Kinesin-13s in mitosis: Key players in the spatial and temporal organization of spindle microtubules

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2010 May;21(3):276-82. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2010.01.016. Epub 2010 Jan 28.


Dynamic microtubules are essential for the process of mitosis. Thus, elucidating when, where, and how microtubule dynamics are regulated is key to understanding this process. One important class of proteins that directly regulates microtubule dynamics is the Kinesin-13 family. Kinesin-13 proteins induce depolymerization uniquely from both ends of the microtubule. This activity coincides with their cellular localization and with their ability to regulate microtubule dynamics to control spindle assembly and kinetochore-microtubule attachments. In this review, we highlight recent findings that dissect the important actions of Kinesin-13 family members and summarize important studies on the regulation of their activity by phosphorylation and by protein-protein interactions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Chromosomes / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • Kinesins / genetics*
  • Kinesins / metabolism
  • Kinesins / physiology*
  • Microtubules / metabolism*
  • Mitosis*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Interaction Mapping
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Spindle Apparatus*
  • Xenopus


  • KIF13A protein, human
  • Kinesins