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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 16:36 EDT

Latest Kinetochore Stories

2011-06-15 13:30:29

Genes control everything from eye color to disease susceptibility, and inheritance - the passing of the genes from generation to generation after they have been duplicated - depends on centromeres. Located in the little pinched waist of each chromosome, centromeres control the movements that separate sister chromosomes when cells divide ensuring that each daughter cell inherits a complete copy of each chromosome. It has long been known that centromeres are not formed solely from DNA; rather,...

2011-04-28 21:19:59

FINDINGS: Whitehead Institute scientists report that two proteins once thought to have only supporting roles, are the true "stars" of the kinetochore assembly process in human cells. RELEVANCE: The kinetochore is vital to proper DNA distribution during cell division. This finding suggests that scientists may be able to stimulate kinetochore assembly in a process that could lead to new genetic research tools, such as efficient creation of artificial human chromosomes. Widespread use of...

2010-11-25 22:08:47

Accurate gene distribution during cell division depends on stable set-up Scientists have discovered an amazingly simple way that cells stabilize their machinery for forcing apart chromosomes. Their findings are reported Nov. 25 in Nature. When a cell gets ready to split into new cells, this stable set-up permits its genetic material to be separated and distributed accurately. Otherwise, problem cells "“ like cancer cells"” arise. The human body contains more than a trillion cells,...

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2010-10-15 08:16:31

Unless you are in a field of study related to cell biology, you most likely have never heard of Ndc80. Yet this protein complex is essential to mitosis, the process by which a living cell separates its chromosomes and distributes them equally between its two daughter cells. Now, through a combination of cryo-electron microscopy and three-dimensional image reconstruction, a team of researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC)...

2010-09-17 14:00:05

On average, one hundred billion cells in the human body divide over the course of a day. Most of the time the body gets it right but sometimes, problems in cell replication can lead to abnormalities in chromosomes resulting in many types of disorders, from cancer to Down Syndrome. Now, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine have defined the structure of a key molecule that plays a central role in how DNA is duplicated and then moved correctly and equally into two...

2010-09-09 10:51:51

University of Pennsylvania biologists studying human reproduction have identified what is likely the major contributing factor to the maternal age-associated increase in aneuploidy, the term for an abnormal number of chromosomes during reproductive cell division. Using naturally aging mouse models, researchers showed that this basic fact of reproductive life is most likely caused by weakened chromosome cohesion.  Older oocytes, or egg cells, have dramatically reduced amounts of a...

2010-05-14 10:16:25

Whitehead Institute researchers have determined a key part of how cells regulate the chromosome/microtubule interface, which is central to proper chromosomal distribution during cell division. "This is the surveillance machinery that makes sure that the chromosomes are divided correctly between cells," says Whitehead Member Iain Cheeseman. The findings are published in this week's issue of Molecular Cell. During cell division, the cell's DNA is consolidated into X-shaped chromosome pairs that...

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2010-03-10 08:10:43

If you can imagine identical twin sisters at rest, their breath drawing them subtly together and apart, who somehow latch onto ropes that pull them to opposite sides of the bed"”you can imagine what happens to a chromosome in the dividing cell. Understanding the forces that drive chromosome segregation "“ a crucial aspect of human development and some diseases, including cancer "“ is the goal of an international group of researchers who collaborate each summer at the MBL. In...

2009-09-28 12:17:39

The Stowers Institute's Gerton Lab has provided new evidence to clarify the structure of nucleosomes containing Cse4, a centromere-specific histone protein required for proper kinetochore function, which plays a critical role in the process of mitosis. The work, conducted in yeast cells, was published in the most recent issue of Molecular Cell. The centromeric nucleosome acts as a guide for the position of the kinetochore. The kinetochore attaches the chromosome to a microtubule for...

2009-08-17 09:24:38

Parents of healthy newborns often remark on the miracle of life. The joining of egg and sperm to create such delightful creatures can seem dazzlingly beautiful if the chromosome information from each parent has been translated properly into the embryo and newborn.The darker side is that when extra copies of chromosomes or fewer than the normal 46 (23 from each parent) are present, tragic birth defects can occur. Now, scientists at the University of Georgia have developed a model system for...