regulating embryonic development as well as differentiation. The SWI/SNF complex is an ATP dependent chromatin-remodeling complex. It consists of several proteins, including an ATPase subunit, either Brg1 or Brm. Two subunits of this complex Baf53a and Baf45 have been previously identified as being neural progenitor specific. In this study, we show that Baf60c, another important part of this large complex, acts in a similar neural-progenitor specific manner. We show that during development Baf60c is expressed in neural progenitors in human retinas as well as mouse retina, cortex and spinal cord. Baf60c expression is lost during neural differentiation and its over-expression keeps the progenitors in a proliferative state through its interaction with the Notch pathway. Finally, we show that Baf60c is re-expressed in the Müller glial cells that reenter the cell cycle after neurotoxic damage.
Chromatin remodeling; Baf60c; retina development; retinal regeneration; neural development; Swi/Snf
The elicitation of cellular antiviral activities is dependent on the rapid transcriptional activation of interferon (IFN) target genes. It is not clear how the interferon target promoters, which are organized into chromatin structures in cells, rapidly respond to interferon or viral stimulation. In this report, we show that alpha IFN (IFN-α) treatment of HeLa cells induced hundreds of genes. The induction of the majority of these genes was inhibited when one critical subunit of the chromatin-remodeling SWI/SNF-like BAF complexes, BAF47, was knocked down via RNA interference. Inhibition of BAF47 blocked the cellular response to viral infection and impaired cellular antiviral activity by inhibiting many IFN- and virus-inducible genes. We show that the BAF complex was required to mediate both the basal-level expression and the rapid induction of the antiviral genes. Further analyses indicated that the BAF complex primed some IFN target promoters by utilizing ATP-derived energy to maintain the chromatin in a constitutively open conformation, allowing faster and more potent induction after IFN-α treatment. We propose that constitutive binding of the BAF complex is an important mechanism for the IFN-inducible promoters to respond rapidly to IFN and virus stimulation.
The SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex plays a role in the repair of UV-induced DNA damage. It was proposed that chromatin remodeling activities are utilized to increase the accessibility of nucleotide excision repair (NER) machinery and checkpoint factors to the damaged DNA. It was shown recently that BRCA1 contributes to UV damage response by promoting photoproduct excision, triggering post-UV checkpoint activation and post-replicative repair. In this study, we show that BRCA1 rapidly binds to UV damage sites when cells are undergoing DNA synthesis. In contrast, two phosphorylated forms of BRCA1 do not accumulate at sites of UV damage. Depletion of BRG1, a core subunit of the human SWI/SNF-BAF complex, impairs the recruitment of BRCA1 to the damage sites and attenuates DNA damage induced BRCA1 phosphorylation. At UV lesions-stalled replication forks, BRG1 promotes RPA phosphorylation in response to UV irradiation, since UV-induced phosphorylation of chromatin bound RPA drops significantly when BRG1 is depleted in human cells. Importantly, activation of the ATM/ATR kinases is attenuated when BRG1 is depleted. We propose that BRG1 modulates BRCA1 response to UV irradiation by regulating ATM/ATR activation.
BRG1; SWI/SNF; BRCA1; ATR/ATM; nucleotide excision repair; UV irradiation; DNA damage response,~RPA
Androgen receptor (AR) activity is required for prostate cancer development and progression. Thus, there is a major impetus to understand the regulation of AR action. We and others have previously shown that AR transactivation potential is dependent on the presence of an active SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex. However, the mechanisms underlying SWI/SNF regulation of the AR remained unsolved. We show here that the BAF57 subunit, an accessory component of the remodeling complex, is a critical regulator of AR function. We show that BAF57 is expressed in the luminal epithelia of the prostate and is required for AR-dependent transactivation in prostatic adenocarcinoma cells. Our data reveal that BAF57 can directly bind to the AR and is recruited to endogenous AR targets upon ligand activation. Loss of BAF57 or inhibition of BAF57 function severely compromised AR activity, as observed with both exogenous and endogenous AR targets. Rescue of BAF57 function restored AR activity, thus demonstrating a specific requirement of BAF57 for AR activity. This action of BAF57 proved to be dependent on SWI/SNF ATPase function. BAF57 has previously been implicated in nuclear receptor coactivator function, and we show that, although BAF57 facilitated coactivator activity, only a selected subset required BAF57 for coactivator function. Lastly, we demonstrate that both BAF57 and BRM are required for the proliferation of AR-dependent prostatic adenocarcinoma cells. In summary, these findings identify BAF57 as a critical modulator of the AR that is capable of altering AR activity, coactivator function, and AR-dependent proliferation.