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Nucleic Acids Res. 2009 Oct;37(18):6126-34. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkp656. Epub 2009 Aug 19.

The zinc finger of Eco1 enhances its acetyltransferase activity during sister chromatid cohesion.

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  • 1Department of Embryology, Carnegie Institution, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA.

Abstract

Eco1p/Ctf7p is an essential acetyltransferase required for the establishment of sister chromatid cohesion. Eco1p acetylates Smc3p and Mcd1p (Scc1p or Rad21p) to establish cohesion during S phase and in response to DNA damage, respectively. In addition to its acetyltransferase domain, Eco1p harbors a conserved zinc finger domain. The zinc finger has been implicated in the establishment of sister chromatid cohesion in S phase, yet its function on the molecular level and its contribution to damage-induced cohesion are unknown. Here, we show that the zinc finger is essential for the establishment of cohesion in both S phase and in response to DNA damage. Our results suggest that the zinc finger augments the acetylation of Eco1p itself, Smc3p and likely Mcd1p. We propose that the zinc finger is a general enhancer of substrate recognition, thereby enhances the ability of Eco1p to acetylate its substrates above a threshold needed to generate cohesion during DNA replication and repair. Finally our studies of the zinc finger led to the discovery that Eco1 is a multimer, a property that could be exploited to coordinate acetylation of substrates either spatially or temporally for establishment of sister chromatid cohesion.

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