The many functions of SMC proteins in chromosome dynamics

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2002 Oct;3(10):767-78. doi: 10.1038/nrm930.


Members of the structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) family share a characteristic design and configuration of protein domains that provides the molecular basis for the various functions of this family in chromosome dynamics. SMC proteins have a role in chromosome condensation, sister-chromatid cohesion, DNA repair and recombination, and gene dosage compensation, and they function in somatic and meiotic cells. As more is learned about how their unique design affects their function, a picture of a dynamic and varied protein family is emerging.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / physiology
  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / chemistry
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / physiology*
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • Chromosomes / physiology*
  • DNA Repair
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • Dosage Compensation, Genetic
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Meiosis
  • Models, Biological
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Nuclear Proteins / physiology
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Recombination, Genetic


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • cohesins
  • condensin complexes
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases