Recently, several chromatin remodeling complexes in yeast, Drosophila, and mammals have been shown to contain actin and actin-related proteins (arps). However, the function of actin in these complexes is unclear. Here, we show that the mammalian SWI/SNF-like BAF complex binds to phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) micelles and PIP2-containing mixed lipid vesicles, and that PIP2 binding allows the complex to associate with actin pointed ends and branch points. Actin binds to at least two distinct domains in the C terminus of the Brg1 protein, and interaction with only one of these domains is sensitive to PIP2. Based on these findings, we propose a model for PIP2 activation of actin binding by relief of intramolecular capping of actin by Brg1
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