Condensed sister chromatids possess a protein scaffold or axial core to which loops of chromatin are attached. The sister cores are believed to be dynamic frameworks that function in the organization and condensation of chromatids. Chromosome structural proteins are implicated in the establishment of sister chromatid cohesion and in the maintenance of epigenetic phenomena. Both processes of templating are tightly linked to DNA replication itself. It is a question whether the structural basis of sister chromatid cores is templated during S phase. As cells proceed through the cell cycle, chromatid cores undergo changes in their protein composition. Cytologically, cores are first visualized at the start of prometaphase. Still, core assembly can be induced in G1 and G2 when interphase cells are fused with mitotic cells. In this study, we asked if chromatid cores are similarly able to assemble in S-phase cells. We find that the ability to assemble cores is transiently lost during local replication, then regained in chromosome regions shortly after they have been replicated. We propose that core templating occurs coincident with DNA replication and that the competence for the assembly of the sister chromatid cores is acquired shortly after passage of replication forks.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
paign, the DGICYT, Spain (Project PB96-0909) and the EU (Project BI04-Cf96-0275). We also thank the CAM for a grant supporting J. F. Gimenez-Abian, and'the EMBO for a fellowship awarded to D. J. Clarke.
- Cell fusion
- Core assembly
- Prematurely condensed chromosomes
- S phase
- Sister chromatid cores