Condensin positioning at telomeres by shelterin proteins drives sister-telomere disjunction in anaphase

  1. CNRS - Laboratory of Biology and Modelling of the Cell, UMR 5239, Lyon, France
  2. ENS de Lyon, Univ. Lyon, 46 allée d’Italie, site Jacques Monod, F-69007, Lyon, France
  3. MCD, Centre de Biologie Intégrative, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, UPS, 31062 Toulouse Cedex, France
  4. CNRS, INSERM, Aix Marseille Univ, Institut Paoli-Calmettes, CRCM, Equipe labellisée par la Ligue Nationale contre le Cancer, Marseille, F-13009, France
  5. CBI, MCD-UMR5077, CNRS, Chromatin dynamics team, 31062, Toulouse


  • Reviewing Editor
    Adèle Marston
    University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Senior Editor
    Kevin Struhl
    Harvard Medical School, Boston, United States of America

Reviewer #1 (Public Review):

Colin et al demonstrated that condensin is a key factor for the disjunction of sister-telomeres during mitosis and proposed that it is due to that condensin restrains the telomere association of cohesin. The authors first showed that condensin binds telomeres in mitosis evidenced by ChIP-qPCR and calibrated ChIP-seq. They further demonstrated that compromising condensin's activity leads to a failure in the disjunction of telomeres, with convincing cytological and HI-seq evidence. Two telomeric proteins Taz1 and Mit1 were identified to specifically regulate the telomere association of condensin. Deletion of these genes decreased/increased condensin's telomere association and exacerbated/remedied the defected telomere disjunction in a condensin mutant, echoing the role of condensin in telomere disjunction. They proposed that the underlying mechanism is that condensin inhibits cohesin's accumulation at telomeres. However, the evidence for this claim might need to be further strengthened. Nevertheless, this study uncovered a novel role of condensin in the separation of telomeres of sister chromosomes and open a question of how condensin regulates the structure of chromosomal ends.

Reviewer #2 (Public Review):

This manuscript presents a comprehensive investigation into the role of condensin complexes in telomere segregation in fission yeast. The authors employ chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis to demonstrate the enrichment of condensin at telomeres during anaphase. They then use condensin conditional mutants to confirm that this complex plays a crucial role in sister telomere disjunction as well as the unclustering of telomeric regions from the preceding Rabl configuration. Interestingly, they show that condensin's role in telomere disjunction is unlikely related to catenation removal but rather related to the organization of telomeres in cis and/or the elimination of structural constraints or proteins that hinder separation.

The authors also investigate the regulation of condensin localization to telomeres and reveal the involvement of the shelterin subunit Taz1 in promoting condensin's association with telomeres while demonstrating that the chromatin remodeler Mit1 prevents excessive loading of condensin onto telomeres. Finally, they show that cohesin acts as a negative regulator of telomere separation, counteracting the positive effects of condensin.

Overall, the manuscript is well-executed, and the authors provide sufficient supporting evidence for their claims. There are a couple of aspects that arise from this study that when fully elucidated will lead to a mechanistic understanding of important biological processes. For instance, the exact mechanism by which Taz1 affects condensin loading or the mechanistic link between cohesin and condensin, especially in the context of their opposing roles, are exciting prospects for the future and it is possible that future work within the context of telomeres might provide valuable insights into this question.

Another crucial point emphasized by the manuscript is that the role of condensin in telomere segregation extends beyond facilitating catenation removal.

Reviewer #3 (Public Review):

This study explores how condensin and telomere proteins cooperate to facilitate sister chromatid disjunction at chromosome ends during anaphase. Building upon previous results published by the same group (Reyes et al. 2015, Berthezene et al. 2020), the authors demonstrate that condensin is essential for sister telomere disjunction in anaphase in fission yeast. The primary role of condensin appears to be counteracting cohesin, which holds sister telomeres together. Furthermore, condensin is found to be enriched at telomeres, and this enrichment partially relies on Taz1, the principal telomere factor in S. pombe. The loss of Taz1 does not cause an obvious defect in sister telomere disjunction, which prevents drawing strong conclusions about its role in this process.

  1. Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  2. Wellcome Trust
  3. Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
  4. Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation