Chl1 DNA helicase regulates Scc2 deposition specifically during DNA-replication in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

PLoS One. 2013 Sep 26;8(9):e75435. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0075435. eCollection 2013.


The conserved family of cohesin proteins that mediate sister chromatid cohesion requires Scc2, Scc4 for chromatin-association and Eco1/Ctf7 for conversion to a tethering competent state. A popular model, based on the notion that cohesins form huge ring-like structures, is that Scc2, Scc4 function is essential only during G1 such that sister chromatid cohesion results simply from DNA replisome passage through pre-loaded cohesin rings. In such a scenario, cohesin deposition during G1 is temporally uncoupled from Eco1-dependent establishment reactions that occur during S-phase. Chl1 DNA helicase (homolog of human ChlR1/DDX11 and BACH1/BRIP1/FANCJ helicases implicated in Fanconi anemia, breast and ovarian cancer and Warsaw Breakage Syndrome) plays a critical role in sister chromatid cohesion, however, the mechanism through which Chl1 promotes cohesion remains poorly understood. Here, we report that Chl1 promotes Scc2 loading unto DNA such that both Scc2 and cohesin enrichment to chromatin are defective in chl1 mutant cells. The results further show that both Chl1 expression and chromatin-recruitment are tightly regulated through the cell cycle, peaking during S-phase. Importantly, kinetic ChIP studies reveals that Chl1 is required for Scc2 chromatin-association specifically during S-phase, but not during G1. Despite normal chromatin enrichment of both Scc2 and cohesin during G1, chl1 mutant cells exhibit severe chromosome segregation and cohesion defects--revealing that G1-loaded cohesins is insufficient to promote cohesion. Based on these findings, we propose a new model wherein S-phase cohesin loading occurs during DNA replication and in concert with both cohesion establishment and chromatin assembly reactions--challenging the notion that DNA replication fork navigates through or around pre-loaded cohesin rings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Chromatids / metabolism
  • Chromatin Immunoprecipitation
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / metabolism*
  • DNA Helicases / metabolism*
  • DNA Replication / physiology*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / enzymology*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism*


  • CHL1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • SCC2 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • cohesins
  • DNA Helicases