Convergent structural alterations define SWItch/Sucrose NonFermentable (SWI/SNF) chromatin remodeler as a central tumor suppressive complex in pancreatic cancer Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms
  • Transcription Factors


  • Defining the molecular genetic alterations underlying pancreatic cancer may provide unique therapeutic insight for this deadly disease. Toward this goal, we report here an integrative DNA microarray and sequencing-based analysis of pancreatic cancer genomes. Notable among the alterations newly identified, genomic deletions, mutations, and rearrangements recurrently targeted genes encoding components of the SWItch/Sucrose NonFermentable (SWI/SNF) chromatin remodeling complex, including all three putative DNA binding subunits (ARID1A, ARID1B, and PBRM1) and both enzymatic subunits (SMARCA2 and SMARCA4). Whereas alterations of each individual SWI/SNF subunit occurred at modest-frequency, as mutational "hills" in the genomic landscape, together they affected at least one-third of all pancreatic cancers, defining SWI/SNF as a major mutational "mountain." Consistent with a tumor-suppressive role, re-expression of SMARCA4 in SMARCA4-deficient pancreatic cancer cell lines reduced cell growth and promoted senescence, whereas its overexpression in a SWI/SNF-intact line had no such effect. In addition, expression profiling analyses revealed that SWI/SNF likely antagonizes Polycomb repressive complex 2, implicating this as one possible mechanism of tumor suppression. Our findings reveal SWI/SNF to be a central tumor suppressive complex in pancreatic cancer.

publication date

  • January 31, 2012



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC3277150

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.1114817109

PubMed ID

  • 22233809

Additional Document Info

start page

  • E252

end page

  • 9


  • 109


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