Cohesin Plays a Dual Role in Gene Regulation and Sister-Chromatid Cohesion During Meiosis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Department of Biological Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida 32306-4370, USA.
Genetics (Impact Factor: 5.96). 04/2011; 187(4):1041-51. DOI: 10.1534/genetics.110.122358
Source: PubMed


Sister-chromatid cohesion mediated by cohesin ensures proper chromosome segregation during cell division. Cohesin is also required for postreplicative DNA double-strand break repair and gene expression. The molecular mechanisms of these diverse cohesin functions remain to be elucidated. Here we report that the cohesin subunits Scc3 and Smc1 are both required for the production of the meiosis-specific subunit Rec8 in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Using a genetic approach, we depleted Scc3 and Smc1 independently in cells that were undergoing meiosis. Both Scc3- and Smc1-depleted cells were inducible for meiosis, but the REC8 promoter was only marginally activated, leading to reduced levels of REC8 transcription and protein production. In contrast, the expression of MCD1, the mitotic counterpart of REC8, was not subject to Scc3 regulation in vegetative cells. We provide genetic evidence to show that sister-chromatid cohesion is not necessary for activation of REC8 gene expression. Cohesin appears to positively regulate the expression of a variety of genes during yeast meiosis. Our results suggest that the cohesin complex plays a dual role in gene regulation and sister-chromatid cohesion during meiotic differentiation in yeast.

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Available from: Weiqiang Lin, Feb 15, 2015
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    • "It is also important to notice that human SA2 and its yeast homologue Irr1 have a role in the regulation of transcription [14], [15], [45], [46]. Thus, it is possible that the nucleocytoplasmic shuttling of SA2 may serve to regulate that fraction of this protein which is involved in the regulation of transcription, in a manner similar to that long known for numerous bona fide transcription factors (see [47]–[49] for review). "
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    ABSTRACT: Human SA/STAG proteins, homologues of the yeast Irr1/Scc3 cohesin, are the least studied constituents of the sister chromatid cohesion complex crucial for proper chromosome segregation. The two SA paralogues, SA1 and SA2, show some specificity towards the chromosome region they stabilize, and SA2, but not SA1, has been shown to participate in transcriptional regulation as well. The molecular basis of this functional divergence is unknown. In silico analysis indicates numerous putative nuclear localization (NLS) and export (NES) signals in the SA proteins, suggesting the possibility of their nucleocytoplasmic shuttling. We studied the functionality of those putative signals by expressing fluorescently tagged SA1 and SA2 in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Only the N-terminal NLS turned out to be functional in SA1. In contrast, the SA2 protein has at least two functional NLS and also two functional NES. Depending on the balance between these opposing signals, SA2 resides in the nucleus or is distributed throughout the cell. Validation of the above conclusions in HeLa cells confirmed that the same N-terminal NLS of SA1 is functional in those cells. In contrast, in SA2 the principal NLS functioning in HeLa cells is different from that identified in yeast and is localized to the C-terminus. This is the first demonstration of the possibility of non-nuclear localization of an SA protein. The reported difference in the organization between the two SA homologues may also be relevant to their partially divergent functions. The mechanisms determining subcellular localization of cohesins are only partially conserved between yeast and human cells.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: To tether sister chromatids, a protein-loading complex, including Scc2, recruits cohesin to the chromosome at discrete loci. Cohesin facilitates the formation of a higher-order chromosome structure that could also influence gene expression. How cohesin directly regulates transcription remains to be further elucidated. We report that in budding yeast Scc2 is required for sister-chromatid cohesion during meiosis for two reasons. First, Scc2 is required for activating the expression of REC8, which encodes a meiosis-specific cohesin subunit; second, Scc2 is necessary for recruiting meiotic cohesin to the chromosome to generate sister-chromatid cohesion. Using a heterologous reporter assay, we have found that Scc2 increases the activity of its target promoters by recruiting cohesin to establish an upstream cohesin-associated region in a position-dependent manner. Rec8-associated meiotic cohesin is required for the full activation of the REC8 promoter, revealing that cohesin has a positive feedback on transcriptional regulation. Finally, we provide evidence that chromosomal binding of cohesin is sufficient for target-gene activation during meiosis. Our data support a noncanonical role for cohesin as a transcriptional activator during cell differentiation.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · Molecular biology of the cell
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