Cohesin Does the Business

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Science  13 Jul 2007:
Vol. 317, Issue 5835, pp. 165i
DOI: 10.1126/science.317.5835.165i

To ensure the sorting of a complete complement of chromosomes to both daughter cells in cell division, sister chromatids are bound together by a ring-shaped molecular complex called cohesin. The accurate repair of double-stranded lesions in DNA also relies on cohesion between homologous regions of sister chromatids. Both these processes are often misregulated in cancer. Cohesion has been thought to require ongoing DNA replication (see the Perspective by Watrin and Peters). Ünal et al. (p. 245) and Ström et al. (p. 242) now show in yeast that double-stranded breaks can induce cohesion in the absence of replication, and that the deposition of cohesin is not limited to the region of the break but extends across the entire genome, and thus may play a role in maintaining genome stability.

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