Chromokinesins: localization-dependent functions and regulation during cell division
ABSTRACT The bipolar spindle is a highly dynamic structure that assembles transiently around the chromosomes and provides the mechanical support and the forces required for chromosome segregation. Spindle assembly and chromosome movements rely on the regulation of microtubule dynamics and a fine balance of forces exerted by various molecular motors. Chromosomes are themselves central players in spindle assembly. They generate a RanGTP gradient that triggers microtubule nucleation and stabilization locally and they interact dynamically with the microtubules through motors targeted to the chromatin. We have previously identified and characterized two of these so-called chromokinesins: Xkid (kinesin 10) and Xklp1 (kinesin 4). More recently, we found that Hklp2/kif15 (kinesin 12) is targeted to the chromosomes through an interaction with Ki-67 in human cells and is therefore a novel chromokinesin. Hklp2 also associates with the microtubules specifically during mitosis, in a TPX2 (targeting protein for Xklp2)-dependent manner. We have shown that Hklp2 participates in spindle pole separation and in the maintenance of spindle bipolarity in metaphase. To better understand the function of Hklp2, we have performed a detailed domain analysis. Interestingly, from its positioning on the chromosome arms, Hklp2 seems to restrict spindle pole separation. In the present review, we summarize the current knowledge of the function and regulation of the different kinesins associated with chromosome arms during cell division, including Hklp2 as a novel member of this so-called chromokinesin family.
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ABSTRACT: During cell division the genetic material on chromosomes is distributed to daughter cells by a dynamic microtubule structure called the mitotic spindle. Here we establish a reconstitution system to assess the contribution of individual chromosome proteins to mitotic spindle formation around single 10 µm diameter porous glass beads in Xenopus egg extracts. We find that Regulator of Chromosome Condensation 1 (RCC1), the Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factor (GEF) for the small GTPase Ran, can induce bipolar spindle formation. Remarkably, RCC1 beads oscillate within spindles from pole to pole, a behavior that could be converted to a more typical, stable association by the addition of a kinesin together with RCC1. These results identify two activities sufficient to mimic chromatin-mediated spindle assembly, and establish a foundation for future experiments to reconstitute spindle assembly entirely from purified components.PLoS Biology 12/2011; 9(12):e1001225. DOI:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001225 · 11.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The mitotic spindle is structurally and functionally defined by its main component, the microtubules (MTs). The MTs making up the spindle have various functions, organization and dynamics: astral MTs emanate from the centrosome and reach the cell cortex, and thus have a major role in spindle positioning; interpolar MTs are the main constituent of the spindle and are key for the establishment of spindle bipolarity, chromosome congression and central spindle assembly; and kinetochore-fibers are MT bundles that connect the kinetochores with the spindle poles and segregate the sister chromatids during anaphase. The duplicated centrosomes were long thought to be the origin of all of these MTs. However, in the last decade, a number of studies have contributed to the identification of non-centrosomal pathways that drive MT assembly in dividing cells. These pathways are now known to be essential for successful spindle assembly and to participate in various processes such as K-fiber formation and central spindle assembly. In this Commentary, we review the recent advances in the field and discuss how different MT assembly pathways might cooperate to successfully form the mitotic spindle.Journal of Cell Science 06/2012; 125(Pt 12):2805-14. DOI:10.1242/jcs.092429 · 5.33 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A molecular motor is made of either a single macromolecule or a macromolecular complex. Just like their macroscopic counterparts, molecular motors "transduce" input energy into mechanical work. All the nano-motors considered here operate under isothermal conditions far from equilibrium. Moreover, one of the possible mechanisms of energy transduction, called Brownian ratchet, does not even have any macroscopic counterpart. But, molecular motor is not synonymous with Brownian ratchet; a large number of molecular motors execute a noisy power stroke, rather than operating as Brownian ratchet. We review not only the structural design and stochastic kinetics of individual single motors, but also their coordination, cooperation and competition as well as the assembly of multi-module motors in various intracellular kinetic processes. Although all the motors considered here execute mechanical movements, efficiency and power output are not necessarily good measures of performance of some motors. Among the intracellular nano-motors, we consider the porters, sliders and rowers, pistons and hooks, exporters, importers, packers and movers as well as those that also synthesize, manipulate and degrade "macromolecules of life". We review mostly the quantitative models for the kinetics of these motors. We also describe several of those motor-driven intracellular stochastic processes for which quantitative models are yet to be developed. In part I, we discuss mainly the methodology and the generic models of various important classes of molecular motors. In part II, we review many specific examples emphasizing the unity of the basic mechanisms as well as diversity of operations arising from the differences in their detailed structure and kinetics. Multi-disciplinary research is presented here from the perspective of physicists.Physics Reports 07/2012; 529(1). DOI:10.1016/j.physrep.2013.03.005 · 22.91 Impact Factor