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Mol Biol Cell. 2001 Nov;12(11):3527-37.

Cell cycle-dependent expression and nucleolar localization of hCAP-H.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Condensin is a conserved 13S heteropentamer composed of two nonidentical structural maintenance of chromosome (SMC) family proteins, in Xenopus XCAP-C and XCAP-E, and three regulatory subunits, XCAP-D2, XCAP-G, and XCAP-H. Both biochemical and genetic analyses have demonstrated an essential role for the 13S condensin complex in mitotic chromosome condensation. Further, a potential requirement for condensin in completion of chromatid arm separation in early anaphase is demonstrated by the mutational phenotypes of the Drosophila homologues of XCAP-H, barren and XCAP-C, DmSMC4. In this study we have investigated the expression and subcellular distribution of hCAP-H, the human homolog of XCAP-H, in order to better understand its cellular functions. Transcription of hCAP-H was restricted to proliferating cells with highest expression during the G(2) phase of the cell cycle. In contrast, cellular hCAP-H protein levels were constant throughout the cell cycle. hCAP-H was found to be associated with mitotic chromosomes exhibiting a nonuniform but symmetric distribution along sister chromatids. The symmetry of hCAP-H association with sister chromatids suggests that there are sequence-dependent domains of condensin aggregation. During interphase hCAP-H, -C, and -E, have distinct punctate nucleolar localization, suggesting that condensin may associate with and modulate the conformation and function of rDNA. hCAP-H association with condensed chromatin was not observed in the early phase of chromosome condensation when histone H3 phosphorylation has already taken place. This finding is consistent with the hypothesis that histone H3 phosphorylation precedes condensin-mediated condensation.

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