Chromosome Biochemistry Laboratory • Murayama Group

Revealing molecular function of SMC complexes in chromosome structural control


Research Summary

Controlling chromosome structure is essential not only for faithful chromosome segregation but also for gene transcription and DNA replication and repair. Ring-shaped SMC complexes (cohesin, condensin and SMC5/6) are central architects of the chromosome structure. These large complexes topologically entrap DNA strands to allow vital chromosomal functions to be carried out. We have successfully purified the SMC1/3 complex and reconstituted its functional DNA binding reaction. Our aim is to investigate the molecular mechanisms by which SMC complexes regulate the chromosome structure.

A. A molecular model how cohesin complex mediates sister chromatid cohesion. B. Purified cohesin proteins. C, D. Biochemical reconstitution of topological DNA loading by the cohesin ring.


Murayama, Y., Samora, C. P., Kurokawa, Y., Iwasaki, H., and Uhlmann, F. (2018). Establishment of DNA-DNA interactions by the cohesin ring. Cell 172, 465- 477.

Murayama, Y., and Uhlmann, F. (2015). DNA entry into and exit out of the cohesin ring by an interlocking gate mechanism. Cell 163, 1628-1640.

Murayama, Y., and Uhlmann, F. (2014). Biochemical reconstitution of topological DNA binding by the cohesin ring. Nature 505, 367-371.

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