Cohesin is needed for bipolar mitosis in human cells

Laura A. Díaz-Martínez, Nicole A. Beauchene, Katherine Furniss, Pedro Esponda, Juan F. Giménez-Abián, Duncan J. Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Multi-polar mitosis is strongly linked with aggressive cancers and it is a histological diagnostic of tumor-grade. However, factors that cause chromosomes to segregate to more than two spindle poles are not well understood. Here we show that cohesins Rad21, Smc1 and Smc3 are required for bipolar mitosis in human cells. After Rad21 depletion, chromosomes align at the metaphase plate and bipolar spindles assemble in most cases, but in anaphase the separated chromatids segregate to multiple poles. Time-lapse microscopy revealed that the spindle poles often become split in Rad21-depleted metaphase cells. Interestingly, exogenous expression of non-cleavable Rad21 results in multi-polar anaphase. Since cohesins are present at the spindle poles in mitosis, these data are consistent with a non-chromosomal function of cohesin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1764-1773
Number of pages10
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
L.A.D.M. was partially funded by CONACyT, J.F.G.A. by BFU2008-03579/BMC and P.E. by BFU2008-02947-C02-02/ BMC, and D.J.C. by a seed grant from the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Centriole
  • Centrosome
  • Cohesin
  • Mcd1
  • Rad21
  • Scc1
  • Smc1
  • Smc3


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