Chromosomes Can Congress to the Metaphase Plate Before Biorientation

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Science  20 Jan 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5759, pp. 388-391
DOI: 10.1126/science.1122142

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The stable propagation of genetic material during cell division depends on the congression of chromosomes to the spindle equator before the cell initiates anaphase. It is generally assumed that congression requires that chromosomes are connected to the opposite poles of the bipolar spindle (“bioriented”). In mammalian cells, we found that chromosomes can congress before becoming bioriented. By combining the use of reversible chemical inhibitors, live-cell light microscopy, and correlative electron microscopy, we found that monooriented chromosomes could glide toward the spindle equator alongside kinetochore fibers attached to other already bioriented chromosomes. This congression mechanism depended on the kinetochore-associated, plus end–directed microtubule motor CENP-E (kinesin-7).

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