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Differentiating the roles of microtubule-associated proteins at meiotic kinetochores during chromosome segregation

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Meiosis is a specialised cell division process for generating gametes. In contrast to mitosis, meiosis involves recombination followed by two consecutive rounds of cell division, meiosis I and II. A vast field of research has been devoted to understanding the differences between mitotic and meiotic cell divisions from the viewpoint of chromosome behaviour. For faithful inheritance of paternal and maternal genetic information to offspring, two events are indispensable: meiotic recombination, which generates a physical link between homologous chromosomes, and reductional segregation, in which homologous chromosomes move towards opposite poles, thereby halving the ploidy. The cytoskeleton and its regulators play specialised roles in meiosis to accomplish these divisions. Recent studies have shown that microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs), including tumour overexpressed gene (TOG), play unique roles during meiosis. Furthermore, the conserved mitotic protein kinase Polo modulates MAP localisation in meiosis I. As Polo is a well-known regulator of reductional segregation in meiosis, the evidence suggests that Polo constitutes a plausible link between meiosis-specific MAP functions and reductional segregation. Here, we review the latest findings on how the localisation and regulation of MAPs in meiosis differ from those in mitosis, and we discuss conservation of the system between yeast and higher eukaryotes.

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We thank Frank Uhlmann, Takashi Toda and Masayuki Yamamoto for the support.


M.S. is supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) from the Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS), by the Naito Foundation, by the Kato Memorial Bioscience Foundation, by the Sumitomo Foundation and by Waseda University Grants for Special Research Projects (2014K-6168, 2014B-318 and 2015A-057). Y.K. is supported by JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowships for Research Abroad.

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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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Correspondence to Yasutaka Kakui or Masamitsu Sato.

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This article is part of a Special Issue on "Recent advances in meiotic chromosome structure, recombination and segregation” edited by Marco Barchi, Paula Cohen and Scott Keeney.

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Kakui, Y., Sato, M. Differentiating the roles of microtubule-associated proteins at meiotic kinetochores during chromosome segregation. Chromosoma 125, 309–320 (2016).

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