Unwinding chromatin at the right places: How BAF is targeted to specific genomic locations during development

Patric J. Ho, Sarah M. Lloyd, Xiaomin Bao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The BAF (SWI/SNF) chromatin remodeling complex plays a crucial role in modulating spatiotemporal gene expression during mammalian development. Although its remodeling activity was characterized in vitro decades ago, the complex actions of BAF in vivo have only recently begun to be unraveled. In living cells, BAF only binds to and remodels a subset of genomic locations. This selectivity of BAF genomic targeting is crucial for cell-type specification and for mediating precise responses to environmental signals. Here, we provide an overview of the distinct molecular mechanisms modulating BAF chromatin binding, including its combinatory assemblies, DNA/histone modification-binding modules and post-translational modifications, as well as its interactions with proteins, RNA and lipids. This Review aims to serve as a primer for future studies to decode the actions of BAF in developmental processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberdev178780
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge)
Volume146
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

Keywords

  • BAF
  • Chromatin
  • DNA
  • Histone
  • RNA
  • SWI/SNF
  • Transcription factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology

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