Defects in chromosome segregation — a phenomenon known as chromosome instability — are a hallmark of many colon cancers. Mutations in the Adenomatous Polyposis Coli (APC) gene are found in both familial and sporadic colon cancer. Now, two studies in April Nature Cell Biology uncover the link between APC and chromosome instability (Nat Cell Biol3:429-432; 433-438).

Microtubules, the fibres that pull the chromosomes apart during mitosis, are normally attached to the kinetochores at the centromeres of chromosomes. By means of antibody staining, Kenneth Kaplan of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-workers, and Riccardo Fodde of Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands and colleagues, observed that the APC protein is localized during mitosis in normal cells to the ends of microtubules embedded in kinetochores. In cells carrying a version of APC in which the carboxyl terminus was truncated, the microtubules were projected randomly and...

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