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The structural organization of chromosomes is a crucial feature that defines the functional state of genes and genomes. The extent of structural changes experienced by genomes of eukaryotic cells can be dramatic and spans several orders of magnitude. At the core of these changes lies a unique group of ATPases-the SMC proteins-that act as major effectors of chromosome behavior in cells. The Smc5/6 proteins play essential roles in the maintenance of genome stability, yet their mode of action is not fully understood. Here we show that the human Smc5/6 complex recognizes unusual DNA configurations and uses the energy of ATP hydrolysis to promote their compaction. Structural analyses reveal subunit interfaces responsible for the functionality of the Smc5/6 complex and how mutations in these regions may lead to chromosome breakage syndromes in humans. Collectively, our results suggest that the Smc5/6 complex promotes genome stability as a DNA micro-compaction machine. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Diego Serrano, Gustavo Cordero, Ryo Kawamura, Aleksandr Sverzhinsky, Muzaddid Sarker, Shamayita Roy, Catherine Malo, John M Pascal, John F Marko, Damien D'Amours. The Smc5/6 Core Complex Is a Structure-Specific DNA Binding and Compacting Machine. Molecular cell. 2020 Dec 17;80(6):1025-1038.e5

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PMID: 33301731

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