Separation anxiety at the centromere

Trends Cell Biol. 2000 Sep;10(9):392-9. doi: 10.1016/s0962-8924(00)01821-3.


During mitosis, replicated sister-chromatids must maintain cohesion as they attach to the mitotic spindle. At anaphase, cohesion is lost simultaneously along the entire chromosome, releasing sisters from one another and allowing them to segregate to opposite poles. During meiosis, sisters separate in a two-step process. At anaphase of meiosis I, cohesion is lost along the chromosome arms but is maintained at centromeric regions. Not until meiosis II are sister chromatids able to break the connection at the centromere and separate away from one another. Recent studies suggest that the centromere exhibits dynamics that are very different compared with those of the chromatid arms during both mitosis and meiosis. This review discusses the nature of the specialized chromatid cohesion seen at the centromere.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anaphase / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Centromere / physiology*
  • Chromatids / physiology*
  • Meiosis / physiology*