Microtubule motors in eukaryotic spindle assembly and maintenance

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2010 May;21(3):248-54. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2010.01.015. Epub 2010 Jan 28.


The spindle is a microtubule-based structure that facilitates chromosome segregation during mitosis and meiosis. Spindle assembly from dynamic microtubule building blocks is a major challenge for the dividing cell and a process that critically requires microtubule motors. In this review we focus on the mechanisms by which microtubule motors shape the spindle. Specifically, we address how motors are thought to move and arrange microtubules to form the characteristic bipolar morphology shared by all eukaryotic spindles as well as motor-dependent mechanisms of microtubule length regulation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosome Segregation
  • Chromosomes / ultrastructure
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Mitosis*
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Motor Proteins / metabolism*
  • Spindle Apparatus*


  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Molecular Motor Proteins