Coordinating mitosis with cell polarity: Molecular motors at the cell cortex

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2010 May;21(3):283-9. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2010.01.020. Epub 2010 Jan 28.


In many cell divisions, the position of the spindle apparatus is coordinated with polarity signals at the cell cortex so that copies of the genome are delivered to regions of the cell that are designated for differential inheritance by the two progeny. To coordinate spindle position with cell polarity, the spindle interfaces with elements on the cortex, where molecular motors often produce the forces that power displacement. Here we describe the molecular pathways by which cortical motors translocate the spindle in budding yeast, where the mechanisms are understood relatively well, and we compare these pathways to spindle positioning processes in metazoan systems, where the molecular details are less well understood.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Cell Polarity
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • Dyneins / metabolism
  • Kinesins / metabolism
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Mitosis*
  • Molecular Motor Proteins / metabolism*
  • Myosin Type V / metabolism
  • Myosins / metabolism
  • Protein Transport
  • Saccharomycetales
  • Schizosaccharomyces / metabolism
  • Spindle Apparatus


  • Molecular Motor Proteins
  • Myosin Type V
  • Myosins
  • Dyneins
  • Kinesins