BRD9-containing non-canonical BAF complex maintains somatic cell transcriptome and acts as a barrier to human reprogramming.
Sevinç K., Sevinç GG., Cavga AD., Philpott M., Kelekçi S., Can H., Cribbs AP., Yıldız AB., Yılmaz A., Ayar ES., Arabacı DH., Dunford JE., Ata D., Sigua LH., Qi J., Oppermann U., Onder TT.
Epigenetic reprogramming to pluripotency requires extensive remodeling of chromatin landscapes to silence existing cell-type-specific genes and activate pluripotency genes. ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complexes are important regulators of chromatin structure and gene expression; however, the role of recently identified Bromodomain-containing protein 9 (BRD9) and the associated non-canonical BRG1-associated factors (ncBAF) complex in reprogramming remains unknown. Here, we show that genetic or chemical inhibition of BRD9, as well as ncBAF complex subunit GLTSCR1, but not the closely related BRD7, increase human somatic cell reprogramming efficiency and can replace KLF4 and c-MYC. We find that BRD9 is dispensable for human induced pluripotent stem cells under primed but not under naive conditions. Mechanistically, BRD9 inhibition downregulates fibroblast-related genes and decreases chromatin accessibility at somatic enhancers. BRD9 maintains the expression of transcriptional regulators MN1 and ZBTB38, both of which impede reprogramming. Collectively, these results establish BRD9 as an important safeguarding factor for somatic cell identity whose inhibition lowers chromatin-based barriers to reprogramming.