The kinesin ATK5 functions in early spindle assembly in Arabidopsis

J. Christian Ambrose, Richard Cyr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


During cell division, the mitotic spindle partitions chromosomes into daughter nuclei. In higher plants, the molecular mechanisms governing spindle assembly and function remain largely unexplored. Here, live cell imaging of mitosis in Arabidopsis thaliana plants lacking a kinesin-14 (ATK5) reveals defects during early spindle formation. Beginning during prophase and lasting until late prometaphase, spindles of atk5-1 plants become abnormally elongated, are frequently bent, and have splayed poles by prometaphase. The pariod of spindle elongation during prophase and prometaphase is prolonged in atkS-1 cells. Time-lapse imaging of yellow fluorescent protein:ATK5 reveals colocalization with perinuclear microtubules before nuclear envelope breakdown, after which it congresses inward from the polea to the midzone, where it becomes progressively enriched at ragiona of overlap between antiparallel microtubules. In vitro microtubule motility assays demonstrate that in the presence of ATK5, two microtubules encountering one another at an angle can interact and coalign, forming a linear bundle. These data indicate that ATK5 participates in the search and capture of antiparallel interpolar microtubules, where it aids in generating force to coalign microtubules, thereby affecting spindle length, width, and integrity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-236
Number of pages11
JournalPlant Cell
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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