Spatial Coordination of Spindle Assembly by Chromosome-Mediated Signaling Gradients

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Science  26 Aug 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5739, pp. 1373-1376
DOI: 10.1126/science.1115964

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During cell division, chromosomes are distributed to daughter cells by the mitotic spindle. This system requires spatial cues to reproducibly self-organize. We report that such cues are provided by chromosome-mediated interaction gradients between the small guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) Ran and importin-β. This produces activity gradients that determine the spatial distribution of microtubule nucleation and stabilization around chromosomes and that are essential for the self-organization of microtubules into a bipolar spindle.

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