PerspectiveCell Biology

Mind the midzone

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Science  18 Jul 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6194, pp. 265-266
DOI: 10.1126/science.1257267

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When a eukaryotic cell divides, it must partition its duplicated genome into two daughter cells with a minimum of errors and DNA damage. This requires the ordering and coordination of various events during nuclear division (mitosis) and cytoplasmic division (cytokinesis). How these events are temporally coordinated remains poorly understood. On page 332 of this issue, Afonso et al. (1) propose the exciting idea of a “chromosome separation checkpoint” that controls the near final step of mitosis—the anaphase to telophase transition (see the figure).