Removal of antagonistic spindle forces can rescue metaphase spindle length and reduce chromosome segregation defects


Regular Abstracts - Tuesday Poster Presentations: no. 1925Metaphase describes a phase of mitosis where chromosomes are attached and oriented on the bipolar spindle for subsequent segregation at anaphase. In diverse cell types, the metaphase spindle is maintained at a relatively constant length. Metaphase spindle length is proposed to be regulated by a balance of pushing and pulling forces generated by distinct sets of spindle microtubules and their interactions with motors and microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs). Spindle length appears important for chromosome segregation fidelity, as cells with shorter or longer than normal metaphase spindles, generated through deletion or inhibition of individual mitotic motors or MAPs, showed chromosome segregation defects. To test the force balance model of spindle length control and its effect on chromosome segregation, we applied fast microfluidic temperature-control with live-cell imaging to monitor the effect of switching off different combinations of antagonistic forces in the fission yeast metaphase spindle. We show that spindle midzone proteins kinesin-5 cut7p and microtubule bundler ase1p contribute to outward pushing forces, and spindle kinetochore proteins kinesin-8 klp5/6p and dam1p contribute to inward pulling forces. Removing these proteins individually led to aberrant metaphase spindle length and chromosome segregation defects. Removing these proteins in antagonistic combination rescued the defective spindle length and, in some combinations, also partially rescued chromosome segregation defects. Our results stress the importance of proper chromosome-to-microtubule attachment over spindle length regulation for proper chromosome segregation.postprin

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