Research Article

A pathway for mitotic chromosome formation

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Science  09 Feb 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6376, eaao6135
DOI: 10.1126/science.aao6135

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Tracking mitotic chromosome formation

How cells pack DNA into fully compact, rod-shaped chromosomes during mitosis has fascinated cell biologists for more than a century. Gibcus et al. delineated the conformational transition trajectory from interphase chromatin to mitotic chromosomes minute by minute during the cell cycle. The mitotic chromosome is organized in a spiral staircase architecture in which chromatin loops emanate radially from a centrally located helical scaffold. The molecular machines condensin I and II play distinct roles in these processes: Condensin II is essential for helical winding, whereas condensin I modulates the organization within each helical turn.

Science, this issue p. eaao6135