The condensin holocomplex cycles dynamically between open and collapsed states

Je Kyung Ryu, Allard J. Katan, Eli O. van der Sluis, Thomas Wisse, Ralph de Groot, Christian H. Haering, Cees Dekker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Structural maintenance of chromosome (SMC) protein complexes are the key organizers of the spatiotemporal structure of chromosomes. The condensin SMC complex has recently been shown to be a molecular motor that extrudes large loops of DNA, but the mechanism of this unique motor remains elusive. Using atomic force microscopy, we show that budding yeast condensin exhibits mainly open ‘O’ shapes and collapsed ‘B’ shapes, and it cycles dynamically between these two states over time, with ATP binding inducing the O to B transition. Condensin binds DNA via its globular domain and also via the hinge domain. We observe a single condensin complex at the stem of extruded DNA loops, where the neck size of the DNA loop correlates with the width of the condensin complex. The results are indicative of a type of scrunching model in which condensin extrudes DNA by a cyclic switching of its conformation between O and B shapes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1134-1141
Number of pages8
JournalNature Structural and Molecular Biology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

10.1038/s41594-020-00524-y BETREFT doi van correction: the title of the Fig. 4 caption, “DNA loops extruded by condensing,” was incorrect. The correct title is “DNA loops extruded by condensin"


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