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EMBO J. 2010 Dec 15;29(24):4070-82. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2010.294. Epub 2010 Nov 23.

Kinetochore-microtubule interactions: steps towards bi-orientation.

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Wellcome Trust Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression, College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Angus, UK.


Eukaryotic cells segregate their chromosomes accurately to opposite poles during mitosis, which is necessary for maintenance of their genetic integrity. This process mainly relies on the forces generated by kinetochore-microtubule (KT-MT) attachment. During prometaphase, the KT initially interacts with a single MT extending from a spindle pole and then moves towards a spindle pole. Subsequently, MTs from the other spindle pole also interact with the KT. Eventually, one sister KT becomes attached to MTs from one pole while the other sister to those from the other pole (sister KT bi-orientation). If sister KTs interact with MTs with aberrant orientation, this must be corrected to attain proper bi-orientation (error correction) before the anaphase is initiated. Here, I discuss how KTs initially interact with MTs and how this interaction develops into bi-orientation; both processes are fundamentally crucial for proper chromosome segregation in the subsequent anaphase.

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