How do cells keep chromosomes stable during cell division?

Sarah McClelland (primary)
Molecular Oncology
Queen Mary University of London
Dr Max Reuter (secondary)
Evolutionary Genetics


Genomes vary widely between species. For example, the number of genes, genome length, and repetitive sequence elements. Chromosome structure and number also vary widely, even between species with similar genome sizes. We and others have recently shown that in humans, specific chromosome features (such as chromosome size, centromere length and composition) can predispose to instability of specific chromosomes during cell division. Our aim is to understand how chromosome biology impacts genome stability, not only in humans, but across life. To do this we will combine cell biological studies and bioinformatic analysis of multiple species, to identify mechanisms that control chromosome stability.


1 Worrall JT, Tamura N, Mazzagatti A, Shaikh N, van Lingen T, Bakker B, Spierings DCJ, Vladimirou E, Foijer F, McClelland SE. Non-random Mis-segregation of Human Chromosomes. Cell Rep. 2018 Jun 12;23(11):3366-3380.

2 Tovini, L and McClelland, SE. Impaired CENP-E function renders large chromosomes more susceptible to congression failure. Biomolecules 2019, 9 (2), 44

3 Siming Ma1, Akhil Upneja1, Andrzej Galecki2,3,4, Yi-Miau Tsai2,3, Charles F Burant5, Sasha Raskind5, Quanwei Zhang6, Zhengdong D Zhang6, Andrei Seluanov7,
Vera Gorbunova7, Clary B Clish8, Richard A Miller2,3, Vadim N Gladyshev1* Cell culture-based profiling across mammals reveals DNA repair and metabolism as determinants of species longevity eLife 2016;5:e19130. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.19130
4 . F. Ruzicka, M. S. Hill, T. M. Pennell, I. Flis, F. C. Ingleby, R. Mott, K. Fowler, E. H. Morrow, M. Reuter (2019). Genome-wide sexually antagonistic variants reveal longstanding constraints on sexual dimorphism in the fruit fly. PLoS Biology 17:e3000244. [PDF]

Molecules, cells and industrial biotechnology
Area of Biology
Cell BiologyEvolution
Techniques & Approaches
BioinformaticsGeneticsImage ProcessingMicroscopy / ElectrophysiologyMolecular Biology