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Cell Div. 2010 Dec 11;5:28. doi: 10.1186/1747-1028-5-28.

Monitoring spindle orientation: Spindle position checkpoint in charge.

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  • 1German Cancer Research Centre, DKFZ-ZMBH Alliance, Molecular Biology of Centrosomes and Cilia, Im Neuenheimer Feld 581, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


Every cell division in budding yeast is inherently asymmetric and counts on the correct positioning of the mitotic spindle along the mother-daughter polarity axis for faithful chromosome segregation. A surveillance mechanism named the spindle position checkpoint (SPOC), monitors the orientation of the mitotic spindle and prevents cells from exiting mitosis when the spindle fails to align along the mother-daughter axis. SPOC is essential for maintenance of ploidy in budding yeast and similar mechanisms might exist in higher eukaryotes to ensure faithful asymmetric cell division. Here, we review the current model of SPOC activation and highlight the importance of protein localization and phosphorylation for SPOC function.

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