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The Condensin Complex Is A Mechanochemical Motor That Translocates Along DNA

By Tsuyoshi Terekawa, Shveta Bisht, Jorine M. Eeftens, Cees Dekker, Christian H. Haering, Eric C. Greene

Posted 13 May 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/137711 (published DOI: 10.1126/science.aan6516)

Condensin plays crucial roles in chromosome organization and compaction, but the mechanistic basis for its functions remains obscure. Here, we use single-molecule imaging to demonstrate that Saccharomyces cerevisiae condensin is a molecular motor capable of ATP hydrolysis-dependent translocation along double-stranded DNA. Condensins translocation activity is rapid and highly processive, with individual complexes traveling an average distance of 10 kilobases at a velocity of ~60 base pairs per second. Our results suggest that condensin may take steps comparable in length to its ~50-nanometer coiled-coil subunits, suggestive of a translocation mechanism that is distinct from any reported DNA motor protein. The finding that condensin is a mechanochemical motor has important implications for understanding the mechanisms of chromosome organization and condensation.

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