Cell Biology

NuMA-tic Motoring

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Science  02 Jun 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5471, pp. 1551
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5471.1551b

During mitosis, two arrays of microtubules form the bipolar mitotic spindle in order to effect partitioning of the duplicated chromosomes into the daughter cells. The fabrication of the spindle therefore is a key step in successful cell division, and a protein known as NuMA is needed to properly gather the ends of the microtubules at the poles.

Merdes et al. have found that, at the onset of mitosis, a complex of the microtubule motor protein dynein and dynactin powers NuMA transport along microtubules to the polar region. Transport and continued localization of NuMA at the pole is required to form and maintain an intact spindle, perhaps through binding of the individual microtubules to a NuMA multimer. Disruption of NuMA transport by addition of the dynactin inhibitor dynamitin, or by addition of anti-dynein antibodies, releases spindle microtubules from the tightly focused poles.—SMH

J. Cell Biol.149, 851 (2000).

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