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Chromosoma. 2005 Mar;113(8):440-6. Epub 2005 Feb 12.

Kinetochore rearrangement in meiosis II requires attachment to the spindle.

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Department of Biology, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA.


The distinctive behaviors of chromosomes in mitosis and meiosis depend upon differences in kinetochore position. Kinetochore position is well established except for a critical transition between meiosis I and meiosis II. We examined kinetochore position during the transition and compared it with the position of kinetochores in mitosis. Immunofluorescence staining using the 3F3/2 antibody showed that in mitosis in grasshopper cells, as in other organisms, kinetochores are positioned on opposite sides of the two sister chromatids. In meiosis I, sister kinetochores are positioned side by side. At nuclear envelope breakdown in meiosis II, sister kinetochores are still side by side, but are separated by the time all chromosomes have fully attached in metaphase II. Micromanipulation experiments reveal that this switch from side-by-side to separated sister kinetochores requires attachment to the spindle. Moreover, it is irreversible, as chromosomes detached from a metaphase II spindle retain separate kinetochores. How this critical separation of sister kinetochores occurs in meiosis is uncertain, but clearly it is not built into the chromosome before nuclear envelope breakdown, as it is in mitosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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