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“Structural maintenance of chromosome complexes differentially compact mitotic chromosomes according to genomic context”

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Hosted By: Dr Jon Houseley

The extreme length of chromosomal DNA requires organizing mechanisms to both promote functional genetic interactions and ensure faithful chromosome segregation. Microscopy and genome wide contact frequency (Hi-C) analyses indicate that intra-chromosomal looping of DNA is a primary pathway of chromosomal organization during all stages of the cell cycle. Although the enzymatic pathways required for DNA loop formation are yet to be fully characterized, the activity of the SMC family of proteins has been consistently associated with this process in interphase and mitosis. Here we use Hi-C to study the reorganization of eukaryotic chromosome conformation in early mitosis and the role of SMCs in this process. Using polymer simulations, we find that the differences between interphase and mitotic Hi-C maps can be explained by the formation of intra-chromosomal (cis-) loops in mitotic chromosomes. We demonstrate that SMC cohesin activity is required for formation of cis-loops, independently of sister-chromatid cohesion. In contrast, SMC condensin is not generally required for loop formation in these eukaryotic cells. Rather condensin activity promotes compaction in the chromosomes at centromeres and in the rDNA proximal regions. Thus we demonstrate that cohesin-dependent cis-loops provide the primary higher order organization of budding yeast mitotic chromosomes, independently of condensin and sister chromatid cohesion.

This talk is part of the Babraham Seminar series.

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