Towards a quantitative comprehension of the spindle assembly checkpoint


  • Prof Jonathon Pines

    Institute of Cancer Research

Project summary

Mitosis is the means by which a mother cell divides its genetic material between two daughter cells. It is essential that the two daughter cells receive an equal and identical copy of this material in the form of chromosomes. There is a control mechanism in normal cells that prevents chromosomes from separating until they are properly arranged in the mother cell. Cells usually perish when chromosomes are divided unequally and when it is tolerated it is often associated with poor outcomes in cancer.

We seek to determine the control mechanism by which the cell detects misaligned chromosomes and how this prevents chromosomes from separating. We will use methods to measure the number of molecules involved in this process and how quickly they can transmit information to the rest of the cell.

Our findings will be able to shed light on this control mechanism which will contribute to our understanding of poor outcomes in people with cancer.