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Mol Biol Cell. 2008 Dec;19(12):5104-15. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E08-02-0224. Epub 2008 Sep 17.

Fission yeast kinesin-8 Klp5 and Klp6 are interdependent for mitotic nuclear retention and required for proper microtubule dynamics.

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  • 1Laboratory of Cell Regulation Cancer Research UK, London Research Institute, Lincoln's Inn Fields Laboratories, London WC2A 3PX, United Kingdom.


Fission yeast has two kinesin-8s, Klp5 and Klp6, which associate to form a heterocomplex. Here, we show that Klp5 and Klp6 are mutually dependent on each other for nuclear mitotic localization. During interphase, they are exported to the cytoplasm. In sharp contrast, during mitosis, Klp5 and Klp6 remain in the nucleus, which requires the existence of each counterpart. Canonical nuclear localization signal (NLS) is identified in the nonkinesin C-terminal regions. Intriguingly individual NLS mutants (NLSmut) exhibit loss-of-function phenotypes, suggesting that Klp5 and Klp6 enter the nucleus separately. Indeed, although neither Klp5-NLSmut nor Klp6-NLSmut enters the nucleus, wild-type Klp6 or Klp5, respectively, does so with different kinetics. In the absence of Klp5/6, microtubule catastrophe/rescue frequency and dynamicity are suppressed, whereas growth and shrinkage rates are least affected. Remarkably, chimera strains containing only the N-terminal Klp5 kinesin domains cannot disassemble interphase microtubules during mitosis, leading to the coexistence of cytoplasmic microtubules and nuclear spindles with massive chromosome missegregation. In this strain, a marked reduction of microtubule dynamism, even higher than in klp5/6 deletions, is evident. We propose that Klp5 and Klp6 play a vital role in promoting microtubule dynamics, which is essential for the spatiotemporal control of microtubule morphogenesis.

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