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Chromosome
A chromosome is a long DNA molecule with part or all of the genetic material of an organism. In most chromosomes the very long thin DNA fibers are coated with packaging proteins; in eukaryotic cells the most important of these proteins are the histones. These proteins, aided by chaperone proteins, bind to and condense the DNA molecule to maintain its integrity. These chromosomes display a complex three-dimensional structure, which plays a significant role in transcriptional regulation. Chromosomes are normally visible under a light microscope only during the metaphase of cell division (where all chromosomes are aligned in the center of the cell in their condensed form). Before this happens, each chromosome is duplicated (S phase), and both copies are joined by a centromere, resulting either in an X-shaped structure (pictured above), if the centromere is located equatorially, or a two-arm structure, if the centromere is located distally. The joined copies are now called sis ...
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Chromosome
A chromosome is a long DNA molecule with part or all of the genetic material of an organism. In most chromosomes the very long thin DNA fibers are coated with packaging proteins; in eukaryotic cells the most important of these proteins are the histones. These proteins, aided by chaperone proteins, bind to and condense the DNA molecule to maintain its integrity. These chromosomes display a complex three-dimensional structure, which plays a significant role in transcriptional regulation. Chromosomes are normally visible under a light microscope only during the metaphase of cell division (where all chromosomes are aligned in the center of the cell in their condensed form). Before this happens, each chromosome is duplicated (S phase), and both copies are joined by a centromere, resulting either in an X-shaped structure (pictured above), if the centromere is located equatorially, or a two-arm structure, if the centromere is located distally. The joined copies are now called sis ...
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Centromere
The centromere links a pair of sister chromatids together during cell division. This constricted region of chromosome connects the sister chromatids, creating a short arm (p) and a long arm (q) on the chromatids. During mitosis, spindle fibers attach to the centromere via the kinetochore. The physical role of the centromere is to act as the site of assembly of the kinetochores – a highly complex multiprotein structure that is responsible for the actual events of chromosome segregation – i.e. binding microtubules and signaling to the cell cycle machinery when all chromosomes have adopted correct attachments to the spindle, so that it is safe for cell division to proceed to completion and for cells to enter anaphase. There are, broadly speaking, two types of centromeres. "Point centromeres" bind to specific proteins that recognize particular DNA sequences with high efficiency. Any piece of DNA with the point centromere DNA sequence on it will typically form a centromere if ...
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Chromatin
Chromatin is a complex of DNA and protein found in eukaryotic cells. The primary function is to package long DNA molecules into more compact, denser structures. This prevents the strands from becoming tangled and also plays important roles in reinforcing the DNA during cell division, preventing DNA damage, and regulating gene expression and DNA replication. During mitosis and meiosis, chromatin facilitates proper segregation of the chromosomes in anaphase; the characteristic shapes of chromosomes visible during this stage are the result of DNA being coiled into highly condensed chromatin. The primary protein components of chromatin are histones. An octamer of two sets of four histone cores (Histone H2A, Histone H2B, Histone H3, and Histone H4) bind to DNA and function as "anchors" around which the strands are wound.Maeshima, K., Ide, S., & Babokhov, M. (2019). Dynamic chromatin organization without the 30-nm fiber. ''Current opinion in cell biology, 58,'' 95–104. https://do ...
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Meiosis
Meiosis (; , since it is a reductional division) is a special type of cell division of germ cells in sexually-reproducing organisms that produces the gametes, such as sperm or egg cells. It involves two rounds of division that ultimately result in four cells with only one copy of each chromosome (haploid). Additionally, prior to the division, genetic material from the paternal and maternal copies of each chromosome is crossed over, creating new combinations of code on each chromosome. Later on, during fertilisation, the haploid cells produced by meiosis from a male and female will fuse to create a cell with two copies of each chromosome again, the zygote. Errors in meiosis resulting in aneuploidy (an abnormal number of chromosomes) are the leading known cause of miscarriage and the most frequent genetic cause of developmental disabilities. In meiosis, DNA replication is followed by two rounds of cell division to produce four daughter cells, each with half the number of chrom ...
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Chromosome Segregation
Chromosome segregation is the process in eukaryotes by which two sister chromatids formed as a consequence of DNA replication, or paired homologous chromosomes, separate from each other and migrate to opposite poles of the nucleus. This segregation process occurs during both mitosis and meiosis. Chromosome segregation also occurs in prokaryotes. However, in contrast to eukaryotic chromosome segregation, replication and segregation are not temporally separated. Instead segregation occurs progressively following replication. Mitotic chromatid segregation During mitosis chromosome segregation occurs routinely as a step in cell division (see mitosis diagram). As indicated in the mitosis diagram, mitosis is preceded by a round of DNA replication, so that each chromosome forms two copies called chromatids. These chromatids separate to opposite poles, a process facilitated by a protein complex referred to as cohesin. Upon proper segregation, a complete set of chromatids ends up in ea ...
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DNA Condensation
DNA condensation refers to the process of compacting DNA molecules ''in vitro'' or '' in vivo''. Mechanistic details of DNA packing are essential for its functioning in the process of gene regulation in living systems. Condensed DNA often has surprising properties, which one would not predict from classical concepts of dilute solutions. Therefore, DNA condensation ''in vitro'' serves as a model system for many processes of physics, biochemistry and biology. In addition, DNA condensation has many potential applications in medicine and biotechnology. DNA diameter is about 2 nm, while the length of a stretched single molecule may be up to several dozens of centimetres depending on the organism. Many features of the DNA double helix contribute to its large stiffness, including the mechanical properties of the sugar-phosphate backbone, electrostatic repulsion between phosphates (DNA bears on average one elementary negative charge per each 0.17 nm of the double helix), stacki ...
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Genome
In the fields of molecular biology and genetics, a genome is all the genetic information of an organism. It consists of nucleotide sequences of DNA (or RNA in RNA viruses). The nuclear genome includes protein-coding genes and non-coding genes, other functional regions of the genome such as regulatory sequences (see non-coding DNA), and often a substantial fraction of 'junk' DNA with no evident function. Almost all eukaryotes have mitochondria and a small mitochondrial genome. Algae and plants also contain chloroplasts with a chloroplast genome. The study of the genome is called genomics. The genomes of many organisms have been sequenced and various regions have been annotated. The International Human Genome Project reported the sequence of the genome for ''Homo sapiens'' in 200The Human Genome Project although the initial "finished" sequence was missing 8% of the genome consisting mostly of repetitive sequences. With advancements in technology that could handle sequencing ...
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Anaphase
Anaphase () is the stage of mitosis after the process of metaphase, when replicated chromosomes are split and the newly-copied chromosomes (daughter chromatids) are moved to opposite poles of the cell. Chromosomes also reach their overall maximum condensation in late anaphase, to help chromosome segregation and the re-formation of the nucleus. Anaphase starts when the anaphase promoting complex marks an inhibitory chaperone called securin for destruction by ubiquinylating it. Securin is a protein which inhibits a protease known as separase. The destruction of securin unleashes separase which then breaks down cohesin, a protein responsible for holding sister chromatids together. At this point, three subclasses of microtubule unique to mitosis are involved in creating the forces necessary to separate the chromatids: kinetochore microtubules, interpolar microtubules, and astral microtubules. The centromeres are split, and the sister chromatids are pulled toward the poles by ...
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Walter Sutton
Walter Stanborough Sutton (April 5, 1877 – November 10, 1916) was an American geneticist and physician whose most significant contribution to present-day biology was his theory that the Mendelian laws of inheritance could be applied to chromosomes at the cellular level of living organisms. This is now known as the Boveri-Sutton chromosome theory. Early life Sutton was born in Utica, New York, and was raised on a farm as the fifth of seven sons to Judge William B. Sutton and his wife, Agnes Black Sutton, in Russell, Kansas. On the farm, he developed a mechanical aptitude by maintaining and repairing farm equipment, an aptitude that proved helpful later as he worked on oil drilling rigs and with medical instrumentation. University of Kansas After graduating high school in Russell, he enrolled at the University of Kansas in engineering in 1896. Following the death of his younger brother (John) from typhus in 1897, Sutton switched his major to biology with an interest in medi ...
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Metaphase
Metaphase ( and ) is a stage of mitosis in the eukaryotic cell cycle in which chromosomes are at their second-most condensed and coiled stage (they are at their most condensed in anaphase). These chromosomes, carrying genetic information, align in the equator of the cell before being separated into each of the two daughter cells. Metaphase accounts for approximately 4% of the cell cycle's duration. Preceded by events in prometaphase and followed by anaphase, microtubules formed in prophase have already found and attached themselves to kinetochores in metaphase. In metaphase, the centromeres of the chromosomes convene themselves on the ''metaphase plate'' (or ''equatorial plate''), an imaginary line that is equidistant from the two centrosome poles. This even alignment is due to the counterbalance of the pulling powers generated by the opposing kinetochore microtubules, analogous to a tug-of-war between two people of equal strength, ending with the destruction of B cyclin. In ...
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Cell Division
Cell division is the process by which a parent cell divides into two daughter cells. Cell division usually occurs as part of a larger cell cycle in which the cell grows and replicates its chromosome(s) before dividing. In eukaryotes, there are two distinct types of cell division: a vegetative division (mitosis), producing daughter cells genetically identical to the parent cell, and a cell division that produces haploid gametes for sexual reproduction (meiosis), reducing the number of chromosomes from two of each type in the diploid parent cell to one of each type in the daughter cells. In cell biology, mitosis ( /maɪˈtoʊsɪs/) is a part of the cell cycle, in which, replicated chromosomes are separated into two new nuclei. Cell division gives rise to genetically identical cells in which the total number of chromosomes is maintained. In general, mitosis (division of the nucleus) is preceded by the S stage of interphase (during which the DNA replication occurs) and is often ...
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Mitotic Catastrophe
Mitotic Catastrophe has been defined as either a cellular mechanism to prevent potentially cancerous cells from proliferating or as a mode of cellular death that occurs following improper cell cycle progression or entrance. Mitotic catastrophe can be induced by prolonged activation of the spindle assembly checkpoint, errors in mitosis, or DNA damage and functioned to prevent genomic instability. It is a mechanism that is being researched as a potential therapeutic target in cancers, and numerous approved therapeutics induce mitotic catastrophe. Term usage Multiple attempts to specifically define mitotic catastrophe have been made since the term was first used to describe a temperature dependent lethality in the yeast, ''Schizosaccharomyces pombe,'' that demonstrated abnormal segregation of chromosomes. The term has been used to define a mechanism of cellular death that occurs while a cell is in mitosis or as a method of oncosuppression that prevents potentially tumorigenic cells ...
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