Kinesin-5-independent mitotic spindle assembly requires the antiparallel microtubule crosslinker Ase1 in fission yeast

Nat Commun. 2017 May 17;8:15286. doi: 10.1038/ncomms15286.


Bipolar spindle assembly requires a balance of forces where kinesin-5 produces outward pushing forces to antagonize the inward pulling forces from kinesin-14 or dynein. Accordingly, Kinesin-5 inactivation results in force imbalance leading to monopolar spindle and chromosome segregation failure. In fission yeast, force balance is restored when both kinesin-5 Cut7 and kinesin-14 Pkl1 are deleted, restoring spindle bipolarity. Here we show that the cut7Δpkl1Δ spindle is fully competent for chromosome segregation independently of motor activity, except for kinesin-6 Klp9, which is required for anaphase spindle elongation. We demonstrate that cut7Δpkl1Δ spindle bipolarity requires the microtubule antiparallel bundler PRC1/Ase1 to recruit CLASP/Cls1 to stabilize microtubules. Brownian dynamics-kinetic Monte Carlo simulations show that Ase1 and Cls1 activity are sufficient for initial bipolar spindle formation. We conclude that pushing forces generated by microtubule polymerization are sufficient to promote spindle pole separation and the assembly of bipolar spindle in the absence of molecular motors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Segregation / physiology*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Dyneins / metabolism
  • Kinesin / genetics
  • Kinesin / metabolism
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / physiology*
  • Microtubules / physiology*
  • Mitosis / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Schizosaccharomyces / physiology*
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / genetics
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / metabolism
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / physiology*
  • Spindle Apparatus / metabolism


  • Ase1 protein, S pombe
  • Cut7 protein, S pombe
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • PKL1 protein, S pombe
  • Peg1 protein, S pombe
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins
  • Dyneins
  • Kinesin