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EMBO J. 1996 Mar 15;15(6):1451-9.

Identification of ORD, a Drosophila protein essential for sister chromatid cohesion.

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  • 1Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, 02142, USA.


Attachment between the sister chromatids is required for proper chromosome segregation in meiosis and mitosis, but its molecular basis is not understood. Mutations in the Drosophila ord gene result in premature sister chromatid separation in meiosis, indicating that the product of this gene is necessary for sister chromatid cohesion. We isolated the ord gene and found that it encodes a novel 55 kDa protein. Some of the ord mutations exhibit unusual complementation properties, termed negative complementation, in which particular alleles poison the activity of another allele. Negative complementation predicts that protein-protein interactions are critical for ORD function. The position and nature of these unusual ord mutations demonstrate that the C-terminal half of ORD is essential for sister chromatid cohesion and suggest that it mediates protein binding.

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