Cervantes, M. D., Coyne, R. S., Xi, X., Yao, M. C.
The Condensin Complex Is Essential for Amitotic Segregation of Bulk Chromosomes, but Not Nucleoli, In the Ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila
Mol Cell Biol. 2006 Jun 01; 26(12): 4690-700.
The macronucleus of the binucleate ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila contains fragmented and amplified chromosomes that do not have centromeres, eliminating the possibility of mitotic nuclear division. Instead, the macronucleus divides by amitosis with random segregation of these chromosomes without detectable chromatin condensation. This amitotic division provides a special opportunity for studying the roles of mitotic proteins in segregating acentric chromatin. The Smc4 protein is a core component of the condensin complex that plays a role in chromatin condensation and has also been associated with nucleolar segregation, DNA repair, and maintenance of the chromatin scaffold. Mutants of Tetrahymena SMC4 have remarkable characteristics during amitosis. They do not form microtubules inside the macronucleus as normal cells do, and there is little or no bulk DNA segregation during cell division. Nevertheless, segregation of nucleoli to daughter cells still occurs, indicating the independence of this process and bulk DNA segregation in ciliate amitosis.
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