Chromosomal attachments set length and microtubule number in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae mitotic spindle

Natalie J. Nannas, Eileen T. O'Toole, Mark Winey, Andrew W. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


The length of the mitotic spindle varies among different cell types. A simple model for spindle length regulation requires balancing two forces: pulling, due to micro?tubules that attach to the chromosomes at their kinetochores, and pushing, due to interac? tions between microtubules that emanate from opposite spindle poles. In the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we show that spindle length scales with kinetochore number, in? creasing when kinetochores are inactivated and shortening on addition of synthetic or natural kinetochores, showing that kinetochore-microtubule interactions generate an inward force to balance forces that elongate the spindle. Electron microscopy shows that manipulating kinetochore number alters the number of spindle microtubules: adding extra kinetochores increases the number of spindle microtubules, suggesting kinetochore-based regulation of microtubule number.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4034-4048
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Issue number25
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this