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Chromosome ‘by-Aurora-ientation’ during mitosis




New evidence from three separate laboratories, published recently in Science, has shown that centromere positioning of the CPC (chromosomal passenger complex) during early mitosis is achieved through direct interaction between the CPP (chromosomal passenger protein) survivin and histone H3. In essence, an acidic pocket in the BIR (baculovirus inhibitor of apoptosis repeat) domain of survivin binds to the NH2 tail of histone H3 specifically when it is phosphorylated at threonine 3, a mark that is placed by the mitotic kinase, haspin. These data are significant, as they describe a fundamental mechanism, conserved throughout eukaryotes, which is essential for chromosome biorientation and the maintenance of genome stability during mitosis.