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Genes Dev. 2012 Aug 1;26(15):1659-78. doi: 10.1101/gad.194746.112.

Condensins: universal organizers of chromosomes with diverse functions.

Author information

1
Chromosome Dynamics Laboratory, RIKEN Advanced Science Institute, Wako, Saitama, Japan. hiranot@riken.jp

Abstract

Condensins are multisubunit protein complexes that play a fundamental role in the structural and functional organization of chromosomes in the three domains of life. Most eukaryotic species have two different types of condensin complexes, known as condensins I and II, that fulfill nonoverlapping functions and are subjected to differential regulation during mitosis and meiosis. Recent studies revealed that the two complexes contribute to a wide variety of interphase chromosome functions, such as gene regulation, recombination, and repair. Also emerging are their cell type- and tissue-specific functions and relevance to human disease. Biochemical and structural analyses of eukaryotic and bacterial condensins steadily uncover the mechanisms of action of this class of highly sophisticated molecular machines. Future studies on condensins will not only enhance our understanding of chromosome architecture and dynamics, but also help address a previously underappreciated yet profound set of questions in chromosome biology.

PMID:
22855829
PMCID:
PMC3418584
DOI:
10.1101/gad.194746.112
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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