Mammalian SWI/SNF Enzymes and the Epigenetics of Tumor Cell Metabolic Reprogramming.
ABSTRACT: Tumor cells reprogram their metabolism to survive and grow in a challenging microenvironment. Some of this reprogramming is performed by epigenetic mechanisms. Epigenetics is in turn affected by metabolism; chromatin modifying enzymes are dependent on substrates that are also key metabolic intermediates. We have shown that the chromatin remodeling enzyme Brahma-related gene 1 (BRG1), an epigenetic regulator, is necessary for rapid breast cancer cell proliferation. The mechanism for this requirement is the BRG1-dependent transcription of key lipogenic enzymes and regulators. Reduction in lipid synthesis lowers proliferation rates, which can be restored by palmitate supplementation. This work has established BRG1 as an attractive target for breast cancer therapy. Unlike genetic alterations, epigenetic mechanisms are reversible, promising gentler therapies without permanent off-target effects at distant sites.
Project description:The Brahma (BRM) and Brahma-related Gene 1 (BRG1) ATPases are highly conserved homologs that catalyze the chromatin remodeling functions of the multi-subunit human SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling enzymes in a mutually exclusive manner. SWI/SNF enzyme subunits are mutated or missing in many cancer types, but are overexpressed without apparent mutation in other cancers. Here, we report that both BRG1 and BRM are overexpressed in most primary breast cancers independent of the tumor's receptor status. Knockdown of either ATPase in a triple negative breast cancer cell line reduced tumor formation in vivo and cell proliferation in vitro. Fewer cells in S phase and an extended cell cycle progression time were observed without any indication of apoptosis, senescence, or alterations in migration or attachment properties. Combined knockdown of BRM and BRG1 showed additive effects in the reduction of cell proliferation and time required for completion of cell cycle, suggesting that these enzymes promote cell cycle progression through independent mechanisms. Knockout of BRG1 or BRM using CRISPR/Cas9 technology resulted in the loss of viability, consistent with a requirement for both enzymes in triple negative breast cancer cells.
Project description:The ATPase subunits of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling enzymes, Brahma (BRM) and Brahma-related gene 1 (BRG1), can induce cell cycle arrest in BRM and BRG1 deficient tumor cell lines, and mice heterozygous for Brg1 are pre-disposed to breast tumors, implicating loss of BRG1 as a mechanism for unregulated cell proliferation. To test the hypothesis that loss of BRG1 can contribute to breast cancer, we utilized RNA interference to reduce the amounts of BRM or BRG1 protein in the nonmalignant mammary epithelial cell line, MCF-10A. When grown in reconstituted basement membrane (rBM), these cells develop into acini that resemble the lobes of normal breast tissue. Contrary to expectations, knockdown of either BRM or BRG1 resulted in an inhibition of cell proliferation in monolayer cultures. This inhibition was strikingly enhanced in three-dimensional rBM culture, although some BRM-depleted cells were later able to resume proliferation. Cells did not arrest in any specific stage of the cell cycle; instead, the cell cycle length increased by approximately 50%. Thus, SWI/SNF ATPases promote cell cycle progression in nonmalignant mammary epithelial cells.
Project description:Germ cell development and gametogenesis require genome-wide transitions in epigenetic modifications and chromatin structure. These changes include covalent modifications to the DNA and histones as well as remodeling activities. Here, we explore the role of the mammalian SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex during spermatogenesis using a conditional allele of the ATPase subunit, brahma-related gene 1 (Brg1, or Smarca4). Not only do BRG1 levels peak during the early stages of meiosis, genetic ablation of Brg1 in murine embryonic gonocytes results in arrest during prophase of meiosis I. Coincident with the timing of meiotic arrest, mutant spermatocytes accumulate unrepaired DNA and fail to complete synapsis. Furthermore, mutant spermatocytes show global alterations to histone modifications and chromatin structure indicative of a more heterochromatic genome. Together, these data demonstrate a requirement for BRG1 activity in spermatogenesis, and suggest a role for the mammalian SWI/SNF complex in programmed recombination and repair events that take place during meiosis.
Project description:The tumor suppressor p53 preserves genome integrity by inducing transcription of genes controlling growth arrest or apoptosis. Transcriptional activation involves nucleosomal perturbation by chromatin remodeling enzymes. Mammalian SWI/SNF remodeling complexes incorporate either the Brahma-related gene 1 (BRG1) or Brahma (Brm) as the ATPase subunit. The observation that tumor cell lines harboring wild-type p53 specifically maintain expression of BRG1 and that BRG1 complexes with p53 prompted us to examine the role of BRG1 in regulation of p53. Remarkably, RNAi depletion of BRG1, but not Brm, led to the activation of endogenous wild-type p53 and cell senescence. We found a proline-rich region unique to BRG1 was required for binding to the histone acetyl transferase protein, CBP, as well as to p53. Ectopic expression of a proline-rich region deletion mutant BRG1 that is defective for CBP binding inhibited p53 destabilization. Importantly, RNAi knockdown of BRG1 and CBP reduced p53 poly-ubiquitination in vivo. In support of p53 inactivation by the combined activities of BRG1 and CBP, we show that DNA damage signals promoted disassociation of BRG1 from CBP, thereby allowing p53 accumulation. Our data demonstrate a novel function of the evolutionarily conserved chromatin remodeling subunit BRG1, which cooperates with CBP to constrain p53 activity and permit cancer cell proliferation.
Project description:Switch (SWI)/sucrose nonfermentable (SNF) is an evolutionarily conserved complex with ATPase function, capable of regulating nucleosome position to alter transcriptional programs within the cell. It is known that the SWI/SNF complex is responsible for regulation of many genes involved in cell cycle control and proliferation, and it has recently been implicated in cancer development. The ATPase action of SWI/SNF is conferred through either the brahma-related gene 1 (Brg1) or brahma (Brm) subunit of the complex, and it is of central importance to the modification of nucleosome position. In this study, the role of the Brg1 and Brm subunits were examined as they relate to chromatin structure and organization. Deletion of the Brg1 ATPase results in dissolution of pericentromeric heterochromatin domains and a redistribution of histone modifications associated with these structures. This effect was highly specific to Brg1 and is not reproduced by the loss of Brm or SNF5/BAF47/INI1. Brg1 deficiency is associated with the appearance of micronuclei and aberrant mitoses that are a by-product of dissociated chromatin structure. Thus, Brg1 plays a critical role in maintaining chromatin structural integrity.
Project description:Aberrant expression of Brahma-related gene-1 (BRG1), a core component of the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodelling complex, has been implicated in cancer development; however, the biological significance of BRG1 in colorectal carcinoma (CRC) remains unknown.In CRC tissues, expression of BRG1 and Brahma (BRM) was investigated immunohistochemically. Colorectal carcinoma-derived DLD-1 cells were used for knockdown of BRG1 and PTEN with small interfering RNA (siRNA) and transduction of Akt. Complementary DNA (cDNA) microarray analysis was performed to explore the genes affected by BRG1.Expression of BRG1, but not BRM, was frequently elevated in CRC specimens, and knockdown of BRG1 suppressed cell proliferation of DLD-1 cells. By cDNA microarray, we determined that PTEN expression was negatively regulated by BRG1 in DLD-1 cells, which subsequently influenced the cyclin D1 levels via the phosphoinositide 3-OH kinase (PI3K)-Akt signalling pathway. The interplay of BRG1 on cyclin D1 expression was confirmed by the introduction of Akt and knockdown of PTEN in the BRG1 siRNA-transduced DLD-1 cells. Interestingly, this positive correlation between BRG1 and cyclin D1 expression was also observed in CRC specimens.Brahma-related gene-1 has an important role in the process of CRC development by activating the PI3K-Akt signalling pathway and resultant upregulation of cyclin D1 levels.
Project description:SWI/SNF ATP-dependent chromatin-remodeling complexes containing either Brahma-related gene 1 (Brg1) or Brahma (Brm) play important roles in mammalian development. In this study we examined the roles of Brg1 and Brm in smooth muscle development, in vivo, through generation and analysis of mice harboring a smooth muscle-specific knockout of Brg1 on wild-type and Brm null backgrounds. Knockout of Brg1 from smooth muscle in Brg1(flox/flox) mice expressing Cre recombinase under the control of the smooth muscle myosin heavy-chain promoter resulted in cardiopulmonary defects, including patent ductus arteriosus, in 30 to 40% of the mice. Surviving knockout mice exhibited decreased expression of smooth muscle-specific contractile proteins in the gastrointestinal tract, impaired contractility, shortened intestines, disorganized smooth muscle cells, and an increase in apoptosis of intestinal smooth muscle cells. Although Brm knockout mice had normal intestinal structure and function, knockout of Brg1 on a Brm null background exacerbated the effects of knockout of Brg1 alone, resulting in an increase in neonatal lethality. These data show that Brg1 and Brm play critical roles in regulating development of smooth muscle and that Brg1 has specific functions within vascular and gastrointestinal smooth muscle that cannot be performed by Brm.
Project description:UNLABELLED: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.
Project description:Regulatory complexes comprising myocardin and serum response factor (SRF) are critical for the transcriptional regulation of many smooth muscle-specific genes. However, little is known about the epigenetic mechanisms that regulate the activity of these complexes. In the current study, we investigated the role of SWI/SNF ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling enzymes in regulating the myogenic activity of myocardin.We found that both Brg1 and Brm are required for maintaining expression of several smooth muscle-specific genes in primary cultures of aortic smooth muscle cells. Furthermore, the ability of myocardin to induce expression of smooth muscle-specific genes is abrogated in cells expressing dominant negative Brg1. In SW13 cells, which lack endogenous Brg1 and Brm1, myocardin is unable to induce expression of smooth muscle-specific genes. Whereas, reconstitution of wild-type, or bromodomain mutant forms Brg1 or Brm1, into SW13 cells restored their responsiveness to myocardin. SWI/SNF complexes were found to be required for myocardin to increase SRF binding to the promoters of smooth muscle-specific genes. Brg1 and Brm directly bind to the N terminus of myocardin, in vitro, through their ATPase domains and Brg1 forms a complex with SRF and myocardin in vivo in smooth muscle cells.These data demonstrate that the ability of myocardin to induce smooth muscle-specific gene expression is dependent on its interaction with SWI/SNF ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complexes.
Project description:SWI/SNF complexes are involved in both activation and repression of transcription. While one of two homologous ATPases, Brg1 [Brm (Brahma)-related gene 1] or Brm, is required for their chromatin remodelling function, less is known about how these complexes are recruited to DNA. We recently established that a DNA-binding complex containing TAL1/SCL, E47, GATA-1, LMO2 and Ldb1 stimulates P4.2 (protein 4.2) transcription in erythroid progenitors via two E box-GATA elements in the gene's proximal promoter. We show here that the SWI/SNF protein Brg1 is also associated with this complex and that both the E box and GATA DNA-binding sites in these elements are required for Brg1 recruitment. Further, Brg1 occupancy of the P4.2 promoter decreased with terminal erythroid differentiation in association with increased P4.2 transcription, while enforced expression of Brg1 in murine erythroleukaemia cells reduced P4.2 gene expression. Overexpression of Brg1 was associated with increased occupancy of the P4.2 promoter by the nuclear co-repressor mSin3A and HDAC2 (histone deacetylase 2) and with reduced histone H3 and H4 acetylation. Finally, a specific HDAC inhibitor attenuated Brg1-directed repression of P4.2 promoter activity in transfected cells. These results provide insight into the mechanism by which SWI/SNF proteins are recruited to promoters and suggest that transcription of P4.2, and most likely other genes, is actively repressed until the terminal differentiation of erythroid progenitors.