In order to preserve genome integrity and their ploidy, cells must ensure that the duplicated genome has been faithfully replicated and evenly distributed before they complete their division by mitosis. To this end, cells have developed highly elaborated checkpoints that halt mitotic progression when problems in DNA integrity or chromosome segregation arise, providing them with time to fix these issues before advancing further into the cell cycle. Remarkably, exit from mitosis constitutes a key cell cycle transition that is targeted by the main mitotic checkpoints, despite these surveillance mechanisms being activated by specific intracellular signals and acting at different stages of cell division. Focusing primarily on research carried out using Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model organism, the aim of this review is to provide a general overview of the molecular mechanisms by which the major cell cycle checkpoints control mitotic exit and to highlight the importance of the proper regulation of this process for the maintenance of genome stability during the distribution of the duplicated chromosomes between the dividing cells.
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