The mitotic spindle segregates chromosomes to opposite ends of the cell in preparation for cell division. Chromosome attachment to the spindle is monitored by the spindle assembly checkpoint, and at least in yeast cells, penetration of one spindle pole into the bud is monitored by the spindle position checkpoint. We review the historical origins of these checkpoints and recent progress in understanding their surveillance pathways. We also highlight fascinating but as yet unresolved questions, and examine crosstalk between the checkpoints.
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