Gene silencing associated with SWI/SNF complex loss during NSCLC development

Shujie Song, Vonn Walter, Mehmet Karaca, Ying Li, Christopher S. Bartlett, Dominic J. Smiraglia, Daniel Serber, Christopher D. Sproul, Christoph Plass, Jiren Zhang, D. Neil Hayes, Yanfang Zheng, Bernard E. Weissman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex regulates gene expression and alters chromatin structures in an ATP-dependent manner. Recent sequencing efforts have shown mutations in BRG1 (SMARCA4), one of two mutually exclusive ATPase subunits in the complex, in a significant number of human lung tumor cell lines and primary non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) clinical specimens. To determine how BRG1 loss fuels tumor progression in NSCLC, molecular profiling was performed after restoration of BRG1 expression or treatment with a histone deacetylase inhibitor or a DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) inhibitor in a BRG1-deficient NSCLC cells. Importantly, validation studies from multiple cell lines revealed that BRG1 reexpression led to substantial changes in the expression of CDH1, CDH3, EHF, and RRAD that commonly undergo silencing by other epigenetic mechanisms during NSCLC development. Furthermore, treatment with DNMT inhibitors did not restore expression of these transcripts, indicating that this common mechanism of gene silencing did not account for their loss of expression. Collectively, BRG1 loss is an important mechanism for the epigenetic silencing of target genes during NSCLC development. Implications: Inactivation of the SWI/SNF complex provides a novel mechanism to induce gene silencing during NSCLC development. Mol Cancer Res; 12(4); 560-70.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)560-570
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Cancer Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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