The spindle-assembly checkpoint in space and time
In eukaryotes, the spindle-assembly checkpoint (SAC) is a ubiquitous safety device that ensures the fidelity of chromosome segregation in mitosis. The SAC prevents chromosome mis-segregation and aneuploidy, and its dysfunction is implicated in tumorigenesis. Recent molecular analyses have begun to shed light on the complex interaction of the checkpoint proteins with kinetochores — structures that mediate the binding of spindle microtubules to chromosomes in mitosis. These studies are finally starting to reveal the mechanisms of checkpoint activation and silencing during mitotic progression.