Structural insights into the evolutionarily conserved BAF chromatin remodeling complex

Ryan D. Marcum, Alexis A. Reyes, Yuan He*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The switch/sucrose nonfermentable (SWI/SNF) family of proteins acts to regulate chromatin accessibility and plays an essential role in multiple cellular processes. A high frequency of mutations has been found in SWI/SNF family subunits by exome sequencing in human cancer, and multiple studies support its role in tumor suppression. Recent structural studies of yeast SWI/SNF and its human homolog, BAF (BRG1/BRM associated factor), have provided a model for their complex assembly and their interaction with nucleosomal substrates, revealing the molecular function of individual subunits as well as the potential impact of cancer‐associated mutations on the remodeling function. Here we review the structural conservation between yeast SWI/SNF and BAF and examine the role of highly mutated subunits within the BAF complex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number146
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • BAF complex
  • Cancer
  • Chromatin remodeling
  • Cryo‐EM
  • SWI/SNF complex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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