, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 267-277

Localization of human SMC1 protein at kinetochores

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Proper cohesion of sister chromatids is prerequisite for correct segregation of chromosomes during cell division. The cohesin multiprotein complex, conserved in eukaryotes, is required for sister chromatid cohesion. Human cohesin is composed of a stable heterodimer of the structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) family proteins, hSMC1 and hSMC3, and non-SMC components, hRAD21 and SA1 (or SA2). In yeast, cohesin associates with chromosomes from late G1 to metaphase and is required for the establishment and maintenance of both chromosome arm and centromeric cohesion. However, in human cells, the majority of cohesin dissociates from chromosomes before mitosis. Although it was recently shown that a small amount of hRAD21 localizes to the centromeres during metaphase, the presence of other cohesin components at the centromere has not been demonstrated in human cells. Here we report the mitosis-specific localization of hSMC1 to the kinetochores. hSMC1 is targeted to the kinetochore region during prophase concomitant with kinetochore assembly and remains through anaphase. Importantly, hSMC1 is targeted only to the active centromere on dicentric chromosomes. These results suggest that hSMC1 is an integral component of the functional kinetochore structure during mitosis.

This revised version was published online in July 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.