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 Prophase is usually the longest mitotic phase.

 During the prophase, progressive coiling or condensation and

folding of chromosomes begins and they become visible as
thread-like structures.
 Each chromosome consists of two chromatids called sister
chromatids which become visible clearly by the mid-prophase.
 During early prophase, the two chromatids are twisted about
each other in relational or plectonemic coils.
Plectonemic Coiling
 In plectonemic coiling, the sister chromatids are

intertwined around each other so that they cannot be

separated from each other without rotation; this type of
coiling occurs in prophase of mitosis
Paranemic coiling
 There is another type of coiling called paranemic

coiling; in this case, the sister chromatids are not

twisted round each other but the coils of one sister
chromatid are slipped into those of the other so that
they can be easily separated without rotation. Such
coiling occurs in the prophase of meiosis.
Fig. The types of coiling between sister chromatids.
A. In paranemic coiling (meiotic prophase) the chromosomal
subunits are not twisted around each other and are freely separable.
B. In plectonemic coiling (initial prophase) the chromosomal
subunits are interwined.
Molecular mechanism of chromosome
 During replication, the duplicated DNA molecules,
called sister chromatids, become linked to each other
by a protein complex called cohesin,which are deposited along the
length of each sister chromatid.

 Cohesin is a member of the SMC, or structural maintenance of

chromosomes, family of proteins.

 SMC proteins are DNA-binding proteins that affect chromosome

architectures; indeed, cells that lack SMC proteins show a variety of

defects in chromosome stability or chromosome behavior.
 Activated M-Cdk phosphorylates condensin, a large

protein complex that contains SMC protein.

 It is a long dimeric protein molecule hinged at the center

with a globular domain at each end that bind to DNA and

hydrolyze ATP.

 When added to purified DNA , the condensin uses energy

of ATP hydrolysis to make a right handed loop.

 One molecule may be present for every 10000

nucleotides of mitotic DNA and form a structural

framework by forming intramolecular crosslinking
to coil DNA.

 Both Cohesins and condensins are structurally

related and they work together.
FIGURE 14.14 Model for the roles of
condensin and cohesin in the formation of
mitotic chromosomes. Just after replication, the
DNA helices of a pair of sister chromatids would be
held in association by cohesin molecules that
encircled the sister DNA helices, as shown at the
top of the drawing. As the cell entered mitosis, the
compaction process would begin, aided by
condensin molecules, as shown in the lower part of
the drawing. In this model, condensin brings about
chromosome compaction by forming a ring around
supercoiled loops of DNA within chromatin.
Cohesin molecules would continue to hold the
DNA of sister chromatids together. It is proposed
(but not shown in this drawing), that cooperative
interactions between condensin molecules would
then organize the supercoiled loops into larger
coils, which are then folded into a mitotic
chromosome fiber. The top and bottom insets show
the subunit structure of an individual cohesin and
condensin complex, respectively. Both complexes
are built around a pair of SMC subunits. Each of the
SMC polypeptides folds back on itself to form a
highly elongated antiparallel, coiled coil with an
ATP-binding globular domain where the N- and C-
termini come together. Cohesin and condensin also
have two or three non-SMC subunits that complete
the ring-like structure of these proteins
Significance of Mitosis:
 Mitosis is an equational division.
 It is the division through which daughter cells that are identical are produced.
 The daughter cells have the same amount and type of genetic constitution as that of the parent cell.
 Mitosis division is responsible for growth and development of a single-celled zygote into a
multicellular organism.
 The chromosome number remains the same in the cells produced by this division.
 The daughter cells have the same characters as those of the parent cell.
 Mitosis division helps in maintaining the proper size.
 Mitosis also helps in restoring wear and tear in body tissues, replacing damaged or lost part, healing
wounds and regeneration of detached parts.
 This method of multiplication is seen in unicellular organisms.
 Mitotic division of cell is unchecked and it may result in uncontrolled growth of cells leading to
cancer or tumor.