CHROMOSOME segregation during mitosis depends on the action of the mitotic spindle, a self organizing, bipolar protein machine which uses microtubules (MTs) and their associated motors. Members of the BimC subfamily of kinesin related MT-motor proteins are believed to be essential for the formation and functioning of a normal bipolar spindle. Here we report that KRP130, a homotetrameric BimC-related kinesin purified from Drosophila melanogaster embryos, has an unusual ultrastructure. It consists of four kinesin-related polypeptides assembled into a bipolar aggregate with motor domains at opposite ends, analogous to a miniature myosin filament. Such a bipolar 'minifilament' could crosslink spindle MTs and slide them relative to one another. We do not know of any other MT motors that have a bipolar structure.
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