PerspectiveMolecular Biology

Surfing Chromosomes (and Survivin)

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Science  08 Oct 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6001, pp. 183-184
DOI: 10.1126/science.1197261

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Mothers are generally inclined to provide each of their offspring with similar opportunities. Even a mother cell abides by providing her daughters with an equal dowry of chromosomes. Diversions from fairness create imbalances in chromosome numbers that affect cell viability and are associated with tumor formation, infertility, and birth defects. Three papers in this issue—by Yamagishi et al. on page 239 (1), Wang et al. on page 231 (2), and Kelly et al. on page 235 (3)—describe how an enzyme (Aurora B protein kinase) that is essential for accurate chromosome inheritance is recruited to chromosomes that are poised to segregate into daughter cells.