Releasing the cohesin ring: A rigid scaffold model for opening the DNA exit gate by Pds5 and Wapl

Zhuqing Ouyang, Hongtao Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


The ring-shaped ATPase machine, cohesin, regulates sister chromatid cohesion, transcription, and DNA repair by topologically entrapping DNA. Here, we propose a rigid scaffold model to explain how the cohesin regulators Pds5 and Wapl release cohesin from chromosomes. Recent studies have established the Smc3-Scc1 interface as the DNA exit gate of cohesin, revealed a requirement for ATP hydrolysis in ring opening, suggested regulation of the cohesin ATPase activity by DNA and Smc3 acetylation, and provided insights into how Pds5 and Wapl open this exit gate. We hypothesize that Pds5, Wapl, and SA1/2 form a rigid scaffold that docks on Scc1 and anchors the N-terminal domain of Scc1 (Scc1N) to the Smc1 ATPase head. Relative movements between the Smc1-3 ATPase heads driven by ATP and Wapl disrupt the Smc3-Scc1 interface. Pds5 binds the dissociated Scc1N and prolongs this open state of cohesin, releasing DNA. We review the evidence supporting this model and suggest experiments that can further test its key principles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2017


  • ATP hydrolysis
  • ATPase
  • Chromosome segregation
  • Cohesion
  • HEAT repeat
  • Pds5
  • Scaffold
  • Stromal antigen
  • Wapl

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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