The structure-function relationship of cohesin, an essential chromosome maintenance protein, is investigated by analyzing its collective dynamics and conformational flexibility, enhancing our understanding of the sister chromatid cohesion process. A three-dimensional model of cohesin has been constructed by homology modeling using both crystallographic and electron microscopy image data. The harmonic dynamics of the cohesin structure are calculated with a coarse-grained elastic network model. The model shows that the bending motion of the cohesin ring is able to adopt a head-to-tail conformation, in agreement with experimental data. Low-frequency conformational changes are observed to deform the highly conserved glycine residues at the interface of the cohesin heterodimer. Normal mode analysis further reveals that, near large globular structures such as nucleosome and accessory proteins docked to cohesin, the mobility of the coiled-coil regions is notably affected. Moreover, fully solvated molecular dynamics calculations, performed specifically on the hinge region, indicate that hinge opening starts from one side of the dimerization interface, and is coordinated by highly conserved glycine residues.