SWI/SNF Complex Mutations in Gynecologic Cancers: Molecular Mechanisms and Models.
ABSTRACT: The SWI/SNF (mating type SWItch/Sucrose NonFermentable) chromatin remodeling complexes interact with histones and transcription factors to modulate chromatin structure and control gene expression. These evolutionarily conserved multisubunit protein complexes are involved in regulating many biological functions, such as differentiation and cell proliferation. Genomic studies have revealed frequent mutations of genes encoding multiple subunits of the SWI/SNF complexes in a wide spectrum of cancer types, including gynecologic cancers. These SWI/SNF mutations occur at different stages of tumor development and are restricted to unique histologic types of gynecologic cancers. Thus, SWI/SNF mutations have to function in the appropriate tissue and cell context to promote gynecologic cancer initiation and progression. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of SWI/SNF mutations in the development of gynecologic cancers to provide insights into both molecular pathogenesis and possible treatment implications for these diseases.
Project description:SWItch/Sucrose NonFermentable (SWI/SNF) is a set of multi-subunits chromatin remodeling complexes, playing important roles in a variety of biological processes. Loss-of-function mutations in the genes encoding SWI/SNF subunits have been reported in more than 20% of human cancers. Thus, it was widely considered as a tumor suppressor in the past decade. However, recent studies reported that some genes encoding subunits of SWI/SNF complexes were amplified and play oncogenic roles in human cancers. In present study, we summarized the genetic alteration spectrum of SWI/SNF complexes, and firstly systematically estimated both the copy number variations and point mutations of all 30 genes encoding the subunits in this complex. Additionally, the bioinformatics analyses were performed for two significantly amplified genes, ACTL6A and BRD9, to investigate their oncogenic roles in human cancers. Our findings may lay a foundation for the discovery of potential treatment targets in SWI/SNF complexes of cancers.
Project description:While gemcitabine has been the mainstay therapy for advanced pancreatic cancer, newer combination regimens (e.g. FOLFIRINOX) have extended patient survival, though carry greater toxicity. Biomarkers are needed to better stratify patients for appropriate therapy. Previously, we reported that one-third of pancreatic cancers harbor deletions or deleterious mutations in key subunits of the SWItch/Sucrose NonFermentable (SWI/SNF) chromatin remodeling complex. The SWI/SNF complex mobilizes nucleosomes on DNA, and plays a key role in modulating DNA transcription and repair. Thus, we hypothesized that pancreatic cancers with SWI/SNF aberrations might exhibit compromised DNA repair, and show increased sensitivity to DNA damaging agents. Here, we studied human pancreatic cancer cell lines with deficient (or else exogenously reconstituted) SWI/SNF subunits, as well as normal pancreatic epithelial cells following SWI/SNF subunit knockdown. Cells were challenged with DNA damaging agents, including those used in current combination regimens, and then cell viability assayed. We found that pancreatic cells with SWI/SNF dysfunction showed markedly increased sensitivity to DNA damaging agents, and in particular DNA crosslinking agents (cisplatin and oxaliplatin). Assaying clearance of ?H2AX confirmed that SWI/SNF dysfunction impaired DNA damage response/repair. Finally, by analyzing pancreatic cancer patient data from The Cancer Genome Atlas, we found that pancreatic cancers with SWI/SNF deficiency (subunit mutation and/or decreased expression) were associated with extended patient survival specifically when treated with platinum containing regimens. Thus, SWI/SNF dysfunction sensitizes pancreatic cancer cells to DNA crosslinking agents, and SWI/SNF mutation status may provide a useful biomarker to predict which patients are likely to benefit from platinum-containing chemotherapy regimens.
Project description:Cancer genome-sequencing studies have revealed a remarkably high prevalence of mutations in genes encoding subunits of the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodelling complexes, with nearly 25% of all cancers harbouring aberrations in one or more of these genes. A role for such aberrations in tumorigenesis is evidenced by cancer predisposition in both carriers of germline loss-of-function mutations and genetically engineered mouse models with inactivation of any of several SWI/SNF subunits. Whereas many of the most frequently mutated oncogenes and tumour-suppressor genes have been studied for several decades, the cancer-promoting role of mutations in SWI/SNF genes has been recognized only more recently, and thus comparatively less is known about these alterations. Consequently, increasing research interest is being focused on understanding the prognostic and, in particular, the potential therapeutic implications of mutations in genes encoding SWI/SNF subunits. Herein, we review the burgeoning data on the mechanisms by which mutations affecting SWI/SNF complexes promote cancer and describe promising emerging opportunities for targeted therapy, including immunotherapy with immune-checkpoint inhibitors, presented by these mutations. We also highlight ongoing clinical trials open specifically to patients with cancers harbouring mutations in certain SWI/SNF genes.
Project description:The 12-subunit Swi/Snf chromatin remodeling complex is conserved from yeast to humans. It functions to alter nucleosome positions by either sliding nucleosomes on DNA or evicting histones. Interestingly, 20% of all human cancers carry mutations in subunits of the Swi/Snf complex. Many of these mutations cause protein instability and loss, resulting in partial Swi/Snf complexes. Although several studies have shown that histone acetylation and activator-dependent recruitment of Swi/Snf regulate its function, it is less well understood how subunits regulate stability and function of the complex. Using functional proteomic and genomic approaches, we have assembled the network architecture of yeast Swi/Snf. In addition, we find that subunits of the Swi/Snf complex regulate occupancy of the catalytic subunit Snf2, thereby modulating gene transcription. Our findings have direct bearing on how cancer-causing mutations in orthologous subunits of human Swi/Snf may lead to aberrant regulation of gene expression by this complex.
Project description:Paraspeckles are subnuclear structures that form around nuclear paraspeckle assembly transcript 1 (NEAT1) long noncoding RNA (lncRNA). Recently, paraspeckles were shown to be functional nuclear bodies involved in stress responses and the development of specific organs. Paraspeckle formation is initiated by transcription of the NEAT1 chromosomal locus and proceeds in conjunction with NEAT1 lncRNA biogenesis and a subsequent assembly step involving >40 paraspeckle proteins (PSPs). In this study, subunits of SWItch/Sucrose NonFermentable (SWI/SNF) chromatin-remodeling complexes were identified as paraspeckle components that interact with PSPs and NEAT1 lncRNA. EM observations revealed that SWI/SNF complexes were enriched in paraspeckle subdomains depleted of chromatin. Knockdown of SWI/SNF components resulted in paraspeckle disintegration, but mutation of the ATPase domain of the catalytic subunit BRG1 did not affect paraspeckle integrity, indicating that the essential role of SWI/SNF complexes in paraspeckle formation does not require their canonical activity. Knockdown of SWI/SNF complexes barely affected the levels of known essential paraspeckle components, but markedly diminished the interactions between essential PSPs, suggesting that SWI/SNF complexes facilitate organization of the PSP interaction network required for intact paraspeckle assembly. The interactions between SWI/SNF components and essential PSPs were maintained in NEAT1-depleted cells, suggesting that SWI/SNF complexes not only facilitate interactions between PSPs, but also recruit PSPs during paraspeckle assembly. SWI/SNF complexes were also required for Satellite III lncRNA-dependent formation of nuclear stress bodies under heat-shock conditions. Our data suggest the existence of a common mechanism underlying the formation of lncRNA-dependent nuclear body architectures in mammalian cells.
Project description:Mammalian SWI/SNF (BAF) chromatin remodeling complexes orchestrate a diverse set of chromatin alterations which impact transcriptional output. Recent whole-exome sequencing efforts have revealed that the genes encoding subunits of mSWI/SNF complexes are mutated in over 20% of cancers, spanning a wide range of tissue types. The majority of mutations result in loss of subunit protein expression, implicating mSWI/SNF subunits as tumor suppressors. mSWI/SNF-deficient cancers remain a therapeutic challenge, owing to a lack of potent and selective agents which target complexes or unique pathway dependencies generated by mSWI/SNF subunit perturbations. Here, we review the current landscape of mechanistic insights and emerging therapeutic opportunities for human malignancies driven by mSWI/SNF complex perturbation.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Alterations in genes encoding chromatin regulatory proteins are prevalent in cancers and may confer oncogenic properties and molecular changes linked to therapy resistance. However, the impact of copy number alterations (CNAs) of the SWItch/Sucrose NonFermentable (SWI/SNF) complex on the oncogenic and immunologic properties has not been systematically explored across human cancer types.<h4>Methods</h4>We comprehensively analyzed the genomic, transcriptomic and clinical data of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) dataset across 33 solid cancers.<h4>Results</h4>CNAs of the SWI/SNF components were identified in more than 25% of all queried cancers, and tumors harboring SWI/SNF CNAs demonstrated a worse overall survival (OS) than others in several cancer types. Mechanistically, the SCNA events in the SWI/SNF complex are correlated with dysregulated genomic features and oncogenic pathways, including the cell cycle, DNA damage and repair. Notably, the SWI/SNF CNAs were associated with homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) and improved clinical outcomes of platinum-treated ovarian cancer. Furthermore, we observed distinct immune infiltrating patterns and immunophenotypes associated with SWI/SNF CNAs in different cancer types.<h4>Conclusion</h4>The CNA events of the SWI/SNF components are a key process linked to oncogenesis, immune infiltration and therapeutic responsiveness across human cancers.
Project description:SWI/SNF is a multi-subunit chromatin remodeling complex that uses the energy of ATP hydrolysis to reposition nucleosomes, thereby modulating gene expression. Accumulating evidence suggests that SWI/SNF functions as a tumor suppressor in some cancers. However, the spectrum of SWI/SNF mutations across human cancers has not been systematically investigated. Here, we mined whole-exome sequencing data from 24 published studies representing 669 cases from 18 neoplastic diagnoses. SWI/SNF mutations were widespread across diverse human cancers, with an excess of deleterious mutations, and an overall frequency approaching TP53 mutation. Mutations occurred most commonly in the SMARCA4 enzymatic subunit, and in subunits thought to confer functional specificity (ARID1A, ARID1B, PBRM1, and ARID2). SWI/SNF mutations were not mutually-exclusive of other mutated cancer genes, including TP53 and EZH2 (both previously linked to SWI/SNF). Our findings implicate SWI/SNF as an important but under-recognized tumor suppressor in diverse human cancers, and provide a key resource to guide future investigations.
Project description:Mutations of subunits of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complexes occur commonly in cancers of different lineages, including advanced thyroid cancers. Here we show that thyroid-specific loss of <i>Arid1a, Arid2</i>, or <i>Smarcb1</i> in mouse BRAF<sup>V600E</sup>-mutant tumors promotes disease progression and decreased survival, associated with lesion-specific effects on chromatin accessibility and differentiation. As compared with normal thyrocytes, BRAF<sup>V600E</sup>-mutant mouse papillary thyroid cancers have decreased lineage transcription factor expression and accessibility to their target DNA binding sites, leading to impairment of thyroid-differentiated gene expression and radioiodine incorporation, which is rescued by MAPK inhibition. Loss of individual SWI/SNF subunits in BRAF tumors leads to a repressive chromatin state that cannot be reversed by MAPK pathway blockade, rendering them insensitive to its redifferentiation effects. Our results show that SWI/SNF complexes are central to the maintenance of differentiated function in thyroid cancers, and their loss confers radioiodine refractoriness and resistance to MAPK inhibitor-based redifferentiation therapies. SIGNIFICANCE: Reprogramming cancer differentiation confers therapeutic benefit in various disease contexts. Oncogenic BRAF silences genes required for radioiodine responsiveness in thyroid cancer. Mutations in SWI/SNF genes result in loss of chromatin accessibility at thyroid lineage specification genes in <i>BRAF</i>-mutant thyroid tumors, rendering them insensitive to the redifferentiation effects of MAPK blockade.<i>This article is highlighted in the In This Issue feature, p. 995</i>.
Project description:SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complexes are pleomorphic multisubunit cellular machines that utilize the energy of ATP hydrolysis to modulate chromatin structure. The complexes interact with transcription factors at promoters and enhancers to modulate gene expression and contribute to lineage specification, differentiation, and development. Initial clues to a role in tumor suppression for SWI/SNF complexes came over a decade ago when the gene encoding the SMARCB1/SNF5 core subunit was found specifically inactivated in nearly all pediatric rhabdoid tumors. In the last three years, cancer-genome sequencing efforts have revealed an unexpectedly high mutation rate of SWI/SNF subunit genes, which are collectively mutated in 20% of all human cancers and approach the frequency of p53 mutations. Here, we provide a background on these newly recognized tumor suppressor complexes, discuss mechanisms implicated in the tumor suppressor activity, and highlight findings that may lead to potential therapeutic targets for SWI/SNF-mutant cancers.