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, 7 (5), 311-22

At the Heart of the Chromosome: SMC Proteins in Action


At the Heart of the Chromosome: SMC Proteins in Action

Tatsuya Hirano. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol.


Structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) proteins are ubiquitous in organisms from bacteria to humans, and function as core components of the condensin and cohesin complexes in eukaryotes. SMC proteins adopt a V-shaped structure with two long arms, each of which has an ATP-binding head domain at the distal end. It is important to understand how these uniquely designed protein machines interact with DNA strands and how such interactions are modulated by the ATP-binding and -hydrolysis cycle. An emerging idea is that SMC proteins use a diverse array of intramolecular and intermolecular protein-protein interactions to actively fold, tether and manipulate DNA strands.

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