Since the initial discovery of kinetochore antigens, a plethora of kinetochore-associated proteins have been identified. Their roles in connecting chromosomes to the mitotic spindle have been the subject of intense investigation. However, a surprising number of kinetochore proteins perform non-centromeric functions during mitosis. This class of kinetochore proteins has been best characterized through studies of the so-called "chromosomal passengers," proteins that associate with kinetochores at the start of mitosis and then redistribute to the anaphase spindle. The conserved behavior of chromosomal passengers suggests that redistribution of kinetochore-associated proteins is a commonly used strategy for cells to temporally and spatially orchestrate mitotic events. The activities of chromosomal passengers are closely linked to cell cycle regulation, placing them in a position to transmit regulatory changes to the cell division machinery. As cells enter mitosis, chromosomal passengers alter chromatin organization. At kinetochores, they ensure that sister chromatids form proper attachments with the mitotic spindle. During anaphase, they organize spindle structures to direct the cytokinetic machinery. In this chapter, we will discuss the expanding role for chromosomal passengers in regulating anaphase events and how the redistribution of other kinetochore-associated proteins might contribute to the orderly progression of mitosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)