Kinesin-like molecules involved in spindle formation

V. I. Rodionov*, V. I. Gelfand, G. G. Borisy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


To study the possible involvement of kinesin-like molecules in mitosis a polyclonal antibody against the head domain of Drosophila kinesin heavy chain (HD antibody) was microinjected into PtK1 cells at the prophase-prometaphase transition. Progress of the cell through mitosis was recorded for subsequent detailed analysis. Cells injected with pre-immune IgG progressed through mitosis at rates similar to those for noninjected cells. After HD antibody injections, chromosomes failed to congress to an equatorial plane and cells failed to form a bipolar spindle. Rather, the spindle poles came together, resulting in a monopolar-like configuration with chromosomes arranged about the poles in a rosette. Sometimes the monopolar array moved to the margin of the cell in a way similar to anaphase B movement in normal cells. Antibody-injected cells progressed into the next cell cycle as evidenced by chromosome decondensation and nuclear envelope reformation. Anti-tubulin immunofluorescence confirmed the presence of a radial monopolar array of microtubules in injected cells. HD antibody stained in a punctate pattern in interphase and the spindle region in mitotic PtK1 cells. The antibody also reacted with spindle fibers of isolated mitotic CHO spindles and with kinetochores of isolated CHO chromosomes. Immunoblotting indicated that the major component recognized by the antibody is the 120 kDa kinesin heavy chain. At higher protein loads the antibody recognized also a 34 kDa polypeptide in PtK1 cell extracts, a 135 kDa polypeptide in a preparation of CHO spindles and a 300 kDa polypeptide in a preparation of CHO mitotic chromosomes. We conclude that a kinesin-like molecule is important for the formation and/or maintenance of the structure of mitotic spindle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1179-1188
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of cell science
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993


  • Kinesin
  • Microinjection
  • Microtubule motor
  • Mitosis
  • Spindle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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