DNA-loop extruding condensin complexes can traverse one another

Eugene Kim, Jacob Kerssemakers, Indra A. Shaltiel, Christian H. Haering, Cees Dekker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Condensin, a key component of the structure maintenance of chromosome (SMC) protein complexes, has recently been shown to be a motor that extrudes loops of DNA1. It remains unclear, however, how condensin complexes work together to collectively package DNA into chromosomes. Here we use time-lapse single-molecule visualization to study mutual interactions between two DNA-loop-extruding yeast condensins. We find that these motor proteins, which, individually, extrude DNA in one direction only are able to dynamically change each other’s DNA loop sizes, even when far apart. When they are in close proximity, condensin complexes are able to traverse each other and form a loop structure, which we term a Z-loop—three double-stranded DNA helices aligned in parallel with one condensin at each edge. Z-loops can fill gaps left by single loops and can form symmetric dimer motors that pull in DNA from both sides. These findings indicate that condensin may achieve chromosomal compaction using a variety of looping structures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-442
Number of pages5
Issue number7799
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Accepted Author Manuscript


Dive into the research topics of 'DNA-loop extruding condensin complexes can traverse one another'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this