Public Release: 

SWI/SNF and erythropoiesis

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

A research team headed by Dr. Scott Bultman (University of North Carolina) has identified an essential role for the mammalian SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex in red blood cell formation. The authors generated a partial loss-of-function mutations in the ATPase domain of the SWI/SNF catalytic subunit, Brg1, effectively uncoupling its ATPase and chromatin remodeling activities.

Brg1-mutant mice die at mid-gestation due to defective erythropoiesis. Commenting on the relevance to human disease, the authors pointed out that "although much is known about the biochemistry of SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complexes, not as much is known about their role in development and physiology.

This Brg1 mutation is significant because it reveals a role for these complexes in beta-globin regulation and erythropoiesis and may provide insight into common ailments such as beta thalassemia and anemia."

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