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Dev Cell. 2014 Jan 13;28(1):81-93. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2013.12.001. Epub 2014 Jan 2.

Synergy between multiple microtubule-generating pathways confers robustness to centrosome-driven mitotic spindle formation.

Author information

1
Biosciences, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Stocker Road, Exeter EX4 4QD, UK.
2
Istituto Pasteur-Fondazione Cenci Bolognetti, "La Sapienza" Università di Roma, P.le A. Moro 5, 00185 Roma, Italy.
3
Biosciences, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Stocker Road, Exeter EX4 4QD, UK. Electronic address: j.g.wakefield@exeter.ac.uk.

Abstract

The mitotic spindle is defined by its organized, bipolar mass of microtubules, which drive chromosome alignment and segregation. Although different cells have been shown to use different molecular pathways to generate the microtubules required for spindle formation, how these pathways are coordinated within a single cell is poorly understood. We have tested the limits within which the Drosophila embryonic spindle forms, disrupting the inherent temporal control that overlays mitotic microtubule generation, interfering with the molecular mechanism that generates new microtubules from preexisting ones, and disrupting the spatial relationship between microtubule nucleation and the usually dominant centrosome. Our work uncovers the possible routes to spindle formation in embryos and establishes the central role of Augmin in all microtubule-generating pathways. It also demonstrates that the contributions of each pathway to spindle formation are integrated, highlighting the remarkable flexibility with which cells can respond to perturbations that limit their capacity to generate microtubules.

PMID:
24389063
PMCID:
PMC3898610
DOI:
10.1016/j.devcel.2013.12.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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