Cell Biology

Breaking the Nucleus, Making Mitosis

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Science  26 Sep 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5641, pp. 1817
DOI: 10.1126/science.301.5641.1817b

In animal cells at the onset of mitosis the nuclear envelope breaks down, releasing the condensed chromosomes into the cytosol where they encounter the mitotic spindle. The breakdown of the nuclear envelope involves the disassembly of the nuclear lamina and nuclear pores and the redistribution of the envelope membranes to the endoplasmic reticulum.

Salina et al. now show that several components of the disassembled nuclear pore complexes associate with chromosome-associated kinetochores—the parts of the condensed chromosomes that must interact with the mitotic spindle during chromosomal congression and partitioning. The assembly of these kinetochores together with nuclear pore components is essential for the correct function of the kinetochore in chromosome partitioning. In particular, one nuclear pore protein, Nup358, plays an essential role in the integration of nuclear envelope breakdown and kinetochore maturation and function, and lack of Nup358 can cause mitotic arrest. — SMH

J. Cell Biol. 162, 991 (2003).

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