CDK-1 inhibits meiotic spindle shortening and dynein-dependent spindle rotation in C. elegans

Marina L. Ellefson, Francis J. McNally

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20 Scopus citations


In animals, the female meiotic spindle is positioned at the egg cortex in a perpendicular orientation to facilitate the disposal of half of the chromosomes into a polar body. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the metaphase spindle lies parallel to the cortex, dynein is dispersed on the spindle, and the dynein activators ASPM-1 and LIN-5 are concentrated at spindle poles. Anaphase-promoting complex (APC) activation results in dynein accumulation at spindle poles and dynein-dependent rotation of one spindle pole to the cortex, resulting in perpendicular orientation. To test whether the APC initiates spindle rotation through cyclin B-CDK-1 inactivation, separase activation, or degradation of an unknown dynein inhibitor, CDK-1 was inhibited with purvalanol A in metaphase-I-arrested, APC-depleted embryos. CDK-1 inhibition resulted in the accumulation of dynein at spindle poles and dyneindependent spindle rotation without chromosome separation. These results suggest that CDK-1 blocks rotation by inhibiting dynein association with microtubules and with LIN-5-ASPM-1 at meiotic spindle poles and that the APC promotes spindle rotation by inhibiting CDK-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1229-1244
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jun 27 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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