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Exp Cell Res. 2012 Jul 15;318(12):1361-6. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2012.04.008. Epub 2012 Apr 30.

Mitosis puts sisters in a strained relationship: force generation at the kinetochore.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.


During mitosis, kinetochores couple chromosomes to the dynamic tips of spindle microtubules. These attachments convert chemical energy stored in the microtubule lattice into mechanical energy, generating force to move chromosomes. In addition to mediating robust microtubule attachments, kinetochores also integrate and respond to regulatory signals that ensure the accuracy of chromosome segregation during each cell division. Signals for corrective detachment act specifically on kinetochore-microtubule attachments that fail to generate normal levels of tension, although it is unclear how tension is sensed and how the attachments are released. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms by which kinetochore-microtubule attachments generate force during chromosome biorientation, and the pathways of maturation and regulation that lead to the formation of correct attachments.

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