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Team effort: Naomi Petela, Thomas Gligoris and Johanna Scheinost from the Nasmyth lab
Team effort: Naomi Petela, Thomas Gligoris and Johanna Scheinost from the Nasmyth lab

Malarial proteinA new study fills in the gaps in our understanding of a protein complex that traps DNA during cell division until the critical moment just before the daughter cells separate. The researchers behind the work, from Kim Nasmyth's lab in the Department of Biochemistry and the lab of Jan we at the MRC LMB in Cambridge, describe their findings in a recent paper in Science (1). Using new structural information about how the individual components of the cohesin complex fit together, the group has confirmed in living cells what has been suspected to be the case - that the complex adopts a ring structure that holds the two arms of the chromosome together until exactly the right moment in cell division. Researchers can now begin to probe the mechanisms behind cohesin's functions.

Read more (Department of Biochemistry website)

Image: Newly solved crystal structure of part of the cohesin complex

  1. 'Closing the cohesin ring: structure and function of its Smc3-kleisin interface.' Gligoris, TG, Scheinost, JC, Burmann, F, Petela, N, Chan, K-L, Uluocak, P, Beckouet, F, Gruber, S, Nasmyth, K and Lowe, J. Science (2014) Vol. 346 no. 6212 p963-967.