Cohesin's binding to chromosomes depends on a separate complex consisting of Scc2 and Scc4 proteins.
Cohesion between sister chromatids depends on a multisubunit cohesin complex that binds to chromosomes around DNA replication and dissociates from them at the onset of anaphase. Scc2p, though not a cohesin subunit, is also required for sister chromatid cohesion. We show here that Scc2p forms a complex with a novel protein, Scc4p, which is also necessary for sister cohesion. In scc2 or scc4 mutants, cohesin complexes form normally but fail to bind both to centromeres and to chromosome arms. Our data suggest that a major role for the Scc2p/Scc4p complex is to facilitate the loading of cohesin complexes onto chromosomes.