Microtubules (MTs) and associated motors play a central role in nuclear migration, which is crucial for diverse biological functions including cell division, polarity, and sexual reproduction. In this paper, we report a dual mechanism underlying nuclear congression during fission yeast karyogamy upon mating of haploid cells. Using microfluidic chambers for long-term imaging, we captured the precise timing of nuclear congression and identified two minus end-directed motors operating in parallel in this process. Kinesin-14 Klp2 associated with MTs may cross-link and slide antiparallel MTs emanating from the two nuclei, whereas dynein accumulating at spindle pole bodies (SPBs) may pull MTs nucleated from the opposite SPB. Klp2-dependent nuclear congression proceeds at constant speed, whereas dynein accumulation results in an increase of nuclear velocity over time. Surprisingly, the light intermediate chain Dli1, but not dynactin, is required for this previously unknown function of dynein. We conclude that efficient nuclear congression depends on the cooperation of two minus end-directed motors.
© 2015 Scheffler et al.