(mis)-Targeting of SWI/SNF complex(es) in cancer

Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2023 Jun;42(2):455-470. doi: 10.1007/s10555-023-10102-5. Epub 2023 Apr 24.


The ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complex SWI/SNF (also called BAF) is critical for the regulation of gene expression. During the evolution from yeast to mammals, the BAF complex has evolved an enormous complexity that contains a high number of subunits encoded by various genes. Emerging studies highlight the frequent involvement of altered mammalian SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complexes in human cancers. Here, we discuss the recent advances in determining the structure of SWI/SNF complexes, highlight the mechanisms by which mutations affecting these complexes promote cancer, and describe the promising emerging opportunities for targeted therapies.

Keywords: BAF complex; Chromatin remodeling; Epigenetics; Inhibitors; Mutations; Therapy.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly
  • Humans
  • Mammals / genetics
  • Mammals / metabolism
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors* / genetics


  • Transcription Factors