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    Reduced protein levels of SMARCB1 (also known as BAF47, INI1, SNF5) have long been observed in synovial sarcoma. Here, we show that combined Smarcb1 genetic loss with SS18-SSX expression in mice synergized to produce aggressive tumors with histomorphology, transcriptomes, and genome-wide BAF-family complex distributions distinct from SS18-SSX alone, indicating a defining role for SMARCB1 in synovial sarcoma. Smarcb1 silencing alone in mesenchyme modeled epithelioid sarcomagenesis. In mouse and human synovial sarcoma cells, SMARCB1 was identified within PBAF and canonical BAF (CBAF) complexes, coincorporated with SS18-SSX in the latter. Recombinant expression of CBAF components in human cells reconstituted CBAF subcomplexes that contained equal levels of SMARCB1 regardless of SS18 or SS18-SSX inclusion. In vivo, SS18-SSX expression led to whole-complex CBAF degradation, rendering increases in the relative prevalence of other BAF-family subtypes, PBAF and GBAF complexes, over time. Thus, SS18-SSX alters BAF subtypes levels/balance and genome distribution, driving synovial sarcomagenesis. SIGNIFICANCE: The protein level of BAF component SMARCB1 is reduced in synovial sarcoma but plays a defining role, incorporating into PBAF and SS18-SSX-containing canonical BAF complexes. Reduced levels of SMARCB1 derive from whole-complex degradation of canonical BAF driven by SS18-SSX, with relative increases in the abundance of other BAF-family subtypes.See related commentary by Maxwell and Hargreaves, p. 2375.This article is highlighted in the In This Issue feature, p. 2355. ©2021 The Authors; Published by the American Association for Cancer Research.


    Jinxiu Li, Timothy S Mulvihill, Li Li, Jared J Barrott, Mary L Nelson, Lena Wagner, Ian C Lock, Amir Pozner, Sydney Lynn Lambert, Benjamin B Ozenberger, Michael B Ward, Allie H Grossmann, Ting Liu, Ana Banito, Bradley R Cairns, Kevin B Jones. A Role for SMARCB1 in Synovial Sarcomagenesis Reveals That SS18-SSX Induces Canonical BAF Destruction. Cancer discovery. 2021 Oct;11(10):2620-2637

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    PMID: 34078620

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