SMARCB1 loss interacts with neuronal differentiation state to block maturation and impact cell stability

Alison D. Parisian, Tomoyuki Koga, Shunichiro Miki, Pascal D. Johann, Marcel Kool, John R. Crawford, Frank B. Furnari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors (ATRTs) are challenging pediatric brain cancers that are predominantly associated with inactivation of the gene SMARCB1, a conserved subunit of the chromatin remodeling BAF complex, which has known contributions to developmental processes. To identify potential interactions between SMARCB1 loss and the process of neural development, we introduced an inducible SMARCB1 loss-of-function system into human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) that were subjected to either directed neuronal differentiation or differentiation into cerebral organoids. Using this system, we identified substantial differences in the downstream effects of SMARCB1 loss depending on differentiation state and identified an interaction between SMARCB1 loss and neural differentiation pressure that causes a resistance to terminal differentiation and a defect in maintenance of a normal cell state. Our results provide insight into how SMARCB1 loss might interact with neural development in the process of ATRT tumorigenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1316-1329
Number of pages14
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number19-20
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • ATRT
  • BAF complex
  • IPSC
  • Neural development
  • Organoid
  • Tumor modeling

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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