A two-faced molecule: deciphering cohesin’s dual role

Inside the microscopic cell nucleus resides our genome, a two-meter-long DNA strand meticulously organized in compact chromosomes by cohesin, a protein complex. This molecular architect facilitates DNA interactions throughout the cell cycle, shaping loops within chromosomes and mediating contacts between chromosomes. Scientists in the lab of IMP Scientific Director Jan-Michael Peters have gained unexpected insights into the mechanisms that govern these functions, now published in the journal Molecular Cell.

Artistic impression of cohesin's dual role (credit: Philipp Dexheimer)

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