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Nature. 2002 May 9;417(6885):197-202.

Cnd2 has dual roles in mitotic condensation and interphase.

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Graduate School of Biostatistics, Department of Gene Mechanisms, Kyoto University, Japan.


Chromosome condensation requires condensin, which comprises five subunits. Two of these subunits--both being structural maintenance of chromosome (SMC) proteins-are coiled-coils with globular terminal domains that interact with ATP and DNA. The remaining three, non-SMC subunits also have essential, albeit undefined, roles in condensation. Here we report that Cnd2 (ref. 6), a non-SMC subunit of fission yeast similar to Drosophila Barren and the budding yeast protein Brn1 (refs 8, 9), is required for both interphase and mitotic condensation. In cnd2-1 mutants, ultraviolet-induced DNA damage is not repaired, and cells arrested by hydroxyurea do not recover. A definitive defect of interphase is abolishment of Cds1 (a checkpoint kinase) activation in the presence of hydroxyurea in both cnd2-1 mutant cells and in cells where other condensin subunits have been genetically disrupted. In the absence of hydroxyurea, a G2 checkpoint delay occurred in cnd2-1 mutants in a manner dependent on Cds1 and ATM-like Rad3, but not Chk1 (refs 10-13), before the mitotic condensation defect. Furthermore, cnd2-1 was synthetic-lethal with mutations of excision repair, RecQ helicase and DNA replication enzymes. These interphase and mitotic defects provide insight into the mechanistic role of non-SMC subunits that interact with the globular SMC domains in the heteropentameric holocomplex.

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