Eukaryotes have at least six SMC proteins in individual organisms, and they form three distinct heterodimers with specialized functions:
- A pair of SMC1 and SMC3 constitutes the core subunits of the cohesin complexes involved in sister chromatid cohesion.
- Likewise, a pair of SMC2 and SMC4 acts as the core of the condensin complexes implicated in chromosome condensation.
- A dimer composed of SMC5 and SMC6 functions as part of a yet-to-be-named octameric complex implicated in DNA repair and checkpoint responses.
Each complex contains a distinct set of non-SMC regulatory subunits.
Some organisms have variants of SMC proteins. For instance, mammals have a meiosis-specific variant of SMC1, known as SMC1β. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has an SMC4-variant that has a specialized role in dosage compensation.
|subfamily||complex||S. cerevisiae||S. pombe||C. elegans||D. melanogaster||vertebrates|
|SMC4 variant||dosage compensation complex||-||-||DPY-27||-||-|
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