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Biology 2017, 6(1), 5; doi:10.3390/biology6010005

A Molecular View of Kinetochore Assembly and Function

1
Department of Mechanistic Cell Biology, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology, Otto-Hahn Straße 11, Dortmund 44227, Germany
2
Centre for Medical Biotechnology, Faculty of Biology, University Duisburg-Essen, Essen 45117, Germany
3
Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA
4
Department of Cellular & Molecular Medicine, 9500 Gilman Dr., La Jolla, CA 92093, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: J. Richard McIntosh
Received: 13 December 2016 / Revised: 16 January 2017 / Accepted: 17 January 2017 / Published: 24 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanisms of Mitotic Chromosome Segregation)
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Abstract

Kinetochores are large protein assemblies that connect chromosomes to microtubules of the mitotic and meiotic spindles in order to distribute the replicated genome from a mother cell to its daughters. Kinetochores also control feedback mechanisms responsible for the correction of incorrect microtubule attachments, and for the coordination of chromosome attachment with cell cycle progression. Finally, kinetochores contribute to their own preservation, across generations, at the specific chromosomal loci devoted to host them, the centromeres. They achieve this in most species by exploiting an epigenetic, DNA-sequence-independent mechanism; notable exceptions are budding yeasts where a specific sequence is associated with centromere function. In the last 15 years, extensive progress in the elucidation of the composition of the kinetochore and the identification of various physical and functional modules within its substructure has led to a much deeper molecular understanding of kinetochore organization and the origins of its functional output. Here, we provide a broad summary of this progress, focusing primarily on kinetochores of humans and budding yeast, while highlighting work from other models, and present important unresolved questions for future studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: centromere; kinetochore; cell division; mitosis; meiosis; KMN; CCAN; CENP-A centromere; kinetochore; cell division; mitosis; meiosis; KMN; CCAN; CENP-A
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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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Musacchio, A.; Desai, A. A Molecular View of Kinetochore Assembly and Function. Biology 2017, 6, 5.

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