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J Biol Chem. 2001 Jan 26;276(4):2852-7. Epub 2000 Oct 26.

Identification of SWI.SNF complex subunit BAF60a as a determinant of the transactivation potential of Fos/Jun dimers.

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Department of Gene Regulation, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan.


Fos family proteins form stable heterodimers with Jun family proteins, and each heterodimer shows distinctive transactivating potential for regulating cellular growth, differentiation, and development via AP-1 binding sites. However, the molecular mechanism underlying dimer specificity and the molecules that facilitate transactivation remain undefined. Here, we show that BAF60a, a subunit of the SWI.SNF chromatin remodeling complex, is a determinant of the transactivation potential of Fos/Jun dimers. BAF60a binds to a specific subset of Fos/Jun heterodimers using two different interfaces for c-Fos and c-Jun, respectively. Only when the functional SWI.SNF complex is present, can c-Fos/c-Jun (high affinity to BAF60a) but not Fra-2/JunD (no affinity to BAF60a) induce the endogenous AP-1-regulated genes such as collagenase and c-met. These results indicate that a specific subset of Fos/Jun dimers recruits SWI.SNF complex via BAF60a to initiate transcription.

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