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Sci Rep. 2017 Nov 6.

The SWI/SNF subunit Bcl7a contributes to motor coordination and Purkinje cell function.

Wischhof L, Maida S, Piazzesi A, Gioran A, Barragan Sanz K, Irsen S, Beyer M, Schultze JL, Dyer MJ, Salomoni P, Ehninger D, Nicotera P, Bano D

Chromatin remodelers have emerged as prominent regulators of epigenetic processes and potential drivers of various human pathologies. The multi-subunit chromatin-remodeling SWI/SNF complex determines gene expression programs and, consequently, contributes to the differentiation, maturation and plasticity of neurons. Here, we investigate the elusive biological function of Bcl7a and Bcl7b, two newly identified subunits of the SWI/SNF complex that are highly expressed throughout the brain. We generated ubiquitous and neuron-specific Bcl7a and Bcl7b single and double knockout mice. We provide evidence that Bcl7b is dispensable for animal survival as well as behavioral plasticity. Conversely, ubiquitous Bcl7a knockout results in perinatal lethality, while genetic deletion of Bcl7a in postmitotic neurons elicits motor abnormalities and affects dendritic branching of Purkinje cells, with no obvious synergistic relationship with Bcl7b. Collectively, our findings reveal novel insights into the cellular processes linked to BCL7-containing SWI/SNF complexes and their unrecognized roles in the brain.

PMID: 29213114