Mitosis: Late Prophase

Mitosis: Late Prophase

Late prophase, or prometaphase, begins with the disruption of the nuclear envelope, which is broken down into small membrane vesicles that closely resemble the endoplasmic reticulum and tend to remain visible around the mitotic spindle. During this period the chromosomes continue to condense and gradually shorten and thicken until they have completely formed the units that will undergo mitosis. The nucleolus also disappears during this period. The mitotic spindle microtubules are now free to enter the nuclear region, and formation of specialized protein complexes called kinetochores begins on each centromere. These complexes become attached to some of the spindle microtubules, which are then termed kinetochore microtubules. Other microtubules in the spindle (not attached to centromeres) are termed polar microtubules and these help form and maintain the spindle structure along with astral microtubules, which remain outside the spindle.


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