Send to

Choose Destination
Dev Biol. 2008 Jul 1;319(1):1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2008.03.018. Epub 2008 Mar 21.

Lis1/dynactin regulates metaphase spindle orientation in Drosophila neuroblasts.

Author information

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Institutes of Molecular Biology and Neuroscience, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, USA.


Mitotic spindle orientation in polarized cells determines whether they divide symmetrically or asymmetrically. Moreover, regulated spindle orientation may be important for embryonic development, stem cell biology, and tumor growth. Drosophila neuroblasts align their spindle along an apical/basal cortical polarity axis to self-renew an apical neuroblast and generate a basal differentiating cell. It is unknown whether spindle alignment requires both apical and basal cues, nor have molecular motors been identified that regulate spindle movement. Using live imaging of neuroblasts within intact larval brains, we detect independent movement of both apical and basal spindle poles, suggesting that forces act on both poles. We show that reducing astral microtubules decreases the frequency of spindle movement, but not its maximum velocity, suggesting that one or few microtubules can move the spindle. Mutants in the Lis1/dynactin complex strongly decrease maximum and average spindle velocity, consistent with this motor complex mediating spindle/cortex forces. Loss of either astral microtubules or Lis1/dynactin leads to spindle/cortical polarity alignment defects at metaphase, but these are rescued by telophase. We propose that an early Lis1/dynactin-dependent pathway and a late Lis1/dynactin-independent pathway regulate neuroblast spindle orientation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center