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Trends Biochem Sci. 2005 Oct;30(10):559-68.

The many phases of anaphase.

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  • 1The Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Biology, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. degramonta@niddk.nih.gov


Anaphase is the stage of the cell cycle in which duplicated chromosomes separate and move towards opposite poles of the cell. Although its chromosome movements have always been viewed as majestic, until recently anaphase lacked obvious landmarks of regulation. The picture has changed with numerous recent studies that have highlighted the raison d'ĂȘtre of anaphase. It is now known to be associated with a series of regulatory pathways that promote a switch from high to low cyclin-dependent kinase activity--an essential feature for proper mitotic exit. The balance between protein phosphorylation and protein dephosphorylation drives and coordinates diverse processes such as chromosome movement, spindle dynamics and cleavage furrow formation. This well-ordered sequence of events is central to successful mitosis.

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