Sister chromatid separation in anaphase is an important event in the cell's transmission of genetic information to a descendent. It has been investigated from different aspects: cell cycle regulation, spindle and chromosome dynamics within the three-dimensional cell architecture, transmission fidelity control and cellular signaling. Integrated studies directed toward unified understanding are possible using multidisciplinary methods with model organisms. Ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis, protein dephosphorylation, an unknown function by the TPR repeat proteins, chromosome transport by microtubule-based motors and DNA topological change by DNA topoisomerase II are all necessary for progression from metaphase to anaphase. Chromosome condensation, mitotic kinetochore function and spindle formation require a larger number of proteins, which are prerequisites for successful sister chromatid separation. Factors that help to retain sister chromatid connection after replication and prevent premature separation remain to be determined. Although sister chromatid separation occurs in anaphase, gene functions in other cell cycle stages also ensure the progression of correct chromatid separation.