SMARCA4 biology in alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma

Narendra Bharathy, Megan M. Cleary, Jin-Ah Kim, Kiyo Nagamori, Kenneth A. Crawford, Eric Wang, Debarya Saha, Teagan P. Settelmeyer, Reshma Purohit, Damianos Skopelitis, Kenneth Chang, Jessica A. Doran, C. Ward Kirschbaum, Suriya Bharathy, Davis W. Crews, Matthew E. Randolph, Anthony N. Karnezis, Lisa Hudson-Price, Jyotsna Dhawan, Joel E. MichalekAlessio Ciulli (Lead / Corresponding author), Christopher R. Vakoc, Charles Keller (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
130 Downloads (Pure)


Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most common soft tissue sarcoma in children and phenocopies a muscle precursor that fails to undergo terminal differentiation. The alveolar subtype (ARMS) has the poorest prognosis and represents the greatest unmet medical need for RMS. Emerging evidence supports the role of epigenetic dysregulation in RMS. Here we show that SMARCA4/BRG1, an ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling enzyme of the SWI/SNF complex, is prominently expressed in primary tumors from ARMS patients and cell cultures. Our validation studies for a CRISPR screen of 400 epigenetic targets identified SMARCA4 as a unique factor for long-term (but not short-term) tumor cell survival in ARMS. A SMARCA4/SMARCA2 protein degrader (ACBI-1) demonstrated similar long-term tumor cell dependence in vitro and in vivo. These results credential SMARCA4 as a tumor cell dependency factor and a therapeutic target in ARMS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1647-1656
Number of pages10
Early online date29 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2022


  • Paediatric cancer
  • Proteomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research


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