Perturbations to mammalian switch/sucrose non-fermentable (mSWI/SNF) chromatin remodeling complexes have been widely implicated as driving events in cancer 1 . One such perturbation is the dual loss of the SMARCA4 and SMARCA2 ATPase subunits in small cell carcinoma of the ovary, hypercalcemic type (SCCOHT) 2–5 , SMARCA4-deficient thoracic sarcomas 6 and dedifferentiated endometrial carcinomas 7 . However, the consequences of dual ATPase subunit loss on mSWI/SNF complex subunit composition, chromatin targeting, DNA accessibility and gene expression remain unknown. Here we identify an ATPase module of subunits that is required for functional specification of the Brahma-related gene–associated factor (BAF) and polybromo-associated BAF (PBAF) mSWI/SNF family subcomplexes. Using SMARCA4/2 ATPase mutant variants, we define the catalytic activity–dependent and catalytic activity–independent contributions of the ATPase module to the targeting of BAF and PBAF complexes on chromatin genome-wide. Finally, by linking distinct mSWI/SNF complex target sites to tumor-suppressive gene expression programs, we clarify the transcriptional consequences of SMARCA4/2 dual loss in SCCOHT.
ASJC Scopus subject areas