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Mol Cell Biol. 2003 Apr;23(8):2999-3007.

Mechanical link between cohesion establishment and DNA replication: Ctf7p/Eco1p, a cohesion establishment factor, associates with three different replication factor C complexes.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015, USA.


CTF7/ECO1 is an essential yeast gene required for the establishment of sister chromatid cohesion. The findings that CTF7/ECO1, POL30 (PCNA), and CHL12/CTF18 (a replication factor C [RFC] homolog) genetically interact provided the first evidence that the processes of cohesion establishment and DNA replication are intimately coupled-a link now confirmed by other studies. To date, however, it is unknown how Ctf7p/Eco1p function is coupled to DNA replication or whether Ctf7p/Eco1p physically associates with any components of the DNA replication machinery. Here, we report that Ctf7p/Eco1p associates with proteins that perform partially redundant functions in DNA replication. Chl12p/Ctf18p combines with Rfc2p to Rfc5p to form one of three independent RFC complexes. By chromatographic methods, Ctf7p/Eco1p was found to associate with Chl12/Ctf18p and with Rfc2p, Rfc3p, Rfc4p, and Rfc5p. The association between Ctf7p/Eco1p and this RFC complex is biologically relevant in that (i) Ctf7p/Eco1p cosediments with Chl12p/Ctf18p in vivo and (ii) rfc5-1 mutant cells exhibit precocious sister separation. Previous studies revealed that Rfc1p or Rad24p associates with Rfc2p to Rfc5p to form two other RFC complexes independent of Ctf18p-RFC complexes. These Rfc1p-RFC and Rad24p-RFC complexes function in DNA replication or repair and DNA damage checkpoint pathways. Importantly, Ctf7p/Eco1p also associates with Rfc1p and Rad24p, suggesting that these RFC complexes also play critical roles in cohesion establishment. The associations between Ctf7p/Eco1p and RFC subunits provide novel evidence regarding the physical linkage between cohesion establishment and DNA replication. Furthermore, the association of Ctf7p/Eco1p with each of three RFC complexes supplies new insights into the functional redundancy of RFC complexes in cohesion establishment.

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