Opposing functions of the N-terminal acetyltransferases Naa50 and NatA in sister-chromatid cohesion

Ziye Rong, Zhuqing Ouyang, Robert S. Magin, Ronen Marmorstein, Hongtao Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


During the cell cycle, sister-chromatid cohesion tethers sister chromatids together from S phase to the metaphase-anaphase transition and ensures accurate segregation of chromatids into daughter cells. N-terminal acetylation is one of the most prevalent protein covalent modifications in eukaryotes and is mediated by a family of N-terminal acetyltransferases (NAT). Naa50 (also called San) has previously been shown to play a role in sister-chromatid cohesion in metazoans. The mechanism by which Naa50 contributes to cohesion is not understood however. Here, we show that depletion of Naa50 in HeLa cells weakens the interaction between cohesin and its positive regulator sororin and causes cohesion defects in S phase, consistent with a role of Naa50 in cohesion establishment. Strikingly, co-depletion of NatA, a heterodimeric NAT complex that physically interacts with Naa50, rescues the sister-chromatid cohesion defects and the resulting mitotic arrest caused by Naa50 depletion, indicating that NatA and Naa50 play antagonistic roles in cohesion. Purified recombinant NatA and Naa50 do not affect each other's NAT activity in vitro. Because NatA and Naa50 exhibit distinct substrate specificity, we propose that they modify different effectors and regulate sister-chromatid cohesion in opposing ways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19079-19091
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number36
StatePublished - Sep 2 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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