At the metaphase to anaphase transition, chromosome segregation is initiated by the splitting of sister chromatids. Subsequently, spindles elongate, separating the sister chromosomes into two sets. Here, we investigate the cell cycle requirements for spindle elongation in budding yeast using mutants affecting sister chromatid cohesion or DNA replication. We show that separation of sister chromatids is not sufficient for proper spindle integrity during elongation. Rather, successful spindle elongation and stability require both sister chromatid separation and anaphase-promoting complex activation. Spindle integrity during elongation is dependent on proteolysis of the securin Pds1 but not on the activity of the separase Esp1. Our data suggest that stabilization of the elongating spindle at the metaphase to anaphase transition involves Pds1-dependent targets other than Esp1.

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