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Mitosis and meiosis both rely on cohesin, which embraces the sister chromatids and plays a crucial role for the faithful distribution of chromosomes to daughter cells. Prior to the cleavage by Separase at anaphase onset, cohesin is largely removed from chromosomes by the non-proteolytic action of WINGS APART-LIKE (WAPL), a mechanism referred to as the prophase pathway. To prevent the premature loss of sister chromatid cohesion, WAPL is inhibited in early mitosis by Sororin. However, Sororin homologs have only been found to function as WAPL inhibitors during mitosis in vertebrates and Drosophila. Here we show that SWITCH 1/DYAD defines a WAPL antagonist that acts in meiosis of Arabidopsis. Crucially, SWI1 becomes dispensable for sister chromatid cohesion in the absence of WAPL. Despite the lack of any sequence similarities, we found that SWI1 is regulated and functions in a similar manner as Sororin hence likely representing a case of convergent molecular evolution across the eukaryotic kingdom.


Chao Yang, Yuki Hamamura, Kostika Sofroni, Franziska Böwer, Sara Christina Stolze, Hirofumi Nakagami, Arp Schnittger. SWITCH 1/DYAD is a WINGS APART-LIKE antagonist that maintains sister chromatid cohesion in meiosis. Nature communications. 2019 Apr 15;10(1):1755

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PMID: 30988453

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