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J Cell Biol. 2010 Nov 15;191(4):795-808. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201006028.

Mitotic spindle disassembly occurs via distinct subprocesses driven by the anaphase-promoting complex, Aurora B kinase, and kinesin-8.

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Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.


The mitotic spindle is a complex and dynamic structure. Although much has been learned about how spindles assemble and mediate chromosome segregation, how spindles rapidly and irreversibly disassemble during telophase is less clear. We used synthetic lethal screens in budding yeast to identify mutants defective in spindle disassembly. Real-time, live cell imaging analysis of spindle disassembly was performed on nine mutants defective in this process. Results of this analysis suggest that spindle disassembly is achieved by mechanistically distinct but functionally overlapping subprocesses: disengagement of the spindle halves, arrest of spindle elongation, and initiation of interpolar microtubule depolymerization. These subprocesses are largely governed by the anaphase-promoting complex, Aurora B kinase, and kinesin-8. Combinatorial inhibition of these subprocesses yielded cells with hyperstable spindle remnants and dramatic defects in cell cycle progression, establishing that rapid spindle disassembly is crucial for cell proliferation.

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