subito encodes a kinesin-like protein required for meiotic spindle pole formation in Drosophila melanogaster

Genetics. 2002 Apr;160(4):1489-501. doi: 10.1093/genetics/160.4.1489.


The female meiotic spindle lacks a centrosome or microtubule-organizing center in many organisms. During cell division, these spindles are organized by the chromosomes and microtubule-associated proteins. Previous studies in Drosophila melanogaster implicated at least one kinesin motor protein, NCD, in tapering the microtubules into a bipolar spindle. We have identified a second Drosophila kinesin-like protein, SUB, that is required for meiotic spindle function. At meiosis I in males and females, sub mutations affect only the segregation of homologous chromosomes. In female meiosis, sub mutations have a similar phenotype to ncd; even though chromosomes are joined by chiasmata they fail to segregate at meiosis I. Cytological analyses have revealed that sub is required for bipolar spindle formation. In sub mutations, we observed spindles that were unipolar, multipolar, or frayed with no defined poles. On the basis of these phenotypes and the observation that sub mutations genetically interact with ncd, we propose that SUB is one member of a group of microtubule-associated proteins required for bipolar spindle assembly in the absence of the centrosomes. sub is also required for the early embryonic divisions but is otherwise dispensable for most mitotic divisions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Chromosome Segregation / physiology
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins / physiology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Female
  • Kinesins / genetics*
  • Kinesins / metabolism
  • Kinesins / physiology
  • Meiosis / physiology*
  • Microtubule Proteins / metabolism
  • Mitosis / physiology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nondisjunction, Genetic
  • Oocytes / cytology
  • Oocytes / metabolism
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sequence Analysis, Protein
  • Spindle Apparatus / metabolism*


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Microtubule Proteins
  • SUB protein, Drosophila
  • ncd protein, Drosophila
  • Nod protein, Drosophila
  • Kinesins