Science, Vol.367, No.6480, 875-+, 2020
Structure of nucleosome-bound human BAF complex
Mammalian SWI/SNF family chromatin remodelers, BRG1/BRM-associated factor (BAF) and polybromoassociated BAF (PBAF), regulate chromatin structure and transcription, and their mutations are linked to cancers. The 3.7-angstrom-resolution cryo-electron microscopy structure of human BAF bound to the nucleosome reveals that the nucleosome is sandwiched by the base and the adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) modules, which are bridged by the actin-related protein (ARP) module. The ATPase motor is positioned proximal to nucleosomal DNA and, upon ATP hydrolysis, engages with and pumps DNA along the nucleosome. The C-terminal alpha helix of SMARCB1, enriched in positively charged residues frequently mutated in cancers, mediates interactions with an acidic patch of the nucleosome. AT-rich interactive domain-containing protein 1A (ARID1A) and the SWI/SNF complex subunit SMARCC serve as a structural core and scaffold in the base module organization, respectively. Our study provides structural insights into subunit organization and nucleosome recognition of human BAF complex.