Condensin locates at transcriptional termination sites in mitosis, possibly releasing mitotic transcripts

Open Biol. 2019 Oct 31;9(10):190125. doi: 10.1098/rsob.190125. Epub 2019 Oct 16.


Condensin is an essential component of chromosome dynamics, including mitotic chromosome condensation and segregation, DNA repair, and development. Genome-wide localization of condensin is known to correlate with transcriptional activity. The functional relationship between condensin accumulation and transcription sites remains unclear, however. By constructing the auxin-inducible degron strain of condensin, herein we demonstrate that condensin does not affect transcription itself. Instead, RNA processing at transcriptional termination appears to define condensin accumulation sites during mitosis, in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Combining the auxin-degron strain with the nda3 β-tubulin cold-sensitive (cs) mutant enabled us to inactivate condensin in mitotically arrested cells, without releasing the cells into anaphase. Transcriptional activation and termination were not affected by condensin's degron-mediated depletion, at heat-shock inducible genes or mitotically activated genes. On the other hand, condensin accumulation sites shifted approximately 500 bp downstream in the auxin-degron of 5'-3' exoribonuclease Dhp1, in which transcripts became aberrantly elongated, suggesting that condensin accumulates at transcriptionally terminated DNA regions. Growth defects in mutant strains of 3'-processing ribonuclease and polyA cleavage factors were additive in condensin temperature-sensitive (ts) mutants. Considering condensin's in vitro activity to form double-stranded DNAs from unwound, single-stranded DNAs or DNA-RNA hybrids, condensin-mediated processing of mitotic transcripts at the 3'-end may be a prerequisite for faithful chromosome segregation.

Keywords: auxin-inducible degron; chromosome segregation; condensin; fission yeast; mitosis; transcriptional termination.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / genetics
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / metabolism*
  • Chromosome Segregation
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Exoribonucleases / genetics
  • Exoribonucleases / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
  • Mitosis*
  • Multiprotein Complexes / genetics
  • Multiprotein Complexes / metabolism*
  • Schizosaccharomyces
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / genetics
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / metabolism*
  • Transcription Termination, Genetic*
  • Tubulin / metabolism


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins
  • Tubulin
  • condensin complexes
  • cut14 protein, S pombe
  • Exoribonucleases
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases