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Genetics. 2004 Jan;166(1):33-42.

Chl1p, a DNA helicase-like protein in budding yeast, functions in sister-chromatid cohesion.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015, USA.


From the time of DNA replication until anaphase onset, sister chromatids remain tightly paired along their length. Ctf7p/Eco1p is essential to establish sister-chromatid pairing during S-phase and associates with DNA replication components. DNA helicases precede the DNA replication fork and thus will first encounter chromatin sites destined for cohesion. In this study, I provide the first evidence that a DNA helicase is required for proper sister-chromatid cohesion. Characterizations of chl1 mutant cells reveal that CHL1 interacts genetically with both CTF7/ECO1 and CTF18/CHL12, two genes that function in sister-chromatid cohesion. Consistent with genetic interactions, Chl1p physically associates with Ctf7p/Eco1p both in vivo and in vitro. Finally, a functional assay reveals that Chl1p is critical for sister-chromatid cohesion. Within the budding yeast genome, Chl1p exhibits the highest degree of sequence similarity to human CHL1 isoforms and BACH1. Previous studies revealed that human CHLR1 exhibits DNA helicase-like activities and that BACH1 is a helicase-like protein that associates with the tumor suppressor BRCA1 to maintain genome integrity. Our findings document a novel role for Chl1p in sister-chromatid cohesion and provide new insights into the possible mechanisms through which DNA helicases may contribute to cancer progression when mutated.

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