Molecular and cellular biology

BAF53 forms distinct nuclear complexes and functions as a critical c-Myc-interacting nuclear cofactor for oncogenic transformation.

PMID 11839798


The c-Myc oncoprotein functions as a transcription factor that can transform normal cells into tumor cells, as well as playing a direct role in normal cell proliferation. The c-Myc protein transactivates cellular promoters by recruiting nuclear cofactors to chromosomal sites through an N-terminal transactivation domain. We have previously reported the identification and functional characterization of four different c-Myc cofactors: TRRAP, hGCN5, TIP49, and TIP48. Here we present the identification and characterization of the actin-related protein BAF53 as a c-Myc-interacting nuclear cofactor that forms distinct nuclear complexes. In addition to the human SWI/SNF-related BAF complex, BAF53 forms a complex with TIP49 and TIP48 and a separate biochemically distinct complex containing TRRAP and a histone acetyltransferase which does not contain TIP60. Using deletion mutants of BAF53, we show that BAF53 is critical for c-Myc oncogenic activity. Our results indicate that BAF53 plays a functional role in c-Myc-interacting nuclear complexes.