Baf60c is a component of the neural progenitor-specific BAF complex in developing retina



Remodeling of the chromatin network plays an important role regulating embryonic development as well as differentiation. The SWI/SNF complex is an ATP-dependent chromatin-remodeling complex. It consists of several proteins, including an ATPase subunit, either Brg1 or Brm. Two subunits of this complex, Baf53a and Baf45, have been previously identified as being neural progenitor-specific. In this study, we show that Baf60c, another important part of this large complex, acts in a similar neural progenitor–specific manner. We show that during development Baf60c is expressed in neural progenitors in human retinas as well as mouse retina, cortex and spinal cord. Baf60c expression is lost during neural differentiation and its overexpression keeps the progenitors in a proliferative state through its interaction with the Notch pathway. Finally, we show that Baf60c is re-expressed in the Müller glial cells that re-enter the cell cycle after neurotoxic damage. Developmental Dynamics 237:3016–3023, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.