Structural maintenance of chromosome proteins (SMC) are evolutionarily conserved chromosomal proteins that are components of the cohesin complex, necessary for sister chromatid cohesion. These proteins may also function in DNA repair. It has been reported that SMC1 is a component of the DNA damage response network that functions as an effector in the ATM/NBS1-dependent S-phase checkpoint pathway. SMC1 associates with BRCA1 and is phosphorylated in response to IR in an ATM- and NBS1-dependent manner (1). ATM phosphorylates Smc1 on serines 957 and 966 in vitro and in vivo, and expression of an SMC1 protein mutated at these phosphorylation sites abrogates the ionizing irradiation-induced S phase cell cycle checkpoint. Optimal phosphorylation of these sites in SMC1 after ionizing irradiation also requires the presence of the ATM substrates Nbs1 and Brca1 (2).
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