FunctionMeiosis-specific component of cohesin complex. Required for the maintenance of meiotic cohesion, but not, or only to a minor extent, for its establishment. Contributes to axial element (AE) formation and the organization of chromatin loops along the AE. Plays a key role in synapsis, recombination and chromosome movements. The cohesin complex is required for the cohesion of sister chromatids after DNA replication. The cohesin complex apparently forms a large proteinaceous ring within which sister chromatids can be trapped. At anaphase, the complex is cleaved and dissociates from chromatin, allowing sister chromatids to segregate. The meiosis-specific cohesin complex probably replaces mitosis specific cohesin complex when it dissociates from chromatin during prophase I.
Sequence similaritiesBelongs to the SMC family. SMC1 subfamily.
DomainThe flexible hinge domain, which separates the large intramolecular coiled coil regions, allows the heterotypic interaction with the corresponding domain of SMC3, forming a V-shaped heterodimer. The two heads of the heterodimer are then connected by different ends of the cleavable RAD21 or REC8 protein, forming a ring structure.
Cellular localizationNucleus. Chromosome. Chromosome > centromere. Associates with chromatin. In prophase I stage of meiosis, localizes along the AE of synaptonemal complexes. In late-pachytene-diplotene, the bulk of protein dissociates from the chromosome arms probably because of phosphorylation by PLK, except at centromeres, where cohesin complexes remain. Remains chromatin associated at the centromeres up to metaphase II. At anaphase II, dissociates from centromeres, allowing chromosomes segregation.