A conserved role for kinesin-5 in plant mitosis. Academic Article uri icon


  • The mitotic spindle of vascular plants is assembled and maintained by processes that remain poorly explored at a molecular level. Here, we report that AtKRP125c, one of four kinesin-5 motor proteins in arabidopsis, decorates microtubules throughout the cell cycle and appears to function in both interphase and mitosis. In a temperature-sensitive mutant, interphase cortical microtubules are disorganized at the restrictive temperature and mitotic spindles are massively disrupted, consistent with a defect in the stabilization of anti-parallel microtubules in the spindle midzone, as previously described in kinesin-5 mutants from animals and yeast. AtKRP125c introduced into mammalian epithelial cells by transfection decorates microtubules throughout the cell cycle but is unable to complement the loss of the endogenous kinesin-5 motor (Eg5). These results are among the first reports of any motor with a major role in anastral spindle structure in plants and demonstrate that the conservation of kinesin-5 motor function throughout eukaryotes extends to vascular plants.

publication date

  • August 15, 2007