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Cancer Res. 2000 Nov 1;60(21):6171-7.

BRG1, a component of the SWI-SNF complex, is mutated in multiple human tumor cell lines.

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Myriad Genetics, Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah 84108, USA.


Human BRG1 is a component of the evolutionarily conserved SWI-SNF chromatin remodeling complex. BRG1 has been implicated in growth control through its interaction with the tumor suppressor pRb and may consequently serve as a negative regulator of proliferation. Postulating that BRG1 may itself be a tumor suppressor gene, we screened a panel of tumor cell lines to determine whether the gene is targeted for mutation. We report that the COOH-terminal region of BRG1 is homozygously deleted in two carcinoma cell lines, prostate TSU-Pr1 and lung A-427. In addition, biallelic inactivations of BRG1 were observed in four other cell lines derived from carcinomas of the breast, lung, pancreas, and prostate; their mutations in BRG1 included three frameshift lesions and one nonsense lesion. Point mutations were also discovered in a number of other cell lines, however in most cases any effect of these mutations on BRG1 function remains to be established. A variety of different mutations within BRG1, in several cell lines, suggest that BRG1 may be targeted for disruption in human tumors. Significantly, reintroduction of BRG1 into cells lacking BRG1 expression was sufficient to reverse their transformed phenotype inducing growth arrest and a flattened morphology. These data strongly support the model that BRG1 may function as a tumor suppressor and strengthen the hypothesis that the regulation of gene expression through chromatin remodeling is critical for cancer progression. It will be important to confirm these observations in primary tumors.

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