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The roles of microtubule-based motor proteins in mitosis: comprehensive RNAi analysis in the Drosophila S2 cell line.

  • Author(s): Goshima, Gohta
  • Vale, Ronald D
  • et al.
Abstract

Kinesins and dyneins play important roles during cell division. Using RNA interference (RNAi) to deplete individual (or combinations of) motors followed by immunofluorescence and time-lapse microscopy, we have examined the mitotic functions of cytoplasmic dynein and all 25 kinesins in Drosophila S2 cells. We show that four kinesins are involved in bipolar spindle assembly, four kinesins are involved in metaphase chromosome alignment, dynein plays a role in the metaphase-to-anaphase transition, and one kinesin is needed for cytokinesis. Functional redundancy and alternative pathways for completing mitosis were observed for many single RNAi knockdowns, and failure to complete mitosis was observed for only three kinesins. As an example, inhibition of two microtubule-depolymerizing kinesins initially produced monopolar spindles with abnormally long microtubules, but cells eventually formed bipolar spindles by an acentrosomal pole-focusing mechanism. From our phenotypic data, we construct a model for the distinct roles of molecular motors during mitosis in a single metazoan cell type.

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