Drosophila melanogaster is an excellent model for studying mitosis. Syncytial embryos are amenable to time-lapse imaging of hundreds of synchronously dividing spindles, allowing the quantitation of spindle and chromosome dynamics with unprecedented fidelity. Other Drosophila cell types, including neuroblasts, cultured cells, spermatocytes and oocytes, contain spindles that differ in their design, providing cells amenable to different types of experiments and allowing identification of common core mechanisms. The function of mitotic proteins can be studied using mutants, inhibitor microinjection and RNA interference (RNAi) to identify the full inventory of mitotic proteins encoded by the genome. Here, we review recent advances in understanding how ensembles of mitotic proteins coordinate spindle assembly and chromosome motion in this system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology