Kinesin-5 in drosophila embryo mitosis: Sliding filament or spindle matrix mechanism?

Jonathan M. Scholey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The Drosophila syncytial embryo uses multiple astral mitotic spindles that are specialized for rapid mitosis. The homotetrameric kinesin-5, KLP61F contributes to various aspects of mitosis in this system, all of which are consistent with it exerting outward forces on spindle poles. In principle, kinesin-5 could accomplish this by (i) sliding microtubules (MTs), minus end leading, relative to a static spindle matrix or (ii) crosslinking and sliding apart adjacent pairs of antiparallel interpolar (ip) MTs. Here, I critically review data on the biochemistry of purified KLP61F, its localization and dynamic properties within spindles, and quantitative modeling of KLP61F function. While a matrix-based mechanism may operate in some systems, the work tends to support the latter "sliding filament" mechanism for KLP61F action in Drosophila embryo spindles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)500-508
Number of pages9
JournalCell Motility and the Cytoskeleton
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Homotetrameric kinesin-5
  • Microtubule sliding
  • Mitosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Structural Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Kinesin-5 in drosophila embryo mitosis: Sliding filament or spindle matrix mechanism?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this