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Genes Cells. 2000 Jan;5(1):1-8.

Cell cycle mechanisms of sister chromatid separation; roles of Cut1/separin and Cut2/securin.

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Department of Gene Mechanisms, Graduate School of Biostudies, Kyoto University, Kitashirakawa-Oiwakecho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.


The correct transmission of chromosomes from mother to daughter cells is fundamental for genetic inheritance. Separation and segregation of sister chromatids in growing cells occurs in the cell cycle stage called 'anaphase'. The basic process of sister chromatid separation is similar in all eukaryotes: many gene products required are conserved. In this review, the roles of two proteins essential for the onset of anaphase in fission yeast, Cut2/securin and Cut1/separin, are discussed with regard to cell cycle regulation, and compared with the postulated roles of homologous proteins in other organisms. Securin, like mitotic cyclins, is the target of the anaphase promoting complex (APC)/cyclosome and is polyubiquitinated before destruction in a manner dependent upon the destruction sequence. The anaphase never occurs properly in the absence of securin destruction. In human cells, securin is an oncogene. Separin is a large protein (MW approximately 180 kDa), the C-terminus of which is conserved, and is thought to be inhibited by association with securin at the nonconserved N-terminus. In the budding yeast, Esp1/separin is thought to be a component of proteolysis against Scc1, an essential subunit of cohesin which is thought to link duplicated sister chromatids up to the anaphase. Whether fission yeast Cut1/separin is also implicated in proteolysis of cohesin is discussed.

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