In mammalian cultured cells the initiation of cytokinesis is regulated - both temporally and spatially - by the overlapping, anti-parallel microtubules of the spindle midzone. This region recruits several key central spindle components: PRC-1, polo-like kinase 1 (Plk-1), the centralspindlin complex, and the chromosome passenger complex (CPC), which together serve to stabilize the microtubule overlap, and also to coordinate the assembly of the cortical actin/myosin cytoskeleton necessary to physically cleave the cell in two. The localization of these crucial elements to the spindle midzone requires members of the kinesin superfamily of microtubule-based motor proteins. Here we focus on reviewing the role played by a variety of kinesins in both building and operating the spindle midzone machinery during cytokinesis.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
EHH wishes to thank Ron Vale for teaching him how to purify “real” kinesin (and calamari) during the 1992 MBL Physiology course in Woods Hole, MA. JEH is supported by a post-doctoral training grant from the National Institutes of Health ( T32 CA080621 ). Work in the Hinchcliffe lab is supported by a research grant from the National Institutes of Health ( R01 GM072754 ).
- Motor protein