SMC Protein Complexes and the Maintenance of Chromosome Integrity

Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 274)


Structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) family proteins have attracted much attention for their unique protein structure and critical roles in mitotic chromosome organization. Elegant genetic and biochemical studies in yeast and Xenopus identified two different SMC heterodimers in two conserved multiprotein complexes termed ‘condensin’ and ‘cohesin’, These complexes are required for mitotic chromosome condensation and sister chromatid cohesion, respectively, both of which are prerequisite to accurate segregation of chromosomes. Although structurally similar, the SMC proteins in condensin and cohesin appear to have distinct functions, whose specificity and cell cycle regulation are critically determined by their interactions with unique sets of associated proteins. Recent studies of subcellular localization of SMC proteins and SMC-containing complexes, identification of their interactions with other cellular factors, and discovery of new SMC family members have uncovered unexpected roles for SMCproteins and SMC-containing complexes in different aspects of genome functions and chromosome organization beyond mitosis, all of which are critical for the maintenance of chromosome integrity.


Sister Chromatid Mitotic Chromosome Pairing Domain Sister Chromatid Cohesion Nijmegen Breakage Syndrome 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological Chemistry, 240D Med. Sci. I, College of MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA

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