Feytout A, Vaur S, Genier S, Vazquez S, Javerzat JP
In budding yeast and humans, cohesion establishment during S phase requires the acetyltransferase Eco1/Esco1-2, which acetylates the cohesin subunit Smc3 on two conserved lysine residues. Whether Smc3 is the sole Eco1/Esco1-2 effector and how Smc3 acetylation promotes cohesion are unknown. In fission yeast (Schizosaccharomyces pombe), as in humans, cohesin binding to G(1) chromosomes is dynamic and the unloading reaction is stimulated by Wpl1 (human ortholog, Wapl). During S phase, a subpopulation of cohesin becomes stably bound to chromatin in an Eso1 (fission yeast Eco1/Esco1-2)-dependent manner. Cohesin stabilization occurs unevenly along chromosomes. Cohesin remains largely labile at the rDNA repeats but binds mostly in the stable mode to pericentromere regions. This pattern is largely unchanged in eso1Δ wpl1Δ cells, and cohesion is unaffected, indicating that the main Eso1 role is counteracting Wpl1. A mutant of Psm3 (fission yeast Smc3) that mimics its acetylated state renders cohesin less sensitive to Wpl1-dependent unloading and partially bypasses the Eso1 requirement but cannot generate the stable mode of cohesin binding in the absence of Eso1. Conversely, nonacetylatable Psm3 reduces the stable cohesin fraction and affects cohesion in a Wpl1-dependent manner, but cells are viable. We propose that Psm3 acetylation contributes to Eso1 counteracting of Wpl1 to secure stable cohesin interaction with postreplicative chromosomes but that it is not the sole molecular event by which this occurs.