Distinct developmental function of two Caenorhabditis elegans homologs of the cohesin subunit Scc1/Rad21

Yoshiko Mito, Asako Sugimoto, Masayuki Yamamoto

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31 Citations (Scopus)


Cohesin, which mediates sister chromatid cohesion, is composed of four subunits, named Scc1/Rad21, Scc3, Smc1, and Smc3 in yeast. Caenorhabditis elegans has a single homolog for each of Scc3, Smc1, and Smc3, bur as many as four for Scc1/Rad21 (COH-1, SCC-1/COH-2, COH-3, and REC-8). Except for REC-8 required for meiosis, function of these C. elegans proteins remains largely unknown. Herein, we examined their possible involvement in mitosis and development. Embryos depleted of the homolog of either Scc3, or Smc1, or Smc3 by RNA interference revealed a defect in mitotic chromosome segregation but not in chromosome condensation and cytokinesis. Depletion of SCC-1/COH-2 caused similar phenotypes. SCC-1/COH-2 was present in cells destined to divide. It localized to chromosomes in a cell cycle-dependent manner. Worms depleted of COH-1 arrested at either the late embryonic or the larval stage, with no indication of mitotic dysfunction. COH-1 associated chromosomes throughout the cell cycle in all somatic cells undergoing late embryogenesis or larval development. Thus, SCC-1/COH-2 and the homologs of Scc3, Smc1, and Smc3 facilitate mitotic chromosome segregation during the development, presumably by forming a cohesin complex, whereas COH-1 seems to play a role important for development but unrelated to mitosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2399-2409
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Jun 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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