Transcriptional repression of methylated genes can be mediated by the methyl-CpG binding protein MeCP2. Here we show that human Brahma (Brm), a catalytic component of the SWI/SNF-related chromatin-remodeling complex, associates with MeCP2 in vivo and is functionally linked with repression. We used a number of different molecular approaches and chromatin immunoprecipitation strategies to show a unique cooperation between Brm, BAF57 and MeCP2. We show that Brm and MeCP2 assembly on chromatin occurs on methylated genes in cancer and the gene FMR1 in fragile X syndrome. These experimental findings identify a new role for SWI/SNF in gene repression by MeCP2.
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