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Dev Cell. 2002 Jan;2(1):41-54.

Central spindle assembly and cytokinesis require a kinesin-like protein/RhoGAP complex with microtubule bundling activity.

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Research Institute of Molecular Pathology, Dr. Bohr-Gasse 7, A-1030, Vienna, Austria.


A late step in cytokinesis requires the central spindle, which forms during anaphase by the bundling of antiparallel nonkinetochore microtubules. Microtubule bundling and completion of cytokinesis require ZEN-4/CeMKLP-1, a kinesin-like protein, and CYK-4, which contains a RhoGAP domain. We show that CYK-4 and ZEN-4 exist in a complex in vivo that can be reconstituted in vitro. The N terminus of CYK-4 binds the central region of ZEN-4, including the neck linker. Genetic suppression data prove the functional significance of this interaction. An analogous complex, containing equimolar amounts of a CYK-4 ortholog and MKLP-1, was purified from mammalian cells. Biochemical studies indicate that this complex, named centralspindlin, is a heterotetramer. Centralspindlin, but not its individual components, strongly promotes microtubule bundling in vitro.

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