Cell Biology

A Distinction with a Difference

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Science  17 Oct 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5644, pp. 359
DOI: 10.1126/science.302.5644.359a

In the transition from interphase to mitosis, chromosomal material changes from a fuzzy indistinct mass into compact and well-defined pairs of chromosomes. Condensin complexes contain proteins of the structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) family and function in the assembly and segregation of mitotic chromosomes. Ono et al. suggest that two types of condensin complexes are present in vertebrate cells. While sharing SMC subunits, condensin I and II differ in their other subunits. Depleting either or both of the condensin complexes disrupted the normal ordered structure of mitotic chromosomes in slightly different ways and obscured the demarcation of the two chromosomal chromatids. Furthermore, the two condensin complexes localized to different sites along the condensed chromosomes and hence appear to make separate contributions to the generation and maintenance of condensed chromosome structure. — SMH

Cell 115, 109 (2003).

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