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  • Open Access

SWI/SNF is a tumour suppressor

Genome Biology20001:spotlight-20001222-01

  • Published:


  • Mouse Model
  • Tumour Suppressor
  • Early Childhood
  • Knockout Mouse
  • Cell Mass

The SNF5 protein (also called INI1) is a subunit common to two closely related mammalian SWI/SNF complexes that function as chromatin-remodeling machines. The human gene, hSNF5, is mutated in early childhood malignant rhabdoid tumors (MRT). In the December EMBO Reports, Klochendler-Yeivin et al. describe a mouse model for SNF5 deficiency (EMBO Reports 2000, 1:500-506). Knockout mice embryos lacking a functional SNF5 gene die shortly after implantation. Experiments with blastocytes in culture show that the lack of SNF5 affects outgrowth of the inner cell mass and results in widespread apoptosis. Careful analysis of viable heterozygous SNF5+/- mice revealed cancer susceptibility. A third of these animals developed tumors that shared features of the human MRT disease. The mice provide an interesting model to study the link between chromatin and tumorigenesis.


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  2. Truncating mutations of hSNF5/INI1 in aggressive paediatric cancer.Google Scholar
  3. EMBO Reports, []


© BioMed Central Ltd 2000