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Biol Cell. 2004 Apr;96(3):237-40.

The mitotic spindle and actin tails.

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  • 1Cell Biology and Biophysics Program, EMBL, Meyerhofstrasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany.


To segregate their chromosomes, eukaryotic cells rely on a dynamic structure made of microtubules: the mitotic spindle. This structure can form in cells lacking centrosomes, because their chromosomes also nucleate microtubules. This second assembly pathway is observed even in some cells that naturally have centrosomes, for example when the centrosomes are ablated by laser surgery. Recent results have started to address the complementary question of whether centrosome-nucleated microtubules alone could sustain the formation of a functional mitotic spindle. We wonder in this respect whether lower eukaryotes such as yeasts are different from higher eukaryotes such as vertebrates.

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