Condensin complexes: understanding loop extrusion one conformational change at a time
Condensin and cohesin, both members of the structural maintenance of chromosome (SMC) family, contribute to the regulation and structure of chromatin. Recent work has shown both condensin and cohesin extrude DNA loops and most likely work via a conserved mechanism. This review focuses on condensin complexes, highlighting recent in vitro work characterising DNA loop formation and protein structure. We discuss similarities between condensin and cohesin complexes to derive a possible mechanistic model, as well as discuss differences that exist between the different condensin isoforms found in higher eukaryotes.