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Protein Sci. 2020 Jan 7. doi: 10.1002/pro.3820. [Epub ahead of print]

Structure of the BRK domain of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex subunit BRG1 reveals a potential role in protein-protein interactions.

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MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK.
Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology (MTC) Department, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


BRG1/SMARCA4 and its paralog BRM/SMARCA2 are the ATPase subunits of human SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complexes. These multisubunit assemblies can act as either tumor suppressors or drivers of cancer, and inhibiting both BRG1 and BRM, is emerging as an effective therapeutic strategy in diverse cancers. BRG1 and BRM contain a BRK domain. The function of this domain is unknown, but it is often found in proteins involved in transcription and developmental signaling in higher eukaryotes, in particular in proteins that remodel chromatin. We report the NMR structure of the BRG1 BRK domain. It shows similarity to the glycine-tyrosine-phenylalanine (GYF) domain, an established protein-protein interaction module. Computational peptide-binding-site analysis of the BRK domain identifies a binding site that coincides with a highly conserved groove on the surface of the protein. This sets the scene for experiments to elucidate the role of this domain, and evaluate the potential of targeting it for cancer therapy.


BAF complexes; NMR; SMARCA4 subunit; cancer; heart diseases; neurodevelopmental disorders; protein-protein interactions; structural determination


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