TitleKinetochore fibre dynamics outside the context of the spindle during anaphase
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsChen, W, Zhang, DH
JournalNature Cell Biology
Type of ArticleJournal Article

Chromosomes move polewards as kinetochore fibres shorten during anaphase. Fibre dynamics and force production have been studied extensively(1-10), but little is known about these processes in the absence of the spindle matrix. Here we show that laser-microbeam-severed kinetochore fibres in the cytoplasm of grasshopper spermatocytes maintain a constant length while turning over in a polarized manner. Tubulin incorporates at or near the kinetochore and translocates towards severed ends without shortening the fibre. Consequently, the chromosome cannot move polewards unless the severed fibre reattaches to the pole through microtubules. A potential seclusion artefact has been ruled out, as fibres severed inside spindles behave identically despite being surrounded by the spindle matrix. Our data suggest that kinetochore microtubules constantly treadmill(11) during anaphase in insect cells. Treadmilling is an intrinsic property of microtubules in the kinetochore fibre, independent of the context and attachment of the spindle. The machinery that depolymerizes minus ends of kinetochore microtubules is functional in a non-spindle context. Attachment to the pole, however, is required to cause net kinetochore fibre shortening to generate polewards forces during anaphase.

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