Kinetochores have been proposed to play multiple roles in mitotic chromosome alignment, including initial microtubule (MT) capture, monitoring MT attachments, prometaphase and anaphase chromosome movement and tension generation at metaphase. In addition, kinetochores are essential components of the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC), and couple chromosome alignment with SAC silencing at metaphase. Although the molecular details of these activities remain under investigation, cytoplasmic dynein has been implicated in several aspects of MT and SAC regulation. Recent work clarifies the contribution of dynein to MT interactions and to events that drive anaphase onset. This review summarizes these studies and provides new models for dynein function.
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