The Swi/Snf family nucleosome-remodeling complexes and transcriptional control

Trends Genet. 2000 Aug;16(8):345-51. doi: 10.1016/s0168-9525(00)02060-6.


The Swi/Snf family of nucleosome-remodeling complexes has been shown to play important roles in gene expression throughout eukaryotes. Genetic and biochemical studies previously suggested that Swi/Snf activates transcription by remodeling nucleosomes, thereby permitting increased access of transcription factors for their binding sites. Recent studies have identified additional Swi/Snf biochemical activities and have suggested possible mechanisms by which Swi/Snf is targeted to specific promoters. Surprisingly, studies have also revealed that, besides being necessary for activation, Swi/Snf is required for transcriptional repression of some genes. These analyses have transformed our understanding of the function of the Swi/Snf family of complexes and suggest that they control transcription in diverse ways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Nucleosomes / physiology*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Transcriptional Activation


  • Nucleosomes
  • Transcription Factors