SMC proteins and chromosome structure

Trends Cell Biol. 1998 Nov;8(11):454-9. doi: 10.1016/s0962-8924(98)01370-1.


The structure of chromosomes is largely determined by chromosome-associated proteins. Members of the SMC (structural maintenance of chromosomes) family play an important role in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic chromosome structure and dynamics. SMC proteins are involved in chromosome condensation, sister-chromatid cohesion, sex-chromosome dosage compensation, genetic recombination and DNA repair. There have been major advances recently in understanding the function of SMC proteins--including the identification of biochemical activities of SMC-containing protein complexes and the realization that individual SMC proteins might link seemingly unrelated aspects of chromosomal metabolism.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / chemistry
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / chemistry
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / physiology*
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone*
  • DNA / biosynthesis
  • Dosage Compensation, Genetic
  • Fungal Proteins / chemistry
  • Fungal Proteins / physiology*
  • Mitosis
  • Nuclear Proteins / chemistry
  • Nuclear Proteins / physiology*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • SMC2 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • structural maintenance of chromosome protein 1
  • DNA