Increased missegregation and chromosome loss with decreasing chromosome size in vertebrate cells.

Spence, JM; Mills, W; Mann, K; Huxley, C; Farr, CJ; (2006) Increased missegregation and chromosome loss with decreasing chromosome size in vertebrate cells. Chromosoma, 115 (1). pp. 60-74. ISSN 0009-5915 DOI:

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Chromosome engineering has allowed the generation of an extensive and well-defined series of linear human X centromere-based minichromosomes, which has been used to investigate the influence of size and structure on chromosome segregation in vertebrate cells. A clear relationship between overall chromosome size and mitotic stability was detected, with decreasing size associated with increasing loss rates. In chicken DT40, the lower size limit for prolonged mitotic stability is approximately 550 kb: at 450 kb, there was a dramatic increase in chromosome loss, while structures of approximately 200 kb could not be recovered. In human HT1080 cells, the size threshold for mitotic stability is approximately 1.6 Mb. Minichromosomes of 0.55-1.0 Mb can be recovered, but display high loss rates. However, all minichromosomes examined exhibited more segregation errors than normal chromosomes in HT1080 cells. This error rate increases with decreased size and correlates with reduced levels of CENP-A and Aurora B. In mouse LA-9 and Indian muntjac FM7 cells, the size requirements for mitotic stability are much greater. In mouse, a human 2.7-Mb minichromosome is rarely able to propagate a kinetochore and behaves acentrically. In Indian muntjac, CENP-C associates with the human minichromosome, but the mitotic apparatus appears unable to handle its segregation.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Pathogen Molecular Biology
PubMed ID: 16267674
Web of Science ID: 234874100006


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