Basic mechanism of eukaryotic chromosome segregation

Mitsuhiro Yanagida

Abstract

We now have firm evidence that the basic mechanism of chromosome segregation is similar among diverse eukaryotes as the same genes are employed. Even in prokaryotes, the very basic feature of chromosome segregation has similarities to that of eukaryotes. Many aspects of chromosome segregation are closely related to a cell cycle control that includes stage-specific protein modification and proteolysis. Destruction of mitotic cyclin and securin leads to mitotic exit and separase activation, respectively. Key players in chromosome segregation are SMC-containing cohesin and condensin, DNA topoisomerase II, APC/C ubiquitin ligase, securin–separase complex, aurora passengers, and kinetochore microtubule destabilizers or regulators. In addition, the formation of mitotic kinetochore and spindle apparatus is absolutely essential. The roles of principal players in basic chromosome segregation are discussed: most players have interphase as well as mitotic functions. A view on how the centromere/kinetochore is formed is described.

Footnotes

  • One contribution of 17 to a Discussion Meeting Issue ‘Chromosome segregation’.

  • Glossary

    Cdc
    cell division cycle
    CIN
    chromosome instability
    Ctf
    chromosome transmission fidelity
    FISH
    fluorescence in situ hybridization
    HU
    hydroxyurea
    otr
    outer region
    RB
    retinoblastoma protein
    SMC
    structural maintenance of chromosome
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