Proper Organization of Microtubule Minus Ends Is Needed for Midzone Stability and Cytokinesis

Shang Cai, Lesley N. Weaver, Stephanie C. Ems-McClung, Claire E. Walczak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations


Successful cytokinesis is critical for maintaining genome stability [1, 2] and requires the assembly of a robust central spindle to specify the cleavage furrow position [3], to prevent separated chromosomes from coming back together [4], and to contribute to midbody abscission [5, 6]. A proper central spindle is assembled and maintained by a number of microtubule-associated and molecular motor proteins that sort microtubules into bundles with their plus ends overlapping at the center [1, 2]. The mechanisms by which different factors organize the central spindle microtubules remain unclear. We found that perturbation of the minus-end-directed Kinesin-14 HSET increased the frequency of polyploid cells, which resulted from a failure in cytokinesis. In addition, HSET knockdown resulted in severe midzone microtubule organization, most notably at microtubule minus ends, as well as mislocalization of several midbody-associated proteins. Biochemical analysis showed that both human HSET and Xenopus XCTK2 cofractionated with the γ-tubulin ring complexes on sucrose gradients and that XCTK2 associated with γ-tubulin and Xgrip109 by immunoprecipitation. Our data reveal the novel finding that a minus-end-directed motor contributes to the organization and stability of the central spindle, which is needed for proper cytokinesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)880-885
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 11 2010



ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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