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      Mammalian SWI/SNF complexes in cancer: emerging therapeutic opportunities

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      Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
      Elsevier BV

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          Abstract

          <p class="first" id="P1">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. </p>

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          Most cited references66

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          The biology of chromatin remodeling complexes.

          The packaging of chromosomal DNA by nucleosomes condenses and organizes the genome, but occludes many regulatory DNA elements. However, this constraint also allows nucleosomes and other chromatin components to actively participate in the regulation of transcription, chromosome segregation, DNA replication, and DNA repair. To enable dynamic access to packaged DNA and to tailor nucleosome composition in chromosomal regions, cells have evolved a set of specialized chromatin remodeling complexes (remodelers). Remodelers use the energy of ATP hydrolysis to move, destabilize, eject, or restructure nucleosomes. Here, we address many aspects of remodeler biology: their targeting, mechanism, regulation, shared and unique properties, and specialization for particular biological processes. We also address roles for remodelers in development, cancer, and human syndromes.
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            Protacs: chimeric molecules that target proteins to the Skp1-Cullin-F box complex for ubiquitination and degradation.

            The intracellular levels of many proteins are regulated by ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis. One of the best-characterized enzymes that catalyzes the attachment of ubiquitin to proteins is a ubiquitin ligase complex, Skp1-Cullin-F box complex containing Hrt1 (SCF). We sought to artificially target a protein to the SCF complex for ubiquitination and degradation. To this end, we tested methionine aminopeptidase-2 (MetAP-2), which covalently binds the angiogenesis inhibitor ovalicin. A chimeric compound, protein-targeting chimeric molecule 1 (Protac-1), was synthesized to recruit MetAP-2 to SCF. One domain of Protac-1 contains the I kappa B alpha phosphopeptide that is recognized by the F-box protein beta-TRCP, whereas the other domain is composed of ovalicin. We show that MetAP-2 can be tethered to SCF(beta-TRCP), ubiquitinated, and degraded in a Protac-1-dependent manner. In the future, this approach may be useful for conditional inactivation of proteins, and for targeting disease-causing proteins for destruction.
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              Targeting EZH2 in cancer.

              Recent genomic studies have resulted in an emerging understanding of the role of chromatin regulators in the development of cancer. EZH2, a histone methyl transferase subunit of a Polycomb repressor complex, is recurrently mutated in several forms of cancer and is highly expressed in numerous others. Notably, both gain-of-function and loss-of-function mutations occur in cancers but are associated with distinct cancer types. Here we review the spectrum of EZH2-associated mutations, discuss the mechanisms underlying EZH2 function, and synthesize a unifying perspective that the promotion of cancer arises from disruption of the role of EZH2 as a master regulator of transcription. We further discuss EZH2 inhibitors that are now showing early signs of promise in clinical trials and also additional strategies to combat roles of EZH2 in cancer.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
                Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
                Elsevier BV
                0959437X
                February 2017
                February 2017
                : 42
                :
                : 56-67
                Article
                10.1016/j.gde.2017.02.004
                5777332
                28391084
                5ffa2cfe-8bcd-491c-a7c8-2956c768d3b7
                © 2017
                History

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