Release of chromosomes from the nuclear envelope: A universal mechanism for eukaryotic mitosis?

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Abstract

Multiple domains of chromosomes are associated with the nuclear envelope (NE) in interphase. The association between chromosomes and the NE is involved in a variety of chromosomal reactions, such as gene expression and DNA repair. However, efficient chromosome movements are required for the fidelity of chromosome segregation in mitosis. Most higher eukaryotes perform open mitosis, in which the NE is broken down, enabling chromosomes to be released from the NE as well as spindle microtubules to access to kinetochores. By contrast, lower eukaryotes, such as Schizosaccharomyces pombe, perform closed mitosis, during which NE breakdown does not occur. In S. pombe, telomeres are tethered to the NE in interphase. Phosphorylation of the telomere-binding protein Rap1 at M phase promotes transient dissociation of telomeres from the NE, facilitating the faithful chromosome segregation. These findings imply a common mechanism for genome stability via the dissociation of chromosomes from the NE in eukaryotic mitosis.

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