Sister chromatid cohesion is crucial for chromosome segregation during mitosis. Loss of cohesion very possibly triggers sister separation at the metaphase --> anaphase transition. This process depends on the destruction of anaphase inhibitory proteins like Pds1p (Cut2p), which is thought to liberate a sister-separating protein Esp1p (Cut1p). By looking for mutants that separate sister centromeres in the presence of Pds1p, this and a previous study have identified six proteins essential for establishing or maintaining sister chromatid cohesion. Four of these proteins, Scc1p, Scc3p, Smc1p, and Smc3p, are subunits of a 'Cohesin' complex that binds chromosomes from late G1 until the onset of anaphase. The fifth protein, Scc2p, is not a stoichiometric Cohesin subunit but it is required for Cohesin's association with chromosomes. The sixth protein, Eco1p(Ctf7p), is not a Cohesin subunit. It is necessary for the establishment of cohesion during DNA replication but not for its maintenance during G2 and M phases.
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