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Evolution of Centromeres and Kinetochores: A Two-Part Fugue

  • Paul B. Talbert
  • Joshua J. Bayes
  • Steven Henikoff
Chapter

Kinetochores are essential and universal features of eukaryotic chromosomes with a conserved set of functions. They are complex protein structures that are normally found at a unique location on each chromosome known as a centromere, which is often visible as a ‘primary constriction’ in a metaphase chromosome. Kinetochores serve to attach chromosomes to spindle microtubules in mitosis and meiosis in order to accomplish orderly chromosome segregation. They help to recruit cohesins and work in partnership with them to hold sister chromatids together locally in order to generate spindle tension (Eckert et al. 2007). They also carry out the spindle assembly checkpoint pathway, which assures that all kinetochores are attached to spindle fibers before commencing anaphase (Musacchio and Salmon 2007).

These highly conserved kinetochore functions might lead to the expectation that kinetochore proteins and the centromeres on which they assemble would be well conserved, like the microtubules to...

Keywords

Kinetochore Protein Meiotic Spindle Human Artificial Chromosome Centromeric Chromatin Holocentric Chromosome 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul B. Talbert
    • 1
  • Joshua J. Bayes
  • Steven Henikoff
  1. 1.Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterSeattleU.S.A

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