Sister kinetochores are mechanically fused during meiosis I in yeast

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Science  11 Sep 2014:
DOI: 10.1126/science.1256729

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Production of healthy gametes requires a reductional meiosis I division in which replicated sister chromatids co-migrate, rather than separating as in mitosis or meiosis II. Fusion of sister kinetochores during meiosis I may underlie sister chromatid co-migration in diverse organisms, but direct evidence for such fusion has been lacking. Here, we studied native kinetochore particles isolated from yeast using laser trapping and quantitative fluorescence microscopy. Meiosis I kinetochores formed stronger attachments and carried more microtubule-binding elements than kinetochores isolated from cells in mitosis or meiosis II. The meiosis I-specific monopolin complex was both necessary and sufficient to drive these modifications. Thus, kinetochore fusion directs sister chromatid co-migration, a conserved feature of meiosis that is fundamental to Mendelian inheritance.

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