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Int Rev Cytol. 2000;194:67-131.

The kinetochore of higher eucaryotes: a molecular view.

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Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Washington, Seattle 98195, USA.


This review summarizes results concerning the molecular nature of the higher eucaryotic kinetochore. The first major section of this review includes kinetochore proteins whose general functions remain to be determined, precluding their entry into a discrete functional category. Many of the proteins in this section, however, are likely to be involved in kinetochore formation or structure. The second major section is concerned with how microtubule motor proteins function to cause chromosome movement. The microtubule motors dynein, CENP-E, and MCAK have all been observed at the kinetochore. While their precise functions are not well understood, all three are implicated in chromosome movement during mitosis. Finally, the last section deals with kinetochore components that play a role in the spindle checkpoint; a checkpoint that delays mitosis until all kinetochores have attached to the mitotic spindle. Brief reviews of kinetochore morphology and of an important technical breakthrough that enabled the molecular dissection of the kinetochore are also included.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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