The retinoblastoma protein and BRG1 form a complex and cooperate to induce cell cycle arrest.
The retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein (RB) binds several cellular proteins involved in cell cycle progression. Using the yeast two-hybrid system, we found that RB bound specifically to the protein BRG1. BRG1 shares extensive sequence similarity to Drosophila brahma, an activator of homeotic gene expression, and the yeast transcriptional activator SNF2/SW12. BRG1 contains an RB-binding motif found in viral oncoproteins and bound to the A/B pocket and the hypophosphorylated form of RB. BRG1 did not bind RB in viral oncoprotein-transformed cells. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments suggested BRG1 associates with the RB family in vivo. In the human carcinoma cell line SW13, BRG1 exhibited tumor suppressor activity by inducing formation of flat, growth-arrested cells. This activity depended on the ability of BRG1 to cooperate and complex with RB, as both an RB-nonbinding mutant of BRG1 and the sequestration of RB by adenovirus E1A protein abolished flat cell formation.