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Curr Biol. 1999 Aug 26;9(16):923-6.

BimC motor protein KLP61F cycles between mitotic spindles and fusomes in Drosophila germ cells.

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Laboratory of Molecular Biology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA.


KLP61F in Drosophila is a member of the BimC family of kinesins and, as for other family members [1], is required for spindle assembly [2] [3]. KLP61F is a bipolar homotetramer that cross-links spindle microtubules [4]. It is not known, however, whether the function of KLP61F is dedicated to mitosis or whether KLP61F interacts exclusively with microtubules. Previous work suggested that KLP61F functions during interphase in proliferating germ cells [3]. Cytokinesis is incomplete in germ cells and a branched cortical structure known as a fusome extrudes through intercellular bridges called ring canals. Here I show that, in germ cells, KLP61F cycles between spindles during mitosis and fusomes during interphase. Inspection of fusome-deficient hu-li tai shao (hts) mutants indicated that KLP61F gains fusome-dependent interactions near telophase that mediate its incorporation into these structures. KLP61F proved to be maintained in fusomes by microtubule-independent, detergent-resistant interactions. Inspection of KLP61F mutants indicated that KLP61F is required to recruit fusome material to spindle midbodies near telophase and for normal fusome organization. These observations suggest that KLP61F is bifunctional in germ cells, with microtubule-dependent functions in spindle assembly and microtubule-independent functions in fusome organization. Cytological analyses with antibodies against phosphorylated Eg5 peptide [4] suggest that cycling of KLP61F might reflect phosphorylation.

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