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Structural Maintenance of Chromosome (SMC) Proteins Link Microtubule Stability to Genome Integrity.

Laflamme G, Tremblay-Boudreault T, Roy MA, Andersen P, Bonneil E, Atchia K, Thibault P, D'Amours D, Kwok BH

From the Chemical Biology of Cell Division Laboratory, the Laboratory of Cell Cycle Regulation and Chromosome Structure, and.

Structural maintenance of chromosome (SMC) proteins are key organizers of chromosome architecture and are essential for genome integrity. They act by binding to chromatin and connecting distinct parts of chromosomes together. Interestingly, their potential role in providing connections between chromatin and the mitotic spindle has not been explored. Here, we show that yeast SMC proteins bind directly to microtubules and can provide a functional link between microtubules and DNA. We mapped the microtubule-binding region of Smc5 and generated a mutant with impaired microtubule binding activity. This mutant is viable in yeast but exhibited a cold-specific conditional lethality associated with mitotic arrest, aberrant spindle structures, and chromosome segregation defects. In an in vitro reconstitution assay, this Smc5 mutant also showed a compromised ability to protect microtubules from cold-induced depolymerization. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that SMC proteins can bind to and stabilize microtubules and that SMC-microtubule interactions are essential to establish a robust system to maintain genome integrity.

J. Biol. Chem. 2014;289(40):27418-31.

Pubmed ID: 25135640

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