Cohesin: functions beyond sister chromatid cohesion

FEBS Lett. 2013 Aug 2;587(15):2299-312. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2013.06.035. Epub 2013 Jul 4.


Faithful segregation of chromosomes during mitosis and meiosis is the cornerstone process of life. Cohesin, a multi-protein complex conserved from yeast to human, plays a crucial role in this process by keeping the sister chromatids together from S-phase to anaphase onset during mitosis and meiosis. Technological advancements have discovered myriad functions of cohesin beyond its role in sister chromatid cohesion (SCC), such as transcription regulation, DNA repair, chromosome condensation, homolog pairing, monoorientation of sister kinetochore, etc. Here, we have focused on such functions of cohesin that are either independent of or dependent on its canonical role of sister chromatid cohesion. At the end, human diseases associated with malfunctioning of cohesin, albeit with mostly unperturbed sister chromatid cohesion, have been discussed.

Keywords: AE; CCCTC binding factor; CE; CTCF; CdLS; Cohesin; Cohesinopathies; Condensation; Cornelia de Lange syndrome; DNA repair; DSB; LE; MEF; Meiosis; OMIM; RBS; Roberts syndrome; SC; SCC; SPB; Transcription; axial element; central element; double-strand break; lateral element; mouse embryonic fibroblasts; online Mendelian inheritance in men; sister chromatid cohesion; spindle pole body; synaptonemal complex.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / physiology*
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / physiology*
  • DNA Damage
  • DNA Repair
  • Humans
  • Sister Chromatid Exchange*


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • cohesins