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Cell. 1997 Oct 31;91(3):357-66.

CENP-E is a plus end-directed kinetochore motor required for metaphase chromosome alignment.

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Laboratory of Cell Biology, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla 92093-0660, USA.


Mitosis requires dynamic attachment of chromosomes to spindle microtubules. This interaction is mediated largely by kinetochores. During prometaphase, forces exerted at kinetochores, in combination with polar ejection forces, drive congression of chromosomes to the metaphase plate. A major question has been whether kinetochore-associated microtubule motors play an important role in congression. Using immunodepletion from and antibody addition to Xenopus egg extracts, we show that the kinetochore-associated kinesin-like motor protein CENP-E is essential for positioning chromosomes at the metaphase plate. We further demonstrate that CENP-E powers movement toward microtubule plus ends in vitro. These findings support a model in which CENP-E functions in congression to tether kinetochores to dynamic microtubule plus ends.

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