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The microtubule cross-linker Feo controls the midzone stability, motor composition, and elongation of the anaphase B spindle in Drosophila embryos.

  • Author(s): Wang, Haifeng;
  • Brust-Mascher, Ingrid;
  • Scholey, Jonathan M
  • Editor(s): Barr, Francis A
  • et al.

Chromosome segregation during anaphase depends on chromosome-to-pole motility and pole-to-pole separation. We propose that in Drosophila embryos, the latter process (anaphase B) depends on a persistent kinesin-5-generated interpolar (ip) microtubule (MT) sliding filament mechanism that "engages" to push apart the spindle poles when poleward flux is turned off. Here we investigated the contribution of the midzonal, antiparallel MT-cross-linking nonmotor MAP, Feo, to this "slide-and-flux-or-elongate" mechanism. Whereas Feo homologues in other systems enhance the midzone localization of the MT-MT cross-linking motors kinesin-4, -5 and -6, the midzone localization of these motors is respectively enhanced, reduced, and unaffected by Feo. Strikingly, kinesin-5 localizes all along ipMTs of the anaphase B spindle in the presence of Feo, including at the midzone, but the antibody-induced dissociation of Feo increases kinesin-5 association with the midzone, which becomes abnormally narrow, leading to impaired anaphase B and incomplete chromosome segregation. Thus, although Feo and kinesin-5 both preferentially cross-link MTs into antiparallel polarity patterns, kinesin-5 cannot substitute for loss of Feo function. We propose that Feo controls the organization, stability, and motor composition of antiparallel ipMTs at the midzone, thereby facilitating the kinesin-5-driven sliding filament mechanism underlying proper anaphase B spindle elongation and chromosome segregation.

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