PerspectiveCell Biology

A Gradient Signal Orchestrates the Mitotic Spindle

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Science  26 Aug 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5739, pp. 1334-1335
DOI: 10.1126/science.1117842

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Assembly of the mitotic spindle is critical for the proper segregation of chromosomes during cell division. In his Perspective, Clarke discusses work by Caudron et al. (in the same issue) that shows how generation at chromosomes of a chemical gradient of Ran-GTP directs microtubule nucleation and growth during spindle assembly. The findings suggest a general principle for the spatial control of intracellular organization.