, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 145-154
Date: 24 Mar 2009

Assays for mitotic chromosome condensation in live yeast and mammalian cells

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The dynamic reorganization of chromatin into rigid and compact mitotic chromosomes is of fundamental importance for faithful chromosome segregation. Owing to the difficulty of investigating this process under physiological conditions, the exact morphological transitions and the molecular machinery driving chromosome condensation remain poorly defined. Here, we review how imaging-based methods can be used to quantitate chromosome condensation in vivo, focusing on yeast and animal tissue culture cells as widely used model systems. We discuss approaches how to address structural dynamics of condensing chromosomes and chromosome segments, as well as to probe for mechanical properties of mitotic chromosomes. Application of such methods to systematic perturbation studies will provide a means to reveal the molecular networks underlying the regulation of mitotic chromosome condensation.

Responsible Editor: Christian Haering.