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Mol Cells. 2009 Jan 31;27(1):1-3. doi: 10.1007/s10059-009-0014-2. Epub 2009 Feb 5.

Mechanism, function and regulation of microtubule-dependent microtubule amplification in mitosis.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


Mitotic spindle mediates the segregation of chromosomes in the cell cycle and the proper function of the spindle is crucial to the high fidelity of chromosome segregation and to the stability of the genome. Nucleation of microtubules (MTs) from centrosomes and chromatin represents two well-characterized pathways essential for the assembly of a dynamic spindle in mitosis. Recently, we identified a third MT nucleation pathway, in which existing MTs in the spindle act as a template to promote the nucleation and polymerization of MTs, thereby efficiently amplifying MTs in the spindle. We will review here our current understanding on the molecular mechanism, the physiological function and the cell-cycle regulation of MT amplification.

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