Hsk1-Dfp1 is required for heterochromatin-mediated cohesion at centromeres

Nat Cell Biol. 2003 Dec;5(12):1111-6. doi: 10.1038/ncb1069. Epub 2003 Nov 16.


Heterochromatin performs a central role in chromosome segregation and stability by promoting cohesion at centromeres. Establishment of both heterochromatin-mediated silencing and cohesion requires passage through S phase, although the mechanism is unknown. Here we demonstrate that Schizosaccharomyces pombe Hsk1 (CDC7), a conserved Dbf4-dependent protein kinase (DDK) that regulates replication initiation, interacts with and phosphorylates the heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1) equivalent Swi6 (ref. 6). Hsk1 and its regulatory subunit Dfp1 function downstream of Swi6 localization to promote heterochromatin function and cohesion specifically at centromeres. This role for Hsk1-Dfp1 is separable from its replication initiation activity, providing a temporal link between S phase and centromere cohesion that is mediated by heterochromatin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Division / genetics*
  • Centromere / genetics*
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / genetics
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / metabolism
  • Chromosome Segregation / genetics*
  • DNA Replication / genetics
  • Heterochromatin / genetics*
  • Protein Subunits / genetics
  • Protein Subunits / metabolism
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • S Phase / genetics
  • Schizosaccharomyces / genetics
  • Schizosaccharomyces / metabolism*
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / genetics
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / metabolism*


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • Heterochromatin
  • Protein Subunits
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins
  • Swi6 protein, S pombe
  • HSK1 protein, S pombe
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases