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Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. 2017;82:157-164. doi: 10.1101/sqb.2017.82.033639. Epub 2017 Nov 8.

Mitotic Chromosome Assembly In Vitro: Functional Cross Talk between Nucleosomes and Condensins.

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Chromosome Dynamics Laboratory, RIKEN, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan.


The mitotic chromosome is a macromolecular assembly that ensures error-free transmission of the genome during cell division. It has long been a big mystery how long stretches of DNA might be folded into rod-shaped chromosomes or how such an elaborate process might be accomplished at a mechanistic level. Cell-free extracts made from frog eggs offer a unique opportunity to address these questions by enabling mitotic chromosomes to be assembled in a test tube. Moreover, the core part of the chromosome assembly reaction can now be reconstituted with a limited number of purified factors. A combination of these in vitro assays makes it possible not only to prepare a complete list of proteins required for chromosome assembly but also to dissect functions of individual proteins and their cooperation with unparalleled clarity. Emerging lines of evidence underscore the paramount importance of condensins in building mitotic chromosomes and shed new light on the functional cross talk between nucleosomes and condensins in this process.


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