The Drosophila RAD21 cohesin persists at the centromere region in mitosis Academic Article uri icon


  • 'Cohesin' is a highly conserved multiprotein complex thought to be the primary effector of sister-chromatid cohesion in all eukaryotes. Cohesin complexes in budding yeast hold sister chromatids together from S phase until anaphase, but in metazoans, cohesin proteins dissociate from chromosomes and redistribute into the whole cell volume during prophase, well before sister chromatids separate (reviewed in [1,2]). Here we address this apparent anomaly by investigating the cell-cycle dynamics of DRAD21, the Drosophila orthologue of the Xenopus XRAD21 and Saccharomyces cerevisiae Scc1p/Mcd1p cohesins [3]. Analysis of DRAD21 in S2 Drosophila tissue culture cells and live embryos expressing a DRAD21-green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion revealed the presence of four distinct subcellular pools of DRAD21: a cytoplasmic pool; a chromosome-associated pool which dissociates from chromatin as chromosomes condense in prophase; a short-lived centrosome-associated pool present during metaphase-anaphase; and a centromere-proximal pool which remains bound to condensed chromosomes, is found along the junction of sister chromatids between kinetochores, and persists until the metaphase-anaphase transition. We conclude that in Drosophila, and possibly all metazoans, a minor pool of cohesin remains bound to centromere-proximal chromatin after prophase and maintains sister-chromatid cohesion until the metaphase-anaphase transition.


  • Warren, WD
  • Steffensen, S
  • Lin, E
  • Coelho, P
  • Loupart, M-L
  • Cobbe, N
  • Lee, JY
  • McKay, MJ
  • Orr-Weaver, T
  • Heck, MMS
  • Sunkel, CE

publication date

  • November 2000