Cancer biology and NuRD: a multifaceted chromatin remodelling complex

Nat Rev Cancer. 2011 Jul 7;11(8):588-96. doi: 10.1038/nrc3091.


The nucleosome remodelling and histone deacetylase (NuRD; also known as Mi-2) complex regulates gene expression at the level of chromatin. The NuRD complex has been identified - using both genetic and molecular analyses - as a key determinant of differentiation in mouse embryonic stem cells and during development in various model systems. Similar to other chromatin remodellers, such as SWI/SNF and Polycomb complexes, NuRD has also been implicated in the regulation of transcriptional events that are integral to oncogenesis and cancer progression. Emerging molecular details regarding the recruitment of NuRD to specific loci during development, and the modulation of these events in cancer, are used to illustrate how the inappropriate localization of the complex could contribute to tumour biology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatin
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly
  • DNA Methylation
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Silencing
  • Genomic Instability
  • Humans
  • Mi-2 Nucleosome Remodeling and Deacetylase Complex / physiology*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic


  • Chromatin
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • MBD2 protein
  • Mi-2 Nucleosome Remodeling and Deacetylase Complex