SMARCA nomenclature

History

SMARC is an acronym for "SWI/SNF-related, Matrix-associated, Actin-dependent Regulator Chromatin" and was coined around 1998 in reference to Brg1-associated factors, although those have continued to be known as BAFs. The first publication using this nomenclature appears to be Ring et al, 1998.

As group A of SMARC proteins, the SMARCA nomenclature was used with an appended number to refer to the expanding set of human Snf2 family members. Numbers were assigned in historical order and are not linked to subfamily inter-relationships.

The derivative names SMARCAL1 ('SMARCA-Like 1') and SMARCAD1 ('SMARCA Dead box 1') have also additionally been arbitrarily coined.

Human SMARCA genes

The SMARCA nomenclature was taken up by the HGNC as the official naming for many of the human Snf2 family members. In the list below the current official HGNC names are highlighted (note SMARCA6 was officially renamed to HELLS).

subfamily aliases
SMARCA1 Iswi SNF2L; SNF2L1; SNF2LB
SMARCA2 Snf2 hBRM; BAF190; SNF2L2; SNF2LA; hSNF2a
SMARCA3 Rad5/16 HLTF; ZBU1; HIP116; SNF2L3, P113
SMARCA4 Snf2 BRG1; BAF190; SNF2L4; SNF2LB; hSNF2b
SMARCA5 Iswi SNF2H; hSNF2H; WCRF135
SMARCA6 Lsh HELLS; LSH; PASG
SMARCAD1 Etl1 Swr1-like
SMARCAL1 SMARCAL1 distant

Explanation obtained from HGNC

"The nomenclature of the SMARC family was approved by the HGNC in 1998, following consultation with Drs Francke, Crabtree, Nelson, Rosenthal, Jones, Evans and Kato. SMARC was considered to be the best compromise that also encompassed the majority of relevant information in the gene name (SWI/SNF related, matrix associated, actin dependent regulator of chromatin). The sub-family groupings are based on the presence of the following predicted domains:"

SMARCA SNF2_N, Helicase_C
SMARCB SNF5
SMARCC SWIRM, Myb_DNA-binding
SMARCD SWIB
SMARCE HMG_box