Prime movers: the mechanochemistry of mitotic kinesins

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2014 Apr;15(4):257-71. doi: 10.1038/nrm3768.


Mitotic spindles are self-organizing protein machines that harness teams of multiple force generators to drive chromosome segregation. Kinesins are key members of these force-generating teams. Different kinesins walk directionally along dynamic microtubules, anchor, crosslink, align and sort microtubules into polarized bundles, and influence microtubule dynamics by interacting with microtubule tips. The mechanochemical mechanisms of these kinesins are specialized to enable each type to make a specific contribution to spindle self-organization and chromosome segregation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosome Segregation / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Kinesins / metabolism*
  • Microtubules / metabolism*
  • Mitosis / physiology*
  • Spindle Apparatus / physiology*


  • Kinesins