Multiple structural maintenance of chromosome complexes at transcriptional regulatory elements

Stem Cell Reports. 2013 Oct 24;1(5):371-8. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2013.09.002. eCollection 2013.


Transcription factors control cell-specific gene expression programs by binding regulatory elements and recruiting cofactors and the transcription apparatus to the initiation sites of active genes. One of these cofactors is cohesin, a structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) complex that is necessary for proper gene expression. We report that a second SMC complex, condensin II, is also present at transcriptional regulatory elements of active genes during interphase and is necessary for normal gene activity. Both cohesin and condensin II are associated with genes in euchromatin and not heterochromatin. The two SMC complexes and the SMC loading factor NIPBL are particularly enriched at super-enhancers, and the genes associated with these regulatory elements are especially sensitive to reduced levels of these complexes. Thus, in addition to their well-established functions in chromosome maintenance during mitosis, both cohesin and condensin II make important contributions to the functions of the key transcriptional regulatory elements during interphase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / metabolism*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Multiprotein Complexes / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Transcriptional Activation*


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Chromatin
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • cohesins
  • condensin complexes
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases