Novel SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complexes contain a mixed-lineage leukemia chromosomal translocation partner

Mol Cell Biol. 2003 Apr;23(8):2942-52. doi: 10.1128/MCB.23.8.2942-2952.2003.


The SWI/SNF family of chromatin-remodeling complexes has been discovered in many species and has been shown to regulate gene expression by assisting transcriptional machinery to gain access to their sites in chromatin. Several complexes of this family have been reported for humans. In this study, two additional complexes are described that belong to the same SWI/SNF family. These new complexes contain as many as eight subunits identical to those found in other SWI/SNF complexes, and they possess a similar ATP-dependent nucleosome disruption activity. But unlike known SWI/SNFs, the new complexes are low in abundance and contain an extra subunit conserved between human and yeast SWI/SNF complexes. This subunit, ENL, is a homolog of the yeast SWI/SNF subunit, ANC1/TFG3. Moreover, ENL is a fusion partner for the gene product of MLL that is a common target for chromosomal translocations in human acute leukemia. The resultant MLL-ENL fusion protein associates and cooperates with SWI/SNF complexes to activate transcription of the promoter of HoxA7, a downstream target essential for oncogenic activity of MLL-ENL. Our data suggest that human SWI/SNF complexes show considerable heterogeneity, and one or more may be involved in the etiology of leukemia by cooperating with MLL fusion proteins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Chromatin / genetics*
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / chemistry
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / genetics*
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / metabolism
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics
  • Humans
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Myeloid-Lymphoid Leukemia Protein
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / chemistry
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein Subunits
  • Proto-Oncogenes*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Species Specificity
  • Transcription Factors / chemistry
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Translocation, Genetic
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • ARID1A protein, human
  • Chromatin
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • HOXA7 protein, human
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • KMT2A protein, human
  • MLLT1 protein, human
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Protein Subunits
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Myeloid-Lymphoid Leukemia Protein
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase