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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Aug 13;110(33):13404-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1305020110. Epub 2013 Jul 30.

Aurora B and Cdk1 mediate Wapl activation and release of acetylated cohesin from chromosomes by phosphorylating Sororin.

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  • 1Research Institute of Molecular Pathology, A-1030 Vienna, Austria.


Sister chromatid cohesion depends on Sororin, a protein that stabilizes acetylated cohesin complexes on DNA by antagonizing the cohesin release factor Wings-apart like protein (Wapl). Cohesion is essential for chromosome biorientation but has to be dissolved to enable sister chromatid separation. To achieve this, the majority of cohesin is removed from chromosome arms in prophase and prometaphase in a manner that depends on Wapl and phosphorylation of cohesin's subunit stromal antigen 2 (SA2), whereas centromeric cohesin is cleaved in metaphase by the protease separase. Here we show that the mitotic kinases Aurora B and Cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (Cdk1) destabilize interactions between Sororin and the cohesin subunit precocious dissociation of sisters protein 5 (Pds5) by phosphorylating Sororin, leading to release of acetylated cohesin from chromosome arms and loss of cohesion. At centromeres, the cohesin protector shugoshin (Sgo1)-protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) antagonizes Aurora B and Cdk1 partly by dephosphorylating Sororin and thus maintains cohesion until metaphase. We propose that the stepwise loss of cohesion between chromosome arms and centromeres is caused by local regulation of Wapl activity, which is controlled by the phosphorylation state of Sororin.


cell cycle; chromosome segregation; prophase pathway

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