Condensin-driven loop extrusion on supercoiled DNA

Eugene Kim, Alejandro Martin Gonzalez, Biswajit Pradhan, Jaco van der Torre, Cees Dekker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


Condensin, a structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) complex, has been shown to be a molecular motor protein that organizes chromosomes by extruding loops of DNA. In cells, such loop extrusion is challenged by many potential conflicts, for example, the torsional stresses that are generated by other DNA-processing enzymes. It has so far remained unclear how DNA supercoiling affects loop extrusion. Here, we use time-lapse single-molecule imaging to study condensin-driven DNA loop extrusion on supercoiled DNA. We find that condensin binding and DNA looping are stimulated by positively supercoiled DNA, and condensin preferentially binds near the tips of supercoiled plectonemes. Upon loop extrusion, condensin collects nearby plectonemes into a single supercoiled loop that is highly stable. Atomic force microscopy imaging shows that condensin generates supercoils in the presence of ATP. Our findings provide insight into the topology-regulated loading and formation of supercoiled loops by SMC complexes and clarify the interplay of loop extrusion and supercoiling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)719-727
Number of pages9
JournalNature Structural and Molecular Biology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


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