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Cell Div. 2008 May 28;3:10. doi: 10.1186/1747-1028-3-10.

The chromosomal passenger complex and the spindle assembly checkpoint: kinetochore-microtubule error correction and beyond.

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Laboratory of Experimental Oncology, Department of Medical Oncology, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands.


During mitosis, correct bipolar chromosome attachment to the mitotic spindle is an essential prerequisite for the equal segregation of chromosomes. The spindle assembly checkpoint can prevent chromosome segregation as long as not all chromosome pairs have obtained bipolar attachment to the spindle. The chromosomal passenger complex plays a crucial role during chromosome alignment by correcting faulty chromosome-spindle interactions (e.g. attachments that do not generate tension). In the process of doing so, the chromosomal passenger complex generates unattached chromosomes, a specific situation that is known to promote checkpoint activity. However, several studies have implicated an additional, more direct role for the chromosomal passenger complex in enforcing the mitotic arrest imposed by the spindle assembly checkpoint. In this review, we discuss the different roles played by the chromosomal passenger complex in ensuring proper mitotic checkpoint function. Additionally, we discuss the possibility that besides monitoring the presence of unattached kinetochores, the spindle assembly checkpoint may also be capable of responding to chromosome-microtubule interactions that do not generate tension and we propose experimental set-ups to study this.

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