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Oncogene. 2009 Feb 5;28(5):651-61. doi: 10.1038/onc.2008.419. Epub 2008 Nov 17.

Requirement for chromatin-remodeling complex in novel tumor suppressor HIC1-mediated transcriptional repression and growth control.

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Cancer Research Center, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA.


HIC1 is a newly discovered tumor suppressor and transcriptional repressor that is frequently silenced in human tumors. HIC1 protein expression has been linked to better outcomes in breast cancers. The molecular mechanism underlying HIC1-mediated transcriptional and growth suppression, and the relevant targets of HIC1-mediated transcriptional modulation, is currently unclear. We have identified an HIC1 DNA-binding site in E2F-responsive gene promoters and demonstrate that HIC1 targets E2F-responsive genes for transcriptional regulation and growth suppression. We and others have recently discovered that Brg1, a central component of the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling family, is required for the transcriptional regulation of multiple cell cycle control-related genes, including E2F-responsive promoters. We studied HIC1 interactions with, and dependence upon, Brg1 activity, and found that HIC1 can recruit Brg1 to E2F-responsive promoters and that its transcriptional repression of these genes is dependent upon Brg1. These data indicate that HIC1 is a central molecule in a novel mechanism controlling cell growth and that the disruption of this HIC1-mediated pathway may lead to abnormal cell proliferation and, ultimately, cancer.

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