The dissociation of cohesin from chromosomes in prophase is regulated by Polo-like kinase

Mol Cell. 2002 Mar;9(3):515-25. doi: 10.1016/s1097-2765(02)00473-2.


The separation of sister chromatids in anaphase depends on the dissociation of cohesin from chromosomes. In vertebrates, some cohesin is removed from chromosomes at the onset of anaphase by proteolytic cleavage. In contrast, the bulk of cohesin is removed from chromosomes already in prophase and prometaphase by an unknown mechanism that does not involve cohesin cleavage. We show that Polo-like kinase is required for the cleavage-independent dissociation of cohesin from chromosomes in Xenopus. Cohesin phosphorylation depends on Polo-like kinase and reduces the ability of cohesin to bind to chromatin. These results suggest that Polo-like kinase regulates the dissociation of cohesin from chromosomes early in mitosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aurora Kinases
  • Cell Cycle / physiology*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Fractionation
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • Chromosomes / physiology*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Fungal Proteins
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Nuclear Proteins / chemistry
  • Nuclear Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Oocytes / physiology
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Tissue Extracts / chemistry
  • Tissue Extracts / metabolism
  • Xenopus Proteins
  • Xenopus laevis


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Tissue Extracts
  • Xenopus Proteins
  • cohesins
  • Protein Kinases
  • AURKA protein, Xenopus
  • Aurora Kinases
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • polo-like kinase 1