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Cell. 1997 Oct 3;91(1):47-57.

A direct link between sister chromatid cohesion and chromosome condensation revealed through the analysis of MCD1 in S. cerevisiae.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Department of Embryology, Baltimore, Maryland 21210, USA.


The S. cerevisiae MCD1 (mitotic chromosome determinant) gene was identified in genetic screens for genes important for chromosome structure. MCD1 is essential for viability and homologs are found from yeast to humans. Analysis of the mcd1 mutant and cell cycle-dependent expression pattern of Mcd1p suggest that this protein functions in chromosome morphogenesis from S phase through mitosis. The mcd1 mutant is defective in sister chromatid cohesion and chromosome condensation. The physical association between Mcd1p and Smc1p, one of the SMC family of chromosomal proteins, further suggests that Mcd1p functions directly on chromosomes. These data implicate Mcd1p as a nexus between cohesion and condensation. We present a model for mitotic chromosome structure that incorporates this previously unsuspected link.

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