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Biology 2017, 6(1), 15; doi:10.3390/biology6010015

Anaphase A: Disassembling Microtubules Move Chromosomes toward Spindle Poles

Department of Physiology & Biophysics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
Academic Editor: J. Richard McIntosh
Received: 30 December 2016 / Revised: 4 February 2017 / Accepted: 10 February 2017 / Published: 17 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanisms of Mitotic Chromosome Segregation)
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Abstract

The separation of sister chromatids during anaphase is the culmination of mitosis and one of the most strikingly beautiful examples of cellular movement. It consists of two distinct processes: Anaphase A, the movement of chromosomes toward spindle poles via shortening of the connecting fibers, and anaphase B, separation of the two poles from one another via spindle elongation. I focus here on anaphase A chromosome-to-pole movement. The chapter begins by summarizing classical observations of chromosome movements, which support the current understanding of anaphase mechanisms. Live cell fluorescence microscopy studies showed that poleward chromosome movement is associated with disassembly of the kinetochore-attached microtubule fibers that link chromosomes to poles. Microtubule-marking techniques established that kinetochore-fiber disassembly often occurs through loss of tubulin subunits from the kinetochore-attached plus ends. In addition, kinetochore-fiber disassembly in many cells occurs partly through ‘flux’, where the microtubules flow continuously toward the poles and tubulin subunits are lost from minus ends. Molecular mechanistic models for how load-bearing attachments are maintained to disassembling microtubule ends, and how the forces are generated to drive these disassembly-coupled movements, are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: anaphase A; kinetochore; chromosome-to-pole motion; microtubule poleward flux; conformational wave; biased diffusion anaphase A; kinetochore; chromosome-to-pole motion; microtubule poleward flux; conformational wave; biased diffusion
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Asbury, C.L. Anaphase A: Disassembling Microtubules Move Chromosomes toward Spindle Poles. Biology 2017, 6, 15.

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