A Potential Role for Human Cohesin in Mitotic Spindle Aster Assembly

Heather C. Gregson, John A. Schmiesing, Jong Soo Kim, Toshiki Kobayashi, Sharleen Zhou, Kyoko Yokomori

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


The cohesin multiprotein complex containing SMC1, SMC3, Scc3 (SA), and Scc1 (Rad21) is required for sister chromatid cohesion in eukaryotes. Although metazoan cohesin associates with chromosomes and was shown to function in the establishment of sister chromatid cohesion during interphase, the majority of cohesin was found to be off chromosomes and reside in the cytoplasm in metaphase. Despite its dissociation from chromosomes, however, microinjection of an antibody against human SMC1 led to disorganization of the metaphase plate and cell cycle arrest, indicating that human cohesin still plays an important role in metaphase. To address the mitotic function of human cohesin, the subcellular localization of cohesin components was reexamined in human cells. Interestingly, we found that cohesin localizes to the spindle poles during mitosis and interacts with NuMA, a spindle pole-associated factor required for mitotic spindle organization. The interaction with NuMA persists during interphase. Similar to NuMA, a significant amount of cohesin was found to associate with the nuclear matrix. Furthermore, in the absence of cohesin, mitotic spindle asters failed to form in vitro. Our results raise the intriguing possibility that in addition to its well demonstrated function in sister chromatid cohesion, cohesin may be involved in spindle assembly during mitosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47575-47582
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number50
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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