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Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 2009 Aug;66(8):500-8. doi: 10.1002/cm.20349.

Kinesin-5 in Drosophila embryo mitosis: sliding filament or spindle matrix mechanism?

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Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California at Davis, Davis, California, USA.


The Drosophila syncytial embryo uses multiple astral mitotic spindles that are specialized for rapid mitosis. The homotetrameric kinesin-5, KLP61F contributes to various aspects of mitosis in this system, all of which are consistent with it exerting outward forces on spindle poles. In principle, kinesin-5 could accomplish this by (i) sliding microtubules (MTs), minus end leading, relative to a static spindle matrix or (ii) crosslinking and sliding apart adjacent pairs of antiparallel interpolar (ip) MTs. Here, I critically review data on the biochemistry of purified KLP61F, its localization and dynamic properties within spindles, and quantitative modeling of KLP61F function. While a matrix-based mechanism may operate in some systems, the work tends to support the latter "sliding filament" mechanism for KLP61F action in Drosophila embryo spindles. Cell Motil. Cytoskeleton 2009.

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