Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nucleic Acids Res. 2013 Jul;41(12):6149-60. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkt303. Epub 2013 Apr 24.

The SMC1-SMC3 cohesin heterodimer structures DNA through supercoiling-dependent loop formation.

Author information

Department of Molecular Biosciences, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208-3500, USA.


Cohesin plays a critical role in sister chromatid cohesion, double-stranded DNA break repair and regulation of gene expression. However, the mechanism of how cohesin directly interacts with DNA remains unclear. We report single-molecule experiments analyzing the interaction of the budding yeast cohesin Structural Maintenance of Chromosome (SMC)1-SMC3 heterodimer with naked double-helix DNA. The cohesin heterodimer is able to compact DNA molecules against applied forces of 0.45 pN, via a series of extension steps of a well-defined size ≈130 nm. This reaction does not require ATP, but is dependent on DNA supercoiling: DNA with positive torsional stress is compacted more quickly than negatively supercoiled or nicked DNAs. Un-nicked torsionally relaxed DNA is a poor substrate for the compaction reaction. Experiments with mutant proteins indicate that the dimerization hinge region is crucial to the folding reaction. We conclude that the SMC1-SMC3 heterodimer is able to restructure the DNA double helix into a series of loops, with a preference for positive writhe.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center