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Science 317 (5835): 245-248

Copyright © 2007 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

DNA Double-Strand Breaks Trigger Genome-Wide Sister-Chromatid Cohesion Through Eco1 (Ctf7)

Elçin Ünal,1,2 Jill M. Heidinger-Pauli,1,2 Douglas Koshland1*

Abstract: Faithful chromosome segregation and repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) require cohesin, the protein complex that mediates sister-chromatid cohesion. Cohesion between sister chromatids is thought to be generated only during ongoing DNA replication by an obligate coupling between cohesion establishment factors such as Eco1 (Ctf7) and the replisome. Using budding yeast, we challenge this model by showing that cohesion is generated by an Eco1-dependent but replication-independent mechanism in response to DSBs in G2/M. Furthermore, our studies reveal that Eco1 has two functions: a cohesive activity and a conserved acetyltransferase activity, which triggers the generation of cohesion in response to the DSB and the DNA damage checkpoint. Finally, the DSB-induced cohesion is not limited to broken chromosomes but occurs also on unbroken chromosomes, suggesting that the DNA damage checkpoint through Eco1 provides genome-wide protection of chromosome integrity.

1 Carnegie Institution, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Embryology, 3520 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA.
2 Johns Hopkins University, Department of Biology, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: koshland{at}

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