Unwinding BRAHMA Functions in Plants

Genes (Basel). 2020 Jan 13;11(1):90. doi: 10.3390/genes11010090.


The ATP-dependent Switch/Sucrose non-fermenting (SWI/SNF) chromatin remodeling complex (CRC) regulates the transcription of many genes by destabilizing interactions between DNA and histones. In plants, BRAHMA (BRM), one of the two catalytic ATPase subunits of the complex, is the closest homolog of the yeast and animal SWI2/SNF2 ATPases. We summarize here the advances describing the roles of BRM in plant development as well as its recently reported chromatin-independent role in pri-miRNA processing in vitro and in vivo. We also enlighten the roles of plant-specific partners that physically interact with BRM. Three main types of partners can be distinguished: (i) DNA-binding proteins such as transcription factors which mostly cooperate with BRM in developmental processes, (ii) enzymes such as kinases or proteasome-related proteins that use BRM as substrate and are often involved in response to abiotic stress, and (iii) an RNA-binding protein which is involved with BRM in chromatin-independent pri-miRNA processing. This overview contributes to the understanding of the central position occupied by BRM within regulatory networks controlling fundamental biological processes in plants.

Keywords: BRAHMA; SWI2/SNF2; chromatin; miRNAs; remodeling; transcription factor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases* / genetics
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases* / metabolism
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly / physiology
  • MicroRNAs / biosynthesis
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • Plant Proteins* / genetics
  • Plant Proteins* / metabolism
  • Plants* / enzymology
  • Plants* / genetics
  • Proteolysis
  • RNA Precursors / biosynthesis
  • RNA Precursors / genetics
  • RNA, Plant / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Plant / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • MicroRNAs
  • Plant Proteins
  • RNA Precursors
  • RNA, Plant
  • Transcription Factors
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases