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Mol Cell Biol. 2015 Feb;35(4):634-48. doi: 10.1128/MCB.01176-14. Epub 2014 Dec 1.

Shugoshins: tension-sensitive pericentromeric adaptors safeguarding chromosome segregation.

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The Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, School of Biological Sciences, Edinburgh, United Kingdom


The shugoshin/Mei-S332 family are proteins that associate with the chromosomal region surrounding the centromere (the pericentromere) and that play multiple and distinct roles in ensuring the accuracy of chromosome segregation during both mitosis and meiosis. The underlying role of shugoshins appears to be to serve as pericentromeric adaptor proteins that recruit several different effectors to this region of the chromosome to regulate processes critical for chromosome segregation. Crucially, shugoshins undergo changes in their localization in response to the tension that is exerted on sister chromosomes by the forces of the spindle that will pull them apart. This has led to the idea that shugoshins provide a platform for activities required at the pericentromere only when sister chromosomes lack tension. Conversely, disassembly of the shugoshin pericentromeric platform may provide a signal that sister chromosomes are under tension. Here the functions and regulation of these important tension-sensitive pericentromeric proteins are discussed.

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