Chromatin organization plays a key role in the regulation of gene expression. The evolutionarily conserved SWI/SNF complex is one of several multiprotein complexes that activate transcription by remodelling chromatin in an ATP-dependent manner. SWI2/SNF2 is an ATPase whose homologues, BRG1 and hBRM, mediate cell-cycle arrest; the SNF5 homologue, INI1/hSNF5, appears to be a turnout suppressor. A search for INI1-interacting proteins using the two-hybrid system led to the isolation of c-MYC, a transactivator. The c- MYC-INI1 interaction was observed both in vitro and in vivo. The c-MYC basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) and leucine zipper (Zip) domains and the INI1 repeat 1 (Rpt1) region were required for this interaction, c-MYC-mediated transactivation was inhibited by a deletion fragment of INI1 and the ATPase mutant of BRG1/hSNF2 in a dominant-negative manner contingent upon the presence of the c-MYC bHLH-Zip domain. Our results suggest that the SWI/SNF complex is necessary for c-MYC-mediated transactivation and that the c-MYC- INI1 interaction helps recruit the complex.
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