A Molecular Determinant for the Establishment of Sister Chromatid Cohesion

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Science  25 Jul 2008:
Vol. 321, Issue 5888, pp. 566-569
DOI: 10.1126/science.1157880

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Chromosome segregation, transcriptional regulation, and repair of DNA double-strand breaks require the cohesin protein complex. Cohesin holds the replicated chromosomes (sister chromatids) together to mediate sister chromatid cohesion. The mechanism of how cohesion is established is unknown. We found that in budding yeast, the head domain of the Smc3p subunit of cohesin is acetylated by the Eco1p acetyltransferase at two evolutionarily conserved residues, promoting the chromatin-bound cohesin to tether sister chromatids. Smc3p acetylation is induced in S phase after the chromatin loading of cohesin and is suppressed in G1 and G2/M. Smc3 head acetylation and its cell cycle regulation provide important insights into the biology and mechanism of cohesion establishment.

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