Human cohesin compacts DNA by loop extrusion

Yoori Kim, Zhubing Shi, Hongshan Zhang, Ilya J. Finkelstein, Hongtao Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

331 Scopus citations


Cohesin is a chromosome-bound, multisubunit adenosine triphosphatase complex. After loading onto chromosomes, it generates loops to regulate chromosome functions. It has been suggested that cohesin organizes the genome through loop extrusion, but direct evidence is lacking. Here, we used singlemolecule imaging to show that the recombinant human cohesin-NIPBL complex compacts both naked and nucleosome-bound DNA by extruding DNA loops. DNA compaction by cohesin requires adenosine triphosphate (ATP) hydrolysis and is force sensitive. This compaction is processive over tens of kilobases at an average rate of 0.5 kilobases per second. Compaction of double-tethered DNA suggests that a cohesin dimer extrudes DNA loops bidirectionally. Our results establish cohesin-NIPBL as an ATP-driven molecular machine capable of loop extrusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1345-1349
Number of pages5
Issue number6471
StatePublished - Dec 13 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Human cohesin compacts DNA by loop extrusion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this