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Nat Rev Genet. 2010 Jun;11(6):391-404. doi: 10.1038/nrg2794. Epub 2010 May 5.

Condensin and cohesin complexity: the expanding repertoire of functions.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720-3204, USA.


Condensin and cohesin complexes act in diverse nuclear processes in addition to their widely known roles in chromosome compaction and sister chromatid cohesion. Recent work has elucidated the contribution of condensin and cohesin to interphase genome organization, control of gene expression, metazoan development and meiosis. Despite these wide-ranging functions, several themes have come to light: both complexes establish higher-order chromosome structure by inhibiting or promoting interactions between distant genomic regions, both complexes influence the chromosomal association of other proteins, and both complexes achieve functional specialization by swapping homologous subunits. Emerging data are expanding the range of processes in which condensin and cohesin are known to participate and are enhancing our knowledge of how chromosome architecture is regulated to influence numerous cellular functions.

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