Stochastic modelling of chromosomal segregation: errors can introduce correction

Bull Math Biol. 2014 Jul;76(7):1590-606. doi: 10.1007/s11538-014-9969-z. Epub 2014 May 13.


Cell division is a complex process requiring the cell to have many internal checks so that division may proceed and be completed correctly. Failure to divide correctly can have serious consequences, including progression to cancer. During mitosis, chromosomal segregation is one such process that is crucial for successful progression. Accurate segregation of chromosomes during mitosis requires regulation of the interactions between chromosomes and spindle microtubules. If left uncorrected, chromosome attachment errors can cause chromosome segregation defects which have serious effects on cell fates. In early prometaphase, where kinetochores are exposed to multiple microtubules originating from the two poles, there are frequent errors in kinetochore-microtubule attachment. Erroneous attachments are classified into two categories, syntelic and merotelic. In this paper, we consider a stochastic model for a possible function of syntelic and merotelic kinetochores, and we provide theoretical evidence that merotely can contribute to lessening the stochastic noise in the time for completion of the mitotic process in eukaryotic cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Segregation / genetics*
  • Eukaryotic Cells*
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Kinetochores*
  • Microtubules / genetics*
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Stochastic Processes