Metaphase (from the Greek words μετά = after and φάσις = stage) is a stage of mitosis in the eukaryotic cell cycle in which condensed chromosomes align in the middle of the cell before being separated into each of the two daughter cells.
One of the cell cycle "checkpoints " occurs during metaphase. Only after all chromosomes have become aligned at the metaphase plate does the cell enter anaphase. This is accomplished by regulation of the APC, securin, and separase. Metaphase is preceded by prophase and followed by anaphase.