Kinetochores drive chromosome segregation by mediating chromosome interactions with the spindle. In higher eukaryotes, sister kinetochores are separately positioned on opposite sides of sister centromeres during mitosis, but associate with each other during meiosis I. Kinetochore association facilitates the attachment of sister chromatids to the same pole, enabling the segregation of homologous chromosomes toward opposite poles. In the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Rec8-containing meiotic cohesin is suggested to establish kinetochore associations by mediating cohesion of the centromere cores. However, cohesin-mediated kinetochore associations on intact chromosomes have never been demonstrated directly. In the present study, we describe a novel method for the direct evaluation of kinetochore associations on intact chromosomes in live S. pombe cells, and demonstrate that sister kinetochores and the centromere cores are positioned separately on mitotic chromosomes but associate with each other on meiosis I chromosomes. Furthermore, we demonstrate that kinetochore association depends on meiotic cohesin and the cohesin regulators Moa1 and Mrc1, and requires mating-pheromone signaling for its establishment. These results confirm cohesin-mediated kinetochore association and its regulatory mechanisms, along with the usefulness of the developed method for its analysis.

This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.

You do not currently have access to this content.