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Mol Cell. 2008 Jul 11;31(1):47-56. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2008.06.005.

The kleisin subunit of cohesin dictates damage-induced cohesion.

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Department of Embryology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Carnegie Institution, 3520 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA.


Cohesin, the protein complex that mediates sister chromatid cohesion, is required for faithful chromosome segregation and efficient repair of double-strand breaks (DSBs). Cohesion generation is normally restricted to S phase. However, in G2/M, a DSB activates cohesion generation near the DSB and genome-wide. Here, using budding yeast, we show that DSB-induced cohesion occurs when cohesin contains the kleisin subunit, Mcd1 (Scc1), but not when Mcd1 is replaced by its meiotic isoform, Rec8. We exploit this divergence to demonstrate that serine 83 of Mcd1 and the Chk1 kinase are critical determinants for DSB-induced cohesion. We propose that a DSB in G2/M activates Mec1 (ATR), which in turn stimulates Chk1-dependent phosphorylation of Mcd1 at serine 83. Serine 83 phosphorylation promotes chromatin-bound cohesin to become cohesive.

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