SMC proteins at the crossroads of diverse chromosomal processes

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftÜbersichtsartikel (Review)Beigetragen



How should a protein be designed to serve in processes as diverse as chromosome condensation, sister chromatid cohesion, DNA recombination, gene dosage regulation, and perhaps even gene silencing or transcriptional regulation--which occur in both mitosis and meiosis? Such a protein or protein complex needs to bear DNA interaction domains, it needs the capacity to use energy to move DNA, it needs to enter into highly specific protein interactions, it needs to be large enough to link two DNA molecules, it needs to be of sufficient flexibility to cope with different types of chromatin structure, yet it also needs to be rigid enough to pull, push or enclose DNA. SMC proteins fulfill these requirements and form the core units of high molecular weight complexes that act in all those processes, and are essential for some of them. SMC stands for 'Structural Maintenance of Chromosomes', although SMC proteins are not static scaffold proteins merely providing support for a particular chromosome structure. SMC proteins are rather highly dynamic actors, that generate and modulate chromosome structures, affecting a plethora of biological processes.


Seiten (von - bis)643-52
Fachzeitschrift IUBMB life : a journal of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Dez. 2003

Externe IDs

Scopus 1642528848



  • Adenosine Triphosphate/metabolism, Animals, Cell Cycle Proteins, Chromatin/chemistry, Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone/chemistry, Dimerization, Dosage Compensation, Genetic, Fungal Proteins, Humans, Meiosis, Mitosis, Models, Biological, Nuclear Proteins/metabolism, Protein Conformation, Protein Structure, Tertiary, Recombination, Genetic, Sister Chromatid Exchange, Transcription, Genetic