Identification and molecular characterization of the mammalian α-kleisin RAD21L

Cell Cycle. 2011 May 1;10(9):1477-87. doi: 10.4161/cc.10.9.15515. Epub 2011 May 1.


Meiosis is a fundamental process that generates new combinations between maternal and paternal genomes and haploid gametes from diploid progenitors. Many of the meiosis-specific events stem from the behavior of the cohesin complex (CC), a proteinaceous ring structure that entraps sister chromatids until the onset of anaphase. CCs ensure chromosome segregation, participate in DNA repair, regulate gene expression, and also contribute to synaptonemal complex (SC) formation at meiosis by keeping long-range distant DNA interactions through its conserved structure. Studies from yeast to humans have led to the assumption that Scc1/RAD21 is the α-kleisin that closes the tripartite CC that entraps two DNA molecules in mitosis, while its paralog REC8 is essential for meiosis. Here we describe the identification of RAD21L, a novel mammalian CC subunit with homology to the RAD21/REC8 α-kleisin subfamily, which is expressed in mouse testis. RAD21L interacts with other cohesin subunits such as SMC1α, SMC1b, SMC3 and with the meiosis-specific STAG3 protein. Thus, our results demonstrate the existence of a new meiotic-specific CC constituted by this α-kleisin and expand the view of REC8 as the only specific meiotic α-kleisin.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / chemistry*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / chemistry*
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / genetics
  • Conserved Sequence
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meiosis* / genetics
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nuclear Proteins / chemistry*
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Phosphoproteins / chemistry*
  • Phosphoproteins / genetics
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary / genetics
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Testis / chemistry
  • Testis / physiology


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • RAD21 protein, human
  • RAD21L protein, mouse
  • REC8 protein, human
  • Rec8 protein, mouse
  • cohesins
  • kleisen beta protein, mouse