During anaphase, the spindle pulls the sister kinetochores apart until the sister chromatids are fully separated from each other. Subsequently, cytokinesis cleaves between the two separated chromosome masses to form two nucleated cells. Results from Schizosaccharomyces pombe suggested that cytokinesis and chromosome segregation are not co-ordinated with each other. However, recent studies indicate that, at least in budding yeast, a checkpoint called NoCut prevents abscission when spindle elongation is impaired, and might delay cytokinesis until all chromosomes are pulled out of the cleavage plane. Here, we discuss this possibility and summarize evidence suggesting that such a checkpoint is likely to be conserved in higher eukaryotes.
© The Authors Journal compilation © 2008 Biochemical Society