Recruitment of cohesin to heterochromatic regions by Swi6/HP1 in fission yeast

Nat Cell Biol. 2002 Jan;4(1):89-93. doi: 10.1038/ncb739.


Fission yeast centromeres, like those of higher eukaryotes, are composed of repeated DNA structures and associated heterochromatin protein complexes, that have a critical function in the faithful segregation of chromosomes during cell division. Cohesin protein complexes, which are essential for sister-chromatid cohesion and proper chromosome segregation, are enriched at centromeric repeats. We have identified a functional and physical link between heterochromatin and cohesin. We find that the preferential localization of cohesins at the centromeric repeats is dependent on Swi6, a conserved heterochromatin protein that is required for proper kinetochore function. Cohesin is also enriched at the mating-type heterochromatic region in a manner that depends on Swi6 and is required to preserve the genomic integrity of this locus. We provide evidence that a cohesin subunit Psc3 interacts with Swi6 and its mouse homologue HP1. These data define a conserved function of Swi6/HP1 in recruitment of cohesin to heterochromatic regions, promoting the proper segregation of chromosomes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Centromere / genetics
  • Centromere / metabolism
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / genetics
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / metabolism
  • Chromosome Segregation
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Heterochromatin / genetics
  • Heterochromatin / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins*
  • Schizosaccharomyces / genetics*
  • Schizosaccharomyces / metabolism
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Heterochromatin
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • SWI6 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • cohesins
  • psc3 protein, S pombe