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Merotelic Kinetochores in Mammalian Tissue Cells

E. D. Salmon, D. Cimini, L. A. Cameron and J. G. DeLuca
Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences
Vol. 360, No. 1455 (Mar. 29, 2005), pp. 553-568
Published by: Royal Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30041281
Page Count: 16
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Merotelic Kinetochores in Mammalian Tissue Cells
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Abstract

Merotelic kinetochore attachment is a major source of aneuploidy in mammalian tissue cells in culture. Mammalian kinetochores typically have binding sites for about 20-25 kinetochore microtubules. In prometaphase, kinetqchores become merotelic if they attach to microtubules from opposite poles rather than to just one pole as normally occurs. Merotelic attachments support chromosome bi-orientation and alignment near the metaphase plate and they are not detected by the mitotic spindle checkpoint. At anaphase onset, sister chromatids separate, but a chromatid with a merotelic kinetochore may not be segregated correctly, and may lag near the spindle equator because of pulling forces toward opposite poles, or move in the direction of the wrong pole. Correction mechanisms are important for preventing segregation errors. There are probably more than 100 times as many PtK1 tissue cells with merotelic kinetochores in early mitosis, and about 16 times as many entering anaphase as the 1% of cells with lagging chromosomes seen in late anaphase. The role of spindle mechanics and potential functions of the Ndc80/Nuf2 protein complex at the kinetochore/microtubule interface is discussed for two correction mechanisms: one that functions before anaphase to reduce the number of kinetochore microtubules to the wrong pole, and one that functions after anaphase onset to move merotelic kinetochores based on the ratio of kinetochore microtubules to the correct versus incorrect pole.

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