Separating sister chromatids.
Loss of cohesion between sister chromatids triggers their segregation during anaphase. Recent work has identified both a cohesin complex that holds sisters together and a sister-separating protein, separin, that destroys cohesion. Separins are bound by inhibitory proteins whose proteolysis at the metaphase-anaphase transition is mediated by the anaphase-promoting complex and its activator protein CDC20 (APCCDC20). When chromosomes are misaligned, a surveillance mechanism (checkpoint) blocks sister separation by inhibiting APCCDC20. Defects in this apparatus are implicated in causing aneuploidy in human cells.