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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2005 Mar 29;360(1455):543-52.

Roles and regulation of the Drosophila centromere cohesion protein MEI-S332 family.

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  • 1Whitehead Institute and Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.


In meiosis, a physical attachment, or cohesion, between the centromeres of the sister chromatids is retained until their separation at anaphase II. This cohesion is essential for ensuring accurate segregation of the sister chromatids in meiosis II and avoiding aneuploidy, a condition that can lead to prenatal lethality or birth defects. The Drosophila MEI-S332 protein localizes to centromeres when sister chromatids are attached in mitosis and meiosis, and it is required to maintain cohesion at the centromeres after cohesion along the sister chromatid arms is lost at the metaphase I/anaphase I transition. MEI-S332 is the founding member of a family of proteins that protect centromeric cohesion but whose members also affect kinetochore behaviour and spindle microtubule dynamics. We compare the Drosophila MEI-S332 family members, evaluate the role of MEI-S332 in mitosis and meiosis I, and discuss the regulation of localization of MEI-S332 to the centromere and its dissociation at anaphase. We analyse the relationship between MEI-S332 and cohesin, a protein complex that is also necessary for sister-chromatid cohesion in mitosis and meiosis. In mitosis, centromere localization of <EI-S332 is not dependent upon the cohesin complex, and cohesin retains its association with mitotic chromosomes even in the absence of MEI-S332.

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