Molecular mechanisms of microtubule-dependent kinetochore transport toward spindle poles

Kozo Tanaka, Etsushi Kitamura, Yoko Kitamura, Tomoyuki U. Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Citations (Scopus)


In mitosis, kinetochores are initially captured by the lateral sides of single microtubules and are subsequently transported toward spindle poles. Mechanisms for kinetochore transport are not yet known. We present two mechanisms involved in microtubule-dependent poleward kinetochore transport in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. First, kinetochores slide along the microtubule lateral surface, which is mainly and probably exclusively driven by Kar3, a kinesin-14 family member that localizes at kinetochores. Second, kinetochores are tethered at the microtubule distal ends and pulled poleward as microtubules shrink (end-on pulling). Kinetochore sliding is often converted to end-on pulling, enabling more processive transport, but the opposite conversion is rare. The establishment of end-on pulling is partly hindered by Kar3, and its progression requires the Dam1 complex. We suggest that the Dam1 complexes, which probably encircle a single microtubule, can convert microtubule depolymerization into the poleward kinetochore-pulling force. Thus, microtubule-dependent poleward kinetochore transport is ensured by at least two distinct mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-281
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jul 16
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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