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Gene Review

SMC3  -  cohesin subunit SMC3

Saccharomyces cerevisiae S288c

Synonyms: DA-box protein SMC3, J1049, Structural maintenance of chromosomes protein 3, YJL074C
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High impact information on SMC3

  • Cohesin's Smc1 and Smc3 "heads" are connected by an alpha kleisin subunit called Scc1, forming a tripartite ring with a diameter around 40 nm [1].
  • Cleavage of the Smc3 coiled coil is sufficient to trigger cohesin release from chromosomes and loss of sister cohesion, consistent with a topological association with chromatin [2].
  • Its Smc1 and Smc3 subunits are rod-shaped molecules with globular ABC-like ATPases at one end and dimerization domains at the other connected by long coiled coils [2].
  • Both Rec8p and Smc3p colocalize with chromosome cores independently of synapsis during prophase I and largely disappear from chromosome arms after pachytene but persist in the neighborhood of centromeres until the onset of anaphase II [3].
  • Meiotic cohesin REC8 marks the axial elements of rat synaptonemal complexes before cohesins SMC1beta and SMC3 [4].

Biological context of SMC3

  • Association of mammalian SMC1 and SMC3 proteins with meiotic chromosomes and synaptonemal complexes [5].
  • We report here evidence for an involvement of mammalian SMC1 and SMC3 proteins in meiosis [5].
  • In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a complex consisting of Scc1, Smc1, Smc3, and Scc3 proteins, called "cohesin," mediates the connection between sister chromatids [6].
  • Furthermore, SMC1beta, SMC3, SCP2, and SCP3 cannot provide arm cohesion during metaphase I [4].
  • RESULTS: Characterization of cohesin's ATPase activity suggests that hydrolysis depends on the binding of ATP to both Smc1 and Smc3 heads [7].

Anatomical context of SMC3

  • In spermatocyte nuclei spreads, the SMC1 and SMC3 proteins localize in a beaded structure along the axial elements of synaptonemal complexes of pachytene and diplotene chromosomes [5].

Other interactions of SMC3

  • Thus, SCC-1/COH-2 and the homologs of Scc3, Smc1, and Smc3 facilitate mitotic chromosome segregation during the development, presumably by forming a cohesin complex, whereas COH-1 seems to play a role important for development but unrelated to mitosis [8].
  • C(2)M associates in vivo with the Smc3 cohesin subunit, as previously shown for yeast Rec8 [9].


  1. A topological interaction between cohesin rings and a circular minichromosome. Ivanov, D., Nasmyth, K. Cell (2005) [Pubmed]
  2. Chromosomal cohesin forms a ring. Gruber, S., Haering, C.H., Nasmyth, K. Cell (2003) [Pubmed]
  3. A central role for cohesins in sister chromatid cohesion, formation of axial elements, and recombination during yeast meiosis. Klein, F., Mahr, P., Galova, M., Buonomo, S.B., Michaelis, C., Nairz, K., Nasmyth, K. Cell (1999) [Pubmed]
  4. Meiotic cohesin REC8 marks the axial elements of rat synaptonemal complexes before cohesins SMC1beta and SMC3. Eijpe, M., Offenberg, H., Jessberger, R., Revenkova, E., Heyting, C. J. Cell Biol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  5. Association of mammalian SMC1 and SMC3 proteins with meiotic chromosomes and synaptonemal complexes. Eijpe, M., Heyting, C., Gross, B., Jessberger, R. J. Cell. Sci. (2000) [Pubmed]
  6. Eco1 is a novel acetyltransferase that can acetylate proteins involved in cohesion. Ivanov, D., Schleiffer, A., Eisenhaber, F., Mechtler, K., Haering, C.H., Nasmyth, K. Curr. Biol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  7. Cohesin's ATPase Activity Is Stimulated by the C-Terminal Winged-Helix Domain of Its Kleisin Subunit. Arumugam, P., Nishino, T., Haering, C.H., Gruber, S., Nasmyth, K. Curr. Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  8. Distinct developmental function of two Caenorhabditis elegans homologs of the cohesin subunit Scc1/Rad21. Mito, Y., Sugimoto, A., Yamamoto, M. Mol. Biol. Cell (2003) [Pubmed]
  9. The Drosophila meiotic kleisin C(2)M functions before the meiotic divisions. Heidmann, D., Horn, S., Heidmann, S., Schleiffer, A., Nasmyth, K., Lehner, C.F. Chromosoma (2004) [Pubmed]
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