Indexed on: 26 Oct '11Published on: 26 Oct '11Published in: Journal of cell science
Condensin complexes are essential for mitotic and meiotic chromosome segregation. Caenorhabditis elegans, like other metazoans, has two distinct mitotic and meiotic condensin complexes (I and II), which occupy distinct chromosomal domains and perform non-redundant functions. Despite the differences in mitotic and meiotic chromosome behavior, we uncovered several conserved aspects of condensin targeting during these processes. During both mitosis and meiosis, condensin II loads onto chromosomes in early prophase, and condensin I loads at entry into prometaphase. During both mitosis and meiosis, the localization of condensin I, but not condensin II, closely parallels the localization of the chromosomal passenger kinase Aurora B (AIR-2 in C. elegans). Interestingly, condensin I and AIR-2 also colocalize on the spindle midzone during anaphase of mitosis, and between separating chromosomes during anaphase of meiosis. Consistently, AIR-2 affects the targeting of condensin I but not condensin II. However, the role AIR-2 plays in condensin I targeting during these processes is different. In mitosis, AIR-2 activity is required for chromosomal association of condensin I. By contrast, during meiosis, AIR-2 is not required for condensin I chromosomal association, but it provides cues for correct spatial targeting of the complex.