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Condensin is a protein complex associated with mitotic chromosomes that has been implicated in chromosome condensation. In vertebrates, two types of condensin complexes have recently been identified, called condensin I and II. Here, we show that in mammalian cells condensin II associates with chromatin in prophase, in contrast to condensin I which is(More)
BACKGROUND Restructuring chromatin into morphologically distinct chromosomes is essential for cell division, but the molecular mechanisms underlying this process are poorly understood. Condensin complexes have been proposed as key factors, although controversial conclusions about their contribution to chromosome structure were reached by different(More)
Cohesion between sister chromatids is essential for their bi-orientation on mitotic spindles. It is mediated by a multisubunit complex called cohesin. In yeast, proteolytic cleavage of cohesin's alpha kleisin subunit at the onset of anaphase removes cohesin from both centromeres and chromosome arms and thus triggers sister chromatid separation. In animal(More)
Aurora family kinases contribute to regulation of mitosis. Using RNA interference in synchronized HeLa cells, we now show that Aurora-A is required for mitotic entry. We found that initial activation of Aurora-A in late G2 phase of the cell cycle is essential for recruitment of the cyclin B1-Cdk1 complex to centrosomes, where it becomes activated and(More)
Histones are subject to numerous post-translational modifications. Some of these 'epigenetic' marks recruit proteins that modulate chromatin structure. For example, heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1) binds to histone H3 when its lysine 9 residue has been tri-methylated by the methyltransferase Suv39h (refs 2-6). During mitosis, H3 is also phosphorylated by the(More)
Sister chromatid separation in anaphase depends on the removal of cohesin complexes from chromosomes. In vertebrates, the bulk of cohesin is already removed from chromosome arms during prophase and prometaphase, whereas cohesin remains at centromeres until metaphase, when cohesin is cleaved by the protease separase. In unperturbed mitoses, arm cohesion(More)
The assembly of mitotic chromosomes is controlled by condensin complexes. In vertebrates, condensin I binds to chromatin in prometaphase, confers rigidity to chromosomes and enables the release of cohesin complexes from chromosome arms, whereas condensin II associates with chromosomes in prophase and promotes their condensation. Both complexes are essential(More)
Complete dissociation of sister chromatid cohesion and subsequent induction of poleward movement of disjoined sisters are two essential events underlying chromosome segregation; however, how cells coordinate these two processes is not well understood. Here, we developed a fluorescence-based sensor for the protease separase that mediates cohesin cleavage. We(More)
The spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) monitors the attachment of microtubules to the kinetochore and inhibits anaphase when microtubule binding is incomplete. The SAC might also respond to tension; however, how cells can sense tension and whether its detection is important to satisfy the SAC remain controversial. We generated a HeLa cell line in which two(More)
Aurora-A, a member of the Aurora/Ipl1-related kinase family, is overexpressed in various types of cancer and considered to play critical roles in tumorigenesis. To better understand the pathological effect of Aurora-A activation, it is first necessary to elucidate the physiological functions of Aurora-A. Here, we have investigated the roles of Aurora-A in(More)