BRG1: Promoter or Suppressor of Cancer? The Outcome of BRG1’s Interaction with Specific Cellular Pathways

Aaron Shaykevich, Isaac Silverman, Gargi Bandyopadhyaya, Radhashree Maitra

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


BRG1 is one of two catalytic subunits of the SWI/SNF ATP-dependent chromatin-remodeling complex. In cancer, it has been hypothesized that BRG1 acts as a tumor suppressor. Further study has shown that, under certain circumstances, BRG1 acts as an oncogene. Targeted knockout of BRG1 has proven successful in most cancers in suppressing tumor growth and proliferation. Furthermore, BRG1 effects cancer proliferation in oncogenic KRAS mutated cancers, with varying directionality. Thus, dissecting BRG1’s interaction with various cellular pathways can highlight possible intermediates that can facilitate the design of different treatment methods, including BRG1 inhibition. Autophagy and apoptosis are two important cellular responses to stress. BRG1 plays a direct role in autophagy and apoptosis and likely promotes autophagy and suppresses apoptosis, supporting unfettered cancer growth. PRMT5 inhibits transcription by interacting with ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complexes, such as SWI/SNF. When PRMT5 associates with the SWI/SNF complex, including BRG1, it represses tumor suppressor genes. The Ras/Raf/MAPK/ERK1/2 pathway in cancers is a signal transduction pathway involved in the transcription of genes related to cancer survival. BRG1 has been shown to effect KRAS-driven cancer growth. BRG1 associates with several proteins within the signal transduction pathway. In this review, we analyze BRG1 as a promising target for cancer inhibition and possible synergy with other cancer treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2869
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • BRG1
  • ERK
  • KRAS
  • PRMT5
  • apoptosis
  • autophagy
  • cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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