During mitosis, sister chromatids congress to the spindle equator and are subsequently segregated via attachment to dynamic kinetochore microtubule (kMT) plus ends. A major question is how kMT plus-end assembly is spatially regulated to achieve chromosome congression. Here we find in budding yeast that the widely conserved kinesin-5 sliding motor proteins, Cin8p and Kip1p, mediate chromosome congression by suppressing kMT plus-end assembly of longer kMTs. Of the two, Cin8p is the major effector and its activity requires a functional motor domain. In contrast, the depolymerizing kinesin-8 motor Kip3p plays a minor role in spatial regulation of yeast kMT assembly. Our analysis identified a model where kinesin-5 motors bind to kMTs, move to kMT plus ends, and upon arrival at a growing plus end promote net kMT plus-end disassembly. In conclusion, we find that length-dependent control of net kMT assembly by kinesin-5 motors yields a simple and stable self-organizing mechanism for chromosome congression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)