Brm Inhibits the Proliferative Response of Keratinocytes and Corneal Epithelial Cells to Ultraviolet Radiation-Induced Damage Academic Article uri icon


  • Ultraviolet radiation (UV) from sunlight is the primary cause of skin and ocular neoplasia. Brahma (BRM) is part of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex. It provides energy for rearrangement of chromatin structure. Previously we have found that human skin tumours have a hotspot mutation in BRM and that protein levels are substantially reduced. Brm-/- mice have enhanced susceptibility to photocarcinogenesis. In these experiments, Brm-/- mice, with both or a single Trp53 allele were exposed to UV for 2 or 25 weeks. In wild type mice the central cornea and stroma became atrophic with increasing time of exposure while the peripheral regions became hyperplastic, presumably as a reparative process. Brm-/-, Trp53+/-, and particularly the Brm-/- Trp53+/- mice had an exaggerated hyperplastic regeneration response in the corneal epithelium and stroma so that the central epithelial atrophy or stromal loss was reduced. UV induced hyperplasia of the epidermis and corneal epithelium, with an increase in the number of dividing cells as determined by Ki-67 expression. This response was considerably greater in both the Brm-/- Trp53+/+ and Brm-/- Trp53+/- mice indicating that Brm protects from UV-induced enhancement of cell division, even with loss of one Trp53 allele. Cell division was disorganized in Brm-/- mice. Rather than being restricted to the basement membrane region, dividing cells were also present in the suprabasal regions of both tissues. Brm appears to be a tumour suppressor gene that protects from skin and ocular photocarcinogenesis. These studies indicate that Brm protects from UV-induced hyperplastic growth in both cutaneous and corneal keratinocytes, which may contribute to the ability of Brm to protect from photocarcinogenesis.


  • Hassan, Nur Mohammad Monsur
  • Painter, Nicole
  • Howlett, C Rolfe
  • Farrell, Andrew W
  • Di Girolamo, Nick
  • Lyons, J Guy
  • Halliday, Gary M

publication date

  • 2014