The multiprotein human SWI-SNF (hSWI-SNF) complex is a chromatin-remodeling machine that facilitates transcription by overcoming chromatin-mediated gene repression. We had previously shown that hSNF5/INI1, an intrinsic, consistent component of the hSWI/SNF complex, is associated with Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen 2 (EBNA2) and have proposed that EBNA2 directs this complex to key EBNA2-responsive viral and cellular genes. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation and quantitative PCR, we show that antibodies directed against components of the hSWI-SNF complex preferentially precipitate chromatin-associated DNA that contains a targeted EBNA2-responsive element in the context of both episomal and cellular chromatin. This enrichment does not occur in EBNA2-negative cells or when the EBNA2-responsive element is mutated. The stable association of the hSWI-SNF complex with the EBNA2-responsive promoter can also be disrupted by deletion of the TATA element, suggesting that EBNA2 in itself is insufficient to mediate stable targeting of the hSWI-SNF complex. These results demonstrate that recruitment of the hSWI-SNF complex to selected promoters can occur in vivo through its interaction with site-specific activator proteins and that stable targeting may require the presence of basal transcription factors
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