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J Biol Chem. 2009 Mar 27;284(13):8507-15. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M809139200. Epub 2009 Jan 13.

Architecture of the Smc5/6 Complex of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Reveals a Unique Interaction between the Nse5-6 Subcomplex and the Hinge Regions of Smc5 and Smc6.

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  • 1Brown Cancer Center, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, Kentucky 40202, USA.


The evolutionarily conserved structural maintenance of chromosome (SMC) proteins forms the core structures of three multisubunit complexes as follows: cohesin, condensin, and the Smc5/6 complex. These complexes play crucial roles in different aspects of chromosomal organization, duplication, and segregation. Although the architectures of cohesin and condensin are better understood, that of the more recently identified Smc5/6 complex remains to be elucidated. We have previously shown that the Smc5/6 complex of Saccharomyces cerevisiae contains Smc5, Smc6, and six non-SMC elements (Nse1-6). In this study, we investigated the architecture of the budding yeast Smc5/6 complex employing the yeast two-hybrid assay as well as in vitro biochemical approaches using purified recombinant proteins. These analyses revealed that Smc5 and Smc6 associate with each other at their hinge regions and constitute the backbone of the complex, whereas the Nse1-6 subunits form three distinct subcomplexes/entities that interact with different regions of Smc5 and Smc6. The Nse1, -3, and -4 subunits form a stable subcomplex that binds to the head and the adjacent coiled-coil region of Smc5. Nse2 binds to the middle of the coiled-coil region of Smc5. Nse5 and Nse6 interact with each other and, as a heterodimer, bind to the hinge regions of Smc5 and Smc6. These findings provide new insights into the structures of the Smc5/6 complex and lay the foundation for further investigations into the mechanism of its functions.

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