Chromosome Research

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 251–263

The unnamed complex: what do we know about Smc5-Smc6?

  • Giacomo De Piccoli
  • Jordi Torres-Rosell
  • Luis Aragón
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10577-008-9016-8

Cite this article as:
Piccoli, G.D., Torres-Rosell, J. & Aragón, L. Chromosome Res (2009) 17: 251. doi:10.1007/s10577-008-9016-8

Abstract

The structural maintenance of chromosome (SMC) proteins constitute the cores of three protein complexes involved in chromosome metabolism; cohesin, condensin and the Smc5-Smc6 complex. While the roles of cohesin and condensin in sister chromatid cohesion and chromosome condensation respectively have been described, the cellular function of Smc5-Smc6 is as yet not understood, consequently the less descriptive name. The complex is involved in a variety of DNA repair pathways. It contains activities reminiscent of those described for cohesin and condensin, as well as several DNA helicases and endonucleases. It is required for sister chromatid recombination, and smc5-smc6 mutants suffer from the accumulation of unscheduled recombination intermediates. The complex contains a SUMO-ligase and potentially an ubiquitin-ligase; thus Smc5-Smc6 might presently have a dull name, but it seems destined to be recognized as a key player in the maintenance of chromosome stability. In this review we summarize our present understanding of this enigmatic protein complex.

Keywords

Smc5-Smc6 recombination replication forks rDNA 

Abbreviations

ALT

alternative lengthening of telomeres

APB

ALT-associated PML bodies

ChIP

chromatin immunoprecipitation

DSB

double-strand break

HR

homologous recombination

HU

hydroxyurea

MAGE

melanoma antigen gene

MMS

methyl methanesulfonate

NHEJ

non-homologous end joining

NSE

non-SMC elements

PFGE

pulsed-field gel electrophoresis

rDNA

ribosomal DNA

RFB

replication fork barrier

RING

Zn finger domain

SCJ

sister chromatid junctions

SMC

structural maintenance of chromosome

ssDNA

single-stranded DNA

SUMO

small ubiquitin-like modifier

UV

ultraviolet

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giacomo De Piccoli
    • 1
  • Jordi Torres-Rosell
    • 1
  • Luis Aragón
    • 1
  1. 1.Cell Cycle Group, MRC Clinical Sciences CentreImperial CollegeLondonUK