Cohesin phosphorylation and mobility of SMC1 at ionizing radiation-induced DNA double-strand breaks in human cells

Christina Bauerschmidt*, Michael Woodcock, David L. Stevens, Mark A. Hill, Kai Rothkamm, Thomas Helleday

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Cohesin, a hetero-tetrameric complex of SMC1, SMC3, Rad21 and Scc3, associates with chromatin after mitosis and holds sister chromatids together following DNA replication. Following DNA damage, cohesin accumulates at and promotes the repair of DNA double-strand breaks. In addition, phosphorylation of the SMC1/3 subunits contributes to DNA damage-induced cell cycle checkpoint regulation. The aim of this study was to determine the regulation and consequences of SMC1/3 phosphorylation as part of the cohesin complex. We show here that the ATM-dependent phosphorylation of SMC1 and SMC3 is mediated by H2AX, 53BP1 and MDC1. Depletion of RAD21 abolishes these phosphorylations, indicating that only the fully assembled complex is phosphorylated. Comparison of wild type SMC1 and SMC1S966A in fluorescence recovery after photo-bleaching experiments shows that phosphorylation of SMC1 is required for an increased mobility after DNA damage in G2-phase cells, suggesting that ATM-dependent phosphorylation facilitates mobilization of the cohesin complex after DNA damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-337
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Richard Doull for help with the conventional X-rays. The SMC1wtpEGFP-N1 plasmid was kindly provided by Jan-Michael Peters (Vienna, Austria). This work was supported by Cancer Research UK ( C14 504/A6116 to K.R.) and the Medical Research Council .


  • ATM
  • Cohesin
  • DNA repair
  • Ionizing radiation
  • SMC1
  • SMC3


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