Anaphase bridges: Not all natural fibers are healthy

Alice Finardi, Lucia F. Massari, Rosella Visintin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


At each round of cell division, the DNA must be correctly duplicated and distributed between the two daughter cells to maintain genome identity. In order to achieve proper chromosome replication and segregation, sister chromatids must be recognized as such and kept together until their separation. This process of cohesion is mainly achieved through proteinaceous linkages of cohesin complexes, which are loaded on the sister chromatids as they are generated during S phase. Cohesion between sister chromatids must be fully removed at anaphase to allow chromosome segregation. Other (non-proteinaceous) sources of cohesion between sister chromatids consist of DNA linkages or sister chromatid intertwines. DNA linkages are a natural consequence of DNA replication, but must be timely resolved before chromosome segregation to avoid the arising of DNA lesions and genome instability, a hallmark of cancer development. As complete resolution of sister chromatid intertwines only occurs during chromosome segregation, it is not clear whether DNA linkages that persist in mitosis are simply an unwanted leftover or whether they have a functional role. In this review, we provide an overview of DNA linkages between sister chromatids, from their origin to their resolution, and we discuss the consequences of a failure in their detection and processing and speculate on their potential role.
Original languageEnglish
Article number902
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2020


  • SCI
  • anaphase bridges
  • topoisomerases
  • catenane


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