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Condensin's ATPase Machinery Drives and Dampens Mitotic Chromosome Condensation

By Ahmed M.O. Elbatsh, Jonne A. Raaijmakers, Robin H. van der Weide, Jelmi Kuit de Bos, Hans Teunissen, Sol Bravo, René H. Medema, Elzo de Wit, Christian H. Haering, Benjamin D. Rowland

Posted 09 Nov 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/216630 (published DOI: 10.1016/j.molcel.2019.09.020)

Chromosome condensation by condensin is essential for faithful chromosome segregation. Metazoans have two complexes, named condensin I and II. Both are thought to act by creating looped structures in DNA, but how they do so is unknown. Condensin's SMC subunits together form a composite ATPase with two pseudo-symmetric ATPase sites. We reveal that these sites have opposite functions in the condensation process. One site drives condensation, while the other site rather has a dampening function. Mutation of this dampener site hyperactivates both condensin I and II complexes. We find that hyperactive condensin I efficiently shortens chromosomes in the total absence of condensin II. The two complexes form loops with different lengths, and specifically condensin II is key to the decatenation of sister chromatids and the formation of a straight chromosomal axis.

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