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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Nov 21;97(24):13015-20.

The human SWI/SNF-B chromatin-remodeling complex is related to yeast rsc and localizes at kinetochores of mitotic chromosomes.

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  • 1Laboratory of Genetics, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, 333 Cassell Drive, TRIAD Center Room 4000, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.


The SWI/SNF family of chromatin-remodeling complexes facilitates gene expression by helping transcription factors gain access to their targets in chromatin. SWI/SNF and Rsc are distinctive members of this family from yeast. They have similar protein components and catalytic activities but differ in biological function. Rsc is required for cell cycle progression through mitosis, whereas SWI/SNF is not. Human complexes of this family have also been identified, which have often been considered related to yeast SWI/SNF. However, all human subunits identified to date are equally similar to components of both SWI/SNF and Rsc, leaving open the possibility that some or all of the human complexes are rather related to Rsc. Here, we present evidence that the previously identified human SWI/SNF-B complex is indeed of the Rsc type. It contains six components conserved in both Rsc and SWI/SNF. Importantly, it has a unique subunit, BAF180, that harbors a distinctive set of structural motifs characteristic of three components of Rsc. Of the two mammalian ATPases known to be related to those in the yeast complexes, human SWI/SNF-B contains only the homolog that functions like Rsc during cell growth. Immunofluorescence studies with a BAF180 antibody revealed that SWI/SNF-B localizes at the kinetochores of chromosomes during mitosis. Our data suggest that SWI/SNF-B and Rsc represent a novel subfamily of chromatin-remodeling complexes conserved from yeast to human, and could participate in cell division at kinetochores of mitotic chromosomes.

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