Light and electron microscopy of rat kangaroo cells in mitosis

Research paper by Urs-Peter Roos

Indexed on: 01 Dec '76Published on: 01 Dec '76Published in: Chromosoma


Chromosome orientation and behavior during prometaphase of mitosis in PtK1 rat kangaroo cells were investigated by cinémicrography and electron microscopy. The first chromosome movements occur soon after the nuclear envelope begins to break down in the region near each pole. Initial chromosome behavior is primarily determined by the distance from the kinetochore region to the spindle poles. The predominant pattern is a movement to and/or association with the proximal pole. Movement to and association with the more distant pole, or direct alignment at or near the spindle equator (direct congression) are less frequent patterns. Except for rare cases, pole-associated chromosomes congress sooner or later and most congressed chromosomes oscillate about the equator. — Ultrastructural observations suggest that pole-associated chromosomes are oriented only to the proximal pole (monotelic or syntelic orientation) and they demonstrate that the sister-kinetochores of congressing or oscillating chromosomes are oriented to opposite poles (amphitelic orientation). — Based on the structure of the early prometaphase spindle and four assumptions concerning the formation of kinetochore fibers and their force-producing interaction with complementary elements, the different patterns of chromosome behavior observed can be explained as a result of synchronous or asynchronous formation of sister-kinetochore fibers. The few chromosomes whose kinetochore region is approximately equidistant from the poles amphi-orient immediately because their sister-kinetochores form fibers synchronously and they congress directly because of the bidirectional forces to which they are subjected. The kinetochore region of most chromosomes is not equidistant from the poles. Therefore, they form a functional fiber first to the nearer pole and move to, or associate with, it because of the unidirectional force. Eventually, however, these chromosomes achieve amphitelic orientation and congress. Once established, amphitelic orientation is stable. Re-orientations do not occur during congression or oscillatory movements.