Kinesins are encoded by a large gene family involved in many basic processes of plant development. However, the number of functionally identified kinesins in rice is very limited. Here, we report the functional characterization of Brittle Culm12 (BC12), a gene encoding a kinesin-4 protein. bc12 mutants display dwarfism resulting from a significant reduction in cell number and brittleness due to an alteration in cellulose microfibril orientation and wall composition. BC12 is expressed mainly in tissues undergoing cell division and secondary wall thickening. In vitro biochemical analyses verified BC12 as an authentic motor protein. This protein was present in both the nucleus and cytoplasm and associated with microtubule arrays during cell division. Mitotic microtubule array comparison, flow cytometric analysis and expression assays of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) complexes in root-tip cells showed that cell-cycle progression is affected in bc12 mutants. BC12 is very probably regulated by CDKA;3 based on yeast two-hybrid and microarray data. Therefore, BC12 functions as a dual-targeting kinesin protein and is implicated in cell-cycle progression, cellulose microfibril deposition and wall composition in the monocot plant rice.