Cohesin ties up the genome

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2010 Dec;22(6):781-7. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2010 Jul 31.


Cohesin was originally identified as a mediator of sister chromatid cohesion both in mitosis and meiosis. Emerging evidences suggest that it also participates in the organization of interphase chromatin. The ring-shaped complex regulates gene expression by constraining chromatin topology in concert with factors such as the insulator CTCF, at least in certain loci. The global relevance of this function of cohesin remains to be assessed, but its contribution to the pathology of the Cornelia de Lange syndrome seems evident. Our current knowledge of the molecular mechanisms underlying cohesin behavior should now be considered from the perspective of its novel functions, which promise to be as relevant for cell viability as cohesion.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle / physiology
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / chemistry
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Chromatin / chemistry
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / chemistry
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / genetics
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / metabolism*
  • Genome*
  • Humans
  • Multiprotein Complexes / chemistry
  • Multiprotein Complexes / metabolism
  • Protein Subunits / chemistry
  • Protein Subunits / metabolism


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • CDCA5 protein, human
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Chromatin
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Protein Subunits
  • cohesins