Chromatin Remodeling by BRG1 and SNF2H : Biochemistry and Function

Abstract: Chromatin is a highly dynamic, regulatory component in the process of transcription, repair, recombination and replication. The BRG1 and SNF2H proteins are ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling proteins that modulate chromatin structure to regulate DNA accessibility for DNA-binding proteins involved in these processes. The BRG1 protein is a central ATPase of the SWI/SNF complexes involved in chromatin remodeling associated with regulation of transcription. SWI/SNF complexes are biochemically hetero-geneous but little is known about the unique functional characteristics of the various forms. We have shown that SWI/SNF activity in SW13 cells affects actin filament organization dependent on the RhoA signaling pathway. We have further shown that the biochemical composition of SWI/SNF complexes qualitatively affects the remodeling activity and that the composition of biochemically purified SWI/SNF complexes does not reflect the patterns of chromatin binding of individual subunits. Chromatin binding assays (ChIP) reveal variations among subunits believed to be constitutive, suggesting that the plasticity in SWI/SNF complex composition is greater than suspected. We have also discovered an interaction between BRG1 and the splicing factor Prp8, linking SWI/SNF activity to mRNA processing. We propose a model whereby parts of the biochemical heterogeneity is a result of function and that the local chromatin environment to which the complex is recruited affect SWI/SNF composition.We have also isolated the novel B-WICH complex that contains WSTF, SNF2H, the splicing factor SAP155, the RNA helicase II/Guα, the transcription factor Myb-binding protein 1a, the transcription factor/DNA repair protein CSB and the RNA processing factor DEK. The formation of this complex is dependent on active transcription and links chromatin remodeling by SNF2H to RNA processing.By linking chromatin remodeling complexes with RNA processing proteins our work has begun to build a bridge between chromatin and RNA, suggesting that factors in chromatin associated assemblies translocate onto the growing nascent RNA.