Rhabdoid tumors of early infancy are highly aggressive with consequent poor prognosis. Most cases show inactivation of the SMARCB1 (also known as INI1 and hSNF5) tumor suppressor, a core member of the ATP-dependent SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex. Familial cases, described as rhabdoid tumor predisposition syndrome (RTPS), have been linked to heterozygous SMARCB1 germline mutations. We identified inactivation of another member of the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex, its ATPase subunit SMARCA4 (also known as BRG1), due to a SMARCA4/BRG1 germline mutation and loss of heterozygosity by uniparental disomy in the tumor cells of two sisters with rhabdoid tumors lacking SMARCB1 mutations. SMARCA4 is thus a second member of the SWI/SNF complex involved in cancer predisposition. Its general involvement in other tumor entities remains to be established.
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