Cohesin jigsaw begins to fit

May 19, 2009

The essential chromosomal protein complex cohesin has crucial roles in sister chromatid cohesion, DNA repair and transcriptional regulation. Despite its conserved function, cohesin's disparate association patterns in different organisms did not quite add up. New research published in the open access journal Genome Biology works towards completing the cohesin puzzle, reconciling some of these differences.

Christine Schmidt, Neil Brookes and Frank Uhlmann working together at the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute, performed high-resolution analysis of cohesin binding patterns along fission yeast chromosomes.

The authors' findings suggest that features thought to differentiate cohesin between organisms actually collectively define the overall behaviour of fission yeast cohesin. In fact cohesin's mechanisms of action might be much more similar between organisms than previously thought.

Earlier studies investigated cohesin's chromosomal binding sites in different model organisms, including Drosophila and budding yeast. Despite its conserved function in DNA repair and mitosis, no common rule had emerged that defined these sites.

"Our findings suggest that features that were thought to differentiate cohesin behaviour between organisms collectively define the overall behaviour of fission yeast cohesin", writes Uhlmann. "Apparent differences between organisms could reflect an emphasis on different aspects, rather than different principles, of cohesin behaviour."

Cohesin complexes have a central role in cell division, mediating the association between sister chromosomes. Cohesin forms large proteinaceous rings, and is thought to bind to and holds sister chromatids together in a topological embrace.

More information: Conserved features of cohesin binding along fission yeast chromosomes, Christine K Schmidt, Neil Brookes and Frank Uhlmann, Genome Biology (in press), genomebiology.com/

Source: BioMed Central (news : web)

Explore further: Two-armed control of ATR, a master regulator of the DNA damage checkpoint

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers run rings round cell division

Jul 03, 2008

A puzzle in the control of cell division, one of the most fundamental processes in all biology, has been unravelled by Oxford University researchers.

Chromosome glue repairs damaged DNA

Jul 13, 2007

When a strand of DNA breaks in the body's cells, it normally does not take long until it has been repaired. Now researchers at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet have discovered a new mechanism that helps ...

Molecular glue with new effect

Jan 31, 2008

Ten years ago, researchers at the IMP - a basic research institute in Vienna - discovered a fundamental and amazingly plausible mechanism of cell division. They identified a protein complex, which, as a ring-shaped molecule, ...

Recommended for you

Japanese scientist resigns over stem cell scandal

Dec 19, 2014

A researcher embroiled in a fabrication scandal that has rocked Japan's scientific establishment said Friday she would resign after failing to reproduce results of what was once billed as a ground-breaking study on ...

'Hairclip' protein mechanism explained

Dec 18, 2014

Research led by the Teichmann group on the Wellcome Genome Campus has identified a fundamental mechanism for controlling protein function. Published in the journal Science, the discovery has wide-ranging implications for bi ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.