Reduced protein expression of the BAF complex (also known as SWI/SNF) tumor suppressor SMARCB1 is frequently observed in human synovial sarcoma, a soft-tissue malignancy driven by the oncogenic SS18–SSX fusion, which competes with wild-type SS18 for BAF complex incorporation. In this issue of Cancer Discovery, Li and Mulvihill reveal that low-expressed SMARCB1 has a functional role in synovial sarcomagenesis in mouse models expressing the SS18–SSX2 fusion and present evidence that SMARCB1 reduction in synovial sarcoma is due to wholesale degradation of canonical BAF complexes.

See related article by Li et al., p. 2620.

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