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Curr Biol. 2006 May 9;16(9):902-6.

Sister-chromatid telomere cohesion is nonredundant and resists both spindle forces and telomere motility.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015, USA.


It is well documented that inactivation of essential cohesion proteins results in precocious sister-chromatid separation. On average, however, only approximately 55% of cohesin-deficient budding yeast cells arrested prior to anaphase contain separated sister chromatids , suggesting that cohesin-independent factors also contribute to sister-chromatid pairing. Recently, redundant pairing mechanisms were found to occur at both rDNA and centromeres . Here, we tested whether redundant mechanisms also function to pair telomeres or whether cohesins provide sole pairing activity. Results from both mcd1 and ctf7 mutant cells show that nearly 100% of telomeres separate prior to anaphase, twice the cohesion defect reported for centromeres. Such complete loci separation reveals that cohesins are singularly responsible for maintaining telomere cohesion, in contrast to other loci. We also found that sister telomeres moved 141% farther apart than centromeres. Telomere separation occurred in the absence of spindle microtubules and an actin cytoskeleton and persisted in cells abrogated for Mps3p function-an integral nuclear envelope protein previously shown to function in cohesion . These findings are consistent with numerous studies that telomeres translocate along the nuclear periphery and provide new evidence that telomere dynamics can contribute to sister-chromatid separation, independent of centromere motility.

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