Nature 427, 510-517 (5 February 2004) | doi:10.1038/nature02312; Received 24 October 2003; Accepted 19 December 2003; Published online 18 January 2004

The conserved kinetochore protein shugoshin protects centromeric cohesion during meiosis

Tomoya S. Kitajima1, Shigehiro A. Kawashima1 & Yoshinori Watanabe1,2

  1. Department of Biophysics and Biochemistry, Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo, Hongo, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
  2. SORST, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Hongo, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan

Correspondence to: Yoshinori Watanabe1,2 Email:


Meiosis comprises a pair of specialized nuclear divisions that produce haploid germ cells. To accomplish this, sister chromatids must segregate together during the first meiotic division (meiosis I), which requires that sister chromatid cohesion persists at centromeres. The factors that protect centromeric cohesion during meiosis I have remained elusive. Here we identify Sgo1 (shugoshin), a protector of the centromeric cohesin Rec8 in fission yeast. We also identify a homologue of Sgo1 in budding yeast. We provide evidence that shugoshin is widely conserved among eukaryotes. Moreover, we identify Sgo2, a paralogue of shugoshin in fission yeast, which is required for faithful mitotic chromosome segregation. Localization of Sgo1 and Sgo2 at centromeres requires the kinase Bub1, identifying shugoshin as a crucial target for the kinetochore function of Bub1. These findings provide insights into the evolution of meiosis and kinetochore regulation during mitosis and meiosis.


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