Meiosis-Specific Functions of Kinesin Motors in Cohesin Removal and Maintenance of Chromosome Integrity in Budding Yeast [Research Article]

Kinesin motors provide the molecular forces at the kinetochore-microtubule interface and along the spindle to control chromosome segregation. During meiosis with two rounds of microtubule assembly-disassembly, the roles of motor proteins remain unexplored. We observed that in contrast to mitosis, Cin8 and Kip3 together are indispensable for meiosis. While examining meiosis in cin8 kip3 cells, we detected chromosome breakage in the meiosis II cells. The double mutant exhibits a delay in cohesin removal during anaphase I. Consequently, some cells fail to undergo meiosis II and form dyads, while some, as they progress through meiosis II, cause a defect in chromosome integrity. We believe that in the latter cells, an imbalance of spindle-mediated force and the simultaneous persistence of cohesin on chromosomes cause their breakage. We provide evidence that tension generated by Cin8 and Kip3 through microtubule cross-linking is essential for signaling efficient cohesin removal and the maintenance of chromosome integrity during meiosis.

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