The Drosophila RAD21 Cohesin Persists at the Centromere Region in Mitosis

Curr Biol. 2000 Nov 16;10(22):1463-6. doi: 10.1016/s0960-9822(00)00806-x.


'Cohesin' is a highly conserved multiprotein complex thought to be the primary effector of sister-chromatid cohesion in all eukaryotes. Cohesin complexes in budding yeast hold sister chromatids together from S phase until anaphase, but in metazoans, cohesin proteins dissociate from chromosomes and redistribute into the whole cell volume during prophase, well before sister chromatids separate (reviewed in [1,2]). Here we address this apparent anomaly by investigating the cell-cycle dynamics of DRAD21, the Drosophila orthologue of the Xenopus XRAD21 and Saccharomyces cerevisiae Scc1p/Mcd1p cohesins [3]. Analysis of DRAD21 in S2 Drosophila tissue culture cells and live embryos expressing a DRAD21-green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion revealed the presence of four distinct subcellular pools of DRAD21: a cytoplasmic pool; a chromosome-associated pool which dissociates from chromatin as chromosomes condense in prophase; a short-lived centrosome-associated pool present during metaphase-anaphase; and a centromere-proximal pool which remains bound to condensed chromosomes, is found along the junction of sister chromatids between kinetochores, and persists until the metaphase-anaphase transition. We conclude that in Drosophila, and possibly all metazoans, a minor pool of cohesin remains bound to centromere-proximal chromatin after prophase and maintains sister-chromatid cohesion until the metaphase-anaphase transition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Cycle Proteins*
  • Cell Line
  • Centromere / metabolism*
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Mitosis / physiology
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins*
  • Xenopus Proteins*


  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Fungal Proteins
  • MCD1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Rad21 protein, Xenopus
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Xenopus Proteins
  • cohesins
  • vtd protein, Drosophila