Kops: Chromosome segregation

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The Kops group studies the processes involved in chromosome segregation during cell division, with a focus on molecular mechanisms, evolution and chromosomal instability.

The main aim of our research is to understand how the cell division process gives rise to two genetically identical daughter cells. We are particularly interested in the processes that ensure correct chromosome segregation during mitosis. This is not only fascinating from a molecular perspective (how does a cell do that) and an evolutionary perspective (How has this intricate process evolved and are there meaningful differences between species?) but also has implications for health and disease. Errors in chromosome segregation are a major cause for birth defects and embryonic lethality in humans, and the most common genetic alteration in human tumors is aberrant chromosome numbers, called aneuploidy. Finally, as we and others have shown, errors in chromosome segregation during mitosis have dramatic secondary consequences on genome integrity, including translocations, deletions and chromosome shattering (chromothripsis).

Key publicationsView all publications

A farnesyl-dependent structural role for CENP-E in expansion of the fibrous corona

Jingchao Wu, Maximilian W.D. Raas, Paula Sobrevals Alcaraz, Harmjan R. Vos, Eelco C. Tromer, Berend Snel, Geert J.P.L. Kops

Journal of Cell Biology 223(1):e202303007


Microtubule nucleation from the fibrous corona by LIC1-pericentrin promotes chromosome congression

Jingchao Wu, Ainhoa Larreategui-Aparicio, Maaike L A Lambers, Dani L Bodor, Sjoerd J Klaasen, Eveline Tollenaar, Marta de Ruijter-Villani, Geert J P L Kops

Current Biology. 2023 Mar 13; 33(5): 912–925.e6


Nuclear chromosome locations dictate segregation error frequencies

Sjoerd J Klaasen, My Anh Truong, Richard H van Jaarsveld, Isabella Koprivec, Valentina Štimac, Sippe G de Vries, Patrik Risteski, Snježana Kodba, Kruno Vukušić, Kim L de Luca, Joana F Marques, Elianne M Gerrits, Bjorn Bakker, Floris Foijer, Jop Kind, Iva M Tolić, Susanne M A Lens, Geert J P L Kops

Nature 607, 604–609 (2022)


Chromosomal instability by mutations in the novel minor spliceosome component CENATAC

de Wolf B, Oghabian A, Akinyi MV, Hanks S, Tromer EC, van Hooff JJE, van Voorthuijsen L, van Rooijen LE, Verbeeren J, Uijttewaal ECH, Baltissen MPA, Yost S, Piloquet P, Vermeulen M, Snel B, Isidor B, Rahman N, Frilander MJ, Kops GJPL.

The EMBO Journal (2021)40:e106536


A Biosensor for the Mitotic Kinase MPS1 Reveals Spatiotemporal Activity Dynamics and Regulation.

Timo E.F. Kuijt, Maaike L.A. Lambers, Sonja Weterings, Bas Ponsioen, Ana C.F. Bolhaqueiro, Debbie H.M. Staijen, Geert J.P.L. Kops.

Current Biology 30, 3862–3870 October 5, 2020


Ongoing chromosomal instability and karyotype evolution in human colorectal cancer organoids.

Bolhaqueiro ACF, Ponsioen B, Bakker B, Klaasen SJ, Kucukkose E, van Jaarsveld RH, Vivié J, Verlaan-Klink I, Hami N, Spierings DCJ, Sasaki N, Dutta D, Boj SF, Vries RGJ, Lansdorp PM, van de Wetering M, van Oudenaarden A, Clevers H, Kranenburg O, Foijer F, Snippert HJG, Kops GJPL

Nat Genet. 51 (2019), 824-834.


Dynamic kinetochore size regulation promotes microtubule capture and chromosome biorientation in mitosis.

Sacristan C, Ahmad MUD, Keller J, Fermie J, Groenewold V, Tromer E, Fish A, Melero R, Carazo JM, Klumperman J, Musacchio A, Perrakis A, Kops GJPL.

Nature Cell Biol. 20 (2018) 800-810.


Mosaic origin of the eukaryotic kinetochore.

Tromer EC, van Hooff JJE, Kops GJPL, Snel B

PNAS June 25, 2019 116 (26) 12873-12882;


Degree and site of chromosomal instability define its oncogenic potential.

Hoevenaar WHM, Janssen A, Quirindongo AI, Ma H, Klaasen SJ, Teixeira A, van Gerwen B, Lansu N, Morsink FHM, Offerhaus GJA, Medema RH, Kops GJPL, Jelluma N.

Nat Commun. 2020 Mar 20;11(1):1501.


Biallelic TRIP13 mutations predispose to Wilms tumor and chromosome missegregation.

Yost S, De Wolf B, Hanks S, Zachariou A, Marcozz C, Clarke M, De Voer RM, Etemad B, Uijttewaal E, Ramsay E, Wylie H, Elliott A, Picton S, Smith A, Smithson S, Seal S, Ruark E, Houge G, Pines J, Kops GJPL*, Rahman N*.

Nat Genet. 49 (2017), 1148-1151.


* authors contributed equally

Competition between MPS1 and microtubules at kinetochores regulates spindle checkpoint signaling.

Hiruma, Y, Sacristan C, Pachis ST, Adamopoulos A, Kuijt T, Ubbink M, Von Castelmur E, Perrakis A, Kops GJPL.

Science 348 (2015), 1264-1267.


Trends Cancer 2 (2016), 561-571.


Sequential multisite phospho-regulation of KNL1-BUB3 interfaces at mitotic kinetochores.

Vleugel M, Omerzu M, Groenewold V, Hadders MA, Lens SM, Kops GJPL.

Mol Cell 57 (2015), 824-35.


Negative feedback at kinetochores underlies a responsive spindle checkpoint signal.

Nijenhuis W, Vallardi G, Van den Dikkenberg A, Kops GJPL*, Saurin AT*.

Nat Cell Biol. 16 (2014), 1257-64.


* authors contributed equally

Dev Cell 23 (2012), 745-755.


The vertebrate mitotic checkpoint protein BUBR1 is an unusual pseudokinase.

Suijkerbuijk SJE, Van Dam TJP, Karagöz GE, Von Castelmur E, Hubner NC, Duarte AMS, Vleugel M, Perrakis A, Rüdiger SGD, Snel B, Kops GJPL.

Dev Cell 22 (2012), 1321-9.


Chromosome segregation errors as a cause of DNA damage and structural chromosome aberration.

Janssen A, Van der Burg, M, Szuhai, K, Kops GJPL*, Medema RH*.

Science 333 (2011), 1895-8.


* authors contributed equally

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106 (2009), 19108-13.


* authors contributed equally

Mps1 phosphorylates borealin to control aurora B activity and chromosome alignment.

Jelluma N, Brenkman AB, Van den Broek NJF, Cruijsen CWA, Van Osch MHJ, Lens SMA, Medema RH and Kops GJPL.

Cell 132 (2008) 233-246.


Group leader

Geert Kops

Geert Kops is Director of the Hubrecht Institute, and professor of Molecular Tumor Cell Biology at the University Medical Center Utrecht. His group is interested in the processes that ensure correct chromosome segregation during cell division. Errors in chromosome segregation can cause birth defects and embryonic lethality in humans and cause aneuploidy, the most common genetic alteration in tumors. The Kops group studies the signaling networks that regulate chromosome segregation, the evolution of cell division processes and the role of chromosomal instability in cancer.

Scientific training and positions


Current other activities

Group members

Geert Kops

Group Leader

Anko de Graaff


Pim Toonen


Nico Lansu


Eloïse van Kwawegen


Timo Eijkman


Tessa Alofs


Carlos Sacristan Lopez


Emine Ali


Thomas van Ravesteyn


Natasja Costermans


Victor Tiroille


Joana Marques

PhD Student

Simona Lafirenze

PhD Student

Lorena Andrade Ruiz

PhD Student

Alessandro Corsini

PhD Student

Ainhoa Larreategui Aparicio

PhD Student

Anneloes Keijzer

PhD Student

Chiara Baggio

PhD Student

Maximilian Raas

PhD Student

Sarah Tommouhi

PhD Student

Claudia Deelen


Marta de Ruijter-Villani


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