, Volume 255, Issue 3, pp 733–740 | Cite as

A review of “tethers”: elastic connections between separating partner chromosomes in anaphase

  • Leocadia V. Paliulis
  • Arthur Forer


Recent work has demonstrated the existence of elastic connections, or tethers, between the telomeres of separating partner chromosomes in anaphase. These tethers oppose the poleward spindle forces in anaphase. Functional evidence for tethers has been found in a wide range of animal taxa, suggesting that they might be present in all dividing cells. An examination of the literature on cell division from the nineteenth century to the present reveals that connections between separating partner chromosomes in anaphase have been described in some of the earliest observations of cell division. Here, we review what is currently known about connections between separating partner chromosomes in anaphase, and we speculate on possible functions of tethers, and on what they are made of and how one might determine their composition.


Mitosis Meiosis Anaphase Chromosomes Interzonal connections Tethers 


Funding information

LP was funded by a Scadden Fellowship through the Bucknell University. AF was funded by a grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Compliance with ethical standards

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biology DepartmentBucknell UniversityLewisburgUSA
  2. 2.Biology DepartmentYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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