Characterization of SWI/SNF protein expression in human breast cancer cell lines and other malignancies

J Cell Physiol. 2001 Jan;186(1):136-45. doi: 10.1002/1097-4652(200101)186:1<136::AID-JCP1010>3.0.CO;2-4.


Organization of genomic DNA into chromatin aids in the regulation of gene expression by limiting access to transcriptional machinery. The SWI/SNF family of complexes, which are conserved from yeast to humans, are ATP-dependent chromatin-remodeling enzymes required for the transcription of a number of genes in yeast. In humans, the gene encoding the BAF47/hSNF5 subunit of the complex, located at 22q11.2, has been found to be mutated in a number of human tumors including rhabdoid, rhabdomyosarcoma, chronic myeloid leukemia, and CNS tumors such as medulloblastomas and choroid plexus carcinomas. In addition, loss of heterozygosity (LOH) has been reported for the BAF47 region in breast and liver cancer. LOH has also been reported in breast and ovarian cancer within 17q12-25, a gene-rich area including BRCA1, BAF60B, and BAF57. Interestingly, the gene encoding the BAF155/hSWI3 subunit of the complex maps to 3p21-p23, an area of chromosomal deletion seen in a number of human adenocarcinomas including breast, kidney, pancreas, and ovary. To look for abnormalities in these proteins as well as the SWI/SNF complex in general, we have determined the protein status of core human SWI/SNF components BAF170, BAF155, BAF57, BAF53a, and BAF47 in 21 breast cell lines. The complex status in other human tumor cell lines of various tissue types was also examined. We also determined the protein status of the human SWI2 homologues, hBRM/SWI2alpha and BRG1/SWI2beta as well as two other proteins found in human SWI/SNF complexes, BAF180 and BAF250. In this study, we identified the first cell line negative for the BAF57 protein as well as a pancreatic carcinoma cell line negative for both the BRG-1 and hBRM proteins.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / secondary
  • Carcinoma / metabolism
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Nervous System Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neural Crest
  • RNA-Binding Proteins*
  • Ribonucleoprotein, U1 Small Nuclear / metabolism*
  • Sarcoma / metabolism
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Ribonucleoprotein, U1 Small Nuclear
  • Transcription Factors
  • snf protein, Drosophila