Since their discovery, the cohesin proteins have been intensely studied in multiple model systems to determine the mechanism of chromosome cohesion. Recent studies have demonstrated that cohesin is much more than a molecular glue that holds chromosomes together in mitosis. Indeed, cohesin performs critical roles in gene regulation, possibly through the formation of higher-order chromatin structure. Moreover, this newly appreciated role is necessary for proper development in metazoan species, with mutations in the cohesin pathway resulting in human developmental disorders.
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