Complex alternative splicing of the Smarca2 gene suggests the importance of Smarca2-B variants

Min Yang, Yuan Sun, Ling Ma, Chenguang Wang, Jian Min Wu, Anding Bi, Dezhong J Liao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


BRM is an ATPase component of the SWI/SNF complex that regulates chromatin remodeling and cell proliferation and is considered a tumor suppressor. In this study we characterized transcripts from the Smarca2 gene that encodes the BRM protein. We found that the human Smarca2 gene (hSmarca2), like its mouse counterpart (mSmarca2), also initiated a short transcript from intron 27 of the long transcript. We name the long and short transcripts as Smarca2-a and Smarca2-b, respectively. Like its human counterpart, mSmarca2-a also underwent alternative splicing at the 54-bp exon 29. The hSmarca2-b had two alternative initiation sites and underwent alternative splicing at three different 3′ sites of exon 1 and at exons 2, 3 and/or 5. We identified nine hSmarca2-b mRNA variants that might produce five different proteins. mSmarca2-b also underwent alternative splicing at exon 3 and/or exon 5, besides alternatively retaining part of intron 1 in exon 1. Smarca2-b was expressed more abundantly than Smarca2-a in many cell lines and was more sensitive to serum starvation. Moreover, cyclin D1 also regulated the expression of both Smarca2-a and Smarca2-b in a complex manner. These data suggest that the functions of the Smarca2 gene may be very complex, not just simply inhibiting cell proliferation, and in certain situations may be elicited mainly by expressing the much less known Smarca2-b, not the better studied Smarca2-a and its products BRM proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-400
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011


  • Alternative splicing
  • BRM
  • Cancer
  • Cyclin D1
  • SWI/SNF complex
  • Smarca2
  • Tumor suppressor gene


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