Cell Biology

Controlling Chromosome Movement

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Science  15 Dec 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5499, pp. 2033
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5499.2033a

The congregation of condensed chromosomes at the equator of the mitotic spindle and their subsequent partitioning towards the poles is one of the most visually fascinating events of cell biology. Four groups looking at the mechanism of chromosome segregation now describe the roles played by several proteins in this process.

Savoian et al. report how Drosophila mutants lacking either of two proteins—ZW10 and Rod—separate chromosomes along the mitotic spindle at reduced rates, probably due to a failure to recruit the molecular motor dynein. Chan et al. have looked at the human versions of Rod and ZW10 and found that they are inspected at a mitotic checkpoint; if they're missing, cells may move from metaphase into anaphase inappropriately. Additional evidence for the importance of this pair of proteins at the mitotic spindle checkpoint in Drosophila neuroblasts is provided by Basto et al. Finally, a study by Sharp et al. supports the notion that dynein is important in promoting the poleward motion of chromosomes during mitosis. Together these findings demonstrate that chromosome segregation is tightly regulated, that the kinetochore proteins ZW10 and Rod are components of this system, and that the key motor is dynein. — SMH

Nature Cell Biol.2, 948; 944; 939; 922 (2000).

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