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FEBS Lett. 2006 May 22;580(12):2888-95. Epub 2006 Apr 7.

The spindle assembly checkpoint: preventing chromosome mis-segregation during mitosis and meiosis.

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IBMC, Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular, Universidade do Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre 823, 4150-180 Porto, Portugal.


Aneuploidy is a common feature of many cancers, suggesting that genomic stability is essential to prevent tumorigenesis. Also, during meiosis, chromosome non-disjunction produces gamete imbalance and when fertilized result in developmental arrest or severe birth defects. The spindle assembly checkpoint prevents chromosome mis-segregation during both mitosis and meiosis. In mitosis, this control system monitors kinetochore-microtubule attachment while in meiosis its role is still unclear. Interestingly, recent data suggest that defects in the spindle assembly checkpoint are unlikely to cause cancer development but might facilitate tumour progression. However, in meiosis a weakened checkpoint could contribute to age-related aneuploidy found in humans.

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