Sheffield Institute for Nucleic Acids

Dr Bin Hu

Research Interests

Dr Hu’s research career has been focused on Chromosome Biology and Genome Stability for over 12 years. Our biological characters are decided by the genetics information carried by DNA.  To ensure to our genetic information is faithfully transmitted to next generation, DNA has to be precisely replicated and equally distributed to two new-born cells during cell proliferation.  Further, the large DNA molecules have to be highly compacted in order to be accommodated in a small space-nucleus.  Any defects in these processes will lead to catastrophic consequences, for example cancer and genetic diseases in human.

Structural Maintenance of Chromosome proteins (SMC), including cohesin, condensin and Smc5/6 complex, are essential for chromosome organisation, replication and segregation from bacterial to human.  To gain mechanical insights how these proteins regulate these processes, Dr Hu’s lab used the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model organism to study the function of cohesin and condensin on sister chromatid cohesion and DNA condensation.

Cohesin and sister chromatid cohesion

Once chromosome replication is completed, the replicated sister chromatids have to be held together to prevent premature segregation. Cohesin is the key player on sister chromatid cohesin. Dr Hu’s group are currently study how cohesin is recruited to DNA and how sister chromatids are held by cohesin.

DNA condensation mediated by cohesin and condensin

The DNA of all organisms must be compacted in order to store a large amount of genetic information in one cell. Compaction must be regulated so that it is sufficiently decondensed to allow the access of DNA replication or transcription machinery. Cohesin and condensin have been identified as the key players on this process. Dr Hu’s are combining genetic, cell biological and biochemical approaches to investigate how these proteins organise and regulate DNA structure.


  • Hu B, Petela N, Kurze A, Chan KL, Chapard C, Nasmyth K. (2015) Biological chromodynamics: a general method for measuring protein occupancy across the genome by calibrating ChIP-seq. Nucleic Acids Res, doi: 10.1093/nar/gkv670 PMID: 26130708
  • Chan K*, Roig MB*, Hu B*, Beckouët F, Metson J, Nasmyth K (2012) Cohesin’s DNA Exit Gate Is Distinct from Its Entrance Gate and Is Regulated by Acetylation. Cell, 150: 961-974 (*co-first authors) PMID: 26130708
  • Hu B, Itoh T, Mishra A, Katoh Y, Chan K, Upcher W, Godleen C, B. Roig MB, Shirahige K, Nasmyth K (2010) ATP Hydrolysis Is Required for Relocating Cohesin from Sites Occupied by Its Scc2/4 Loading Complex. Curr Biol. 21: 12-24 PMID: 21185190
  • Beckouët F, Hu B, Roig MB, Sutani T, Komata M, Uluocak P, Katis VL, Shirahige K, Nasmyth K. (2010)An Smc3 acetylation cycle is essential for establishment of sister chromatid cohesion. Mol Cell. 39: 689-99. PMID: 20832721
  • Mishra A, Hu B, Kurze A, Beckouët F, Farcas AM, Dixon SE, Katou Y, Khalid S, Shirahige K, Nasmyth K. (2010) Both interaction surfaces within cohesin’s hinge domain are essential for its stable chromosomal association. Curr Biol. 4:279-89. PMC2852676
  • Vaughan CK, Mollapour M, Smith JR, Truman A, Hu B, Good VM, Panaretou B, Neckers L, Clarke PA, Workman P, Piper PW, Prodromou C, Pearl LH. (2008) Hsp90-dependent activation of protein kinases is regulated by chaperone-targeted dephosphorylation of Cdc37. Mol Cell. 6:886-95 PMID: 18922470
  • Liao C, Hu B, Arno MJ, Panaretou B. (2007) Genomic screening in vivo reveals the role played by vacuolar H+ ATPase and cytosolic acidification in sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents such as cisplatin. Mol Pharmacol. 2:416-25. PMID: 17093137
  • Hu B, Liao C, Millson SH, Mollapour M, Prodromou C, Pearl LH, Piper PW, Panaretou B. (2005) Qri2/Nse4, a component of the essential Smc5/6 DNA repair complex. Mol Microbiol. 6:1735-50. PMID: 15752197
Dr Bin Hu
University Research Fellow
Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
+44 (0)114 222 2731