Purification and biochemical heterogeneity of the mammalian SWI-SNF complex

Weidong Wang, Jacques Côté, Yutong Xue, Sharleen Zhou, Paul A. Khavari, Stephen R. Biggar, Christian Muchardt, Ganjam V. Kalpana, Stephen P. Goff, Moshe Yaniv, Jerry L. Workman, Gerald R. Crabtree

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

700 Scopus citations


We have purified distinct complexes of nine to 12 proteins [referred to as BRG1-associated factors (BAFs)l from several mammalian cell lines using an antibody to the SWI2-SNF2 homolog BRG1. Microsequencing revealed that the 47 kDa BAF is identical to INI1. Previously INI1 has been shown to interact with and activate human immunodeficiency virus integrase and to be homologous to the yeast SNF5 gene. A group of BAF47-associated proteins were affinity purified with antibodies against INI1/BAF47 and were found to be identical to those co-purified with BRG1, strongly indicating that this group of proteins associates tightly and is likely to be the mammalian equivalent of the yeast SWI-SNF complex. Complexes containing BRG1 can disrupt nucleosomes and facilitate the binding of GAL4-VP16 to a nucleosomal template similar to the yeast SWI-SNF complex. Purification of the complex from several cell lines demonstrates that it is heterogeneous with respect to subunit composition. The two SWI-SNP2 homologs, BRG1 and hbrm, were found in separate complexes. Certain cell lines completely lack BRG1 and hbrm, indicating that they are not essential for cell viability and that the mammalian SWI-SNF complex may be tailored to the needs of a differentiated cell type.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5370-5382
Number of pages13
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 1 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • BRG1
  • INI1
  • SNF
  • SWI
  • hbrm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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