The SWI/SNF complex is a critical regulator of pluripotency in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), and individual subunits have varied and specific roles during development and in diseases. The core subunit SMARCB1 is required for early embryonic survival, and mutations can give rise to atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (AT/RTs) in the pediatric central nervous system. We report that in contrast to other studied systems, SMARCB1 represses bivalent genes in hESCs and antagonizes chromatin accessibility at super-enhancers. Moreover, and consistent with its established role as a CNS tumor suppressor, we find that SMARCB1 is essential for neural induction but dispensable for mesodermal or endodermal differentiation. Mechanistically, we demonstrate that SMARCB1 is essential for hESC super-enhancer silencing in neural differentiation conditions. This genomic assessment of hESC chromatin regulation by SMARCB1 reveals a novel positive regulatory function at super-enhancers and a unique lineage-specific role in regulating hESC differentiation.
- Trevor K Archer
- Lee F Langer
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Michael R Green, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Massachusetts Medical School, United States
- Received: January 31, 2019
- Accepted: April 29, 2019
- Accepted Manuscript published: April 29, 2019 (version 1)
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