, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 131-144

Condensin: Architect of mitotic chromosomes

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Abstract

Condensin is a highly conserved pentameric complex consisting of two structural maintenance of chromosome (SMC) ATPase subunits and three auxiliary components. While initially regarded as a key driver of mitotic chromosome condensation, condensin is increasingly viewed as having a more subtle influence on chromosome architecture. The two condensin complexes are required to direct the correct folding and organization of chromosomes prior to anaphase and for keeping the chromosomes compact as they separate to the poles. This ancient complex is essential in mitosis and meiosis and has additional roles in gene regulation and DNA repair. The wide variety of biochemical and genetic tools available are gradually unravelling the numerous roles condensin plays during the cell cycle and shedding light on its mechanism of action.

Responsible Editor: Christian Haering.