Replication-related activities establish cohesion between sister chromatids

Cell Biochem Biophys. 2001;35(3):289-301. doi: 10.1385/CBB:35:3:289.


Replicated sister chromatids are held together from their synthesis in S phase to their separation in anaphase. The process of sister chromatid cohesion is essential for the proper segregation of chromosomes in eukaryotic cells. Recent studies in Saccharomyces cerevisiae have advanced our understanding of how sister chromatid cohesion is established, maintained, and dissolved during the cell cycle. Historical observations have suggested that establishment of cohesion is roughly coincident with replication fork passage. Emerging evidence now indicates that replication fork components, such as PCNA, a novel DNA polymerase, Trf4p/Pol sigma (formerly Trf4p/Pol kappa), and a modified clamp-loader complex, actively participate in the process of the cohesion establishment. Here, we review the molecular events in the chromosome cycle with respect to cohesion. Failure of sister chromatid cohesion results in the aneuploidy characteristic of many birth defects and tumors in humans.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anaphase
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / metabolism
  • Chromosomes / ultrastructure*
  • DNA
  • DNA Polymerase III / metabolism
  • DNA Replication*
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Nuclear Proteins*
  • S Phase
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins*
  • Sister Chromatid Exchange*


  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Okazaki fragments
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • DNA
  • DNA Polymerase III
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • PAP2 protein, S cerevisiae
  • TENT4A protein, human