Spindle scaling mechanisms

Essays Biochem. 2020 Sep 4;64(2):383-396. doi: 10.1042/EBC20190064.


The mitotic spindle robustly scales with cell size in a plethora of different organisms. During development and throughout evolution, the spindle adjusts to cell size in metazoans and yeast in order to ensure faithful chromosome separation. Spindle adjustment to cell size occurs by the scaling of spindle length, spindle shape and the velocity of spindle assembly and elongation. Different mechanisms, depending on spindle structure and organism, account for these scaling relationships. The limited availability of critical spindle components, protein gradients, sequestration of spindle components, or post-translational modification and differential expression levels have been implicated in the regulation of spindle length and the spindle assembly/elongation velocity in a cell size-dependent manner. In this review, we will discuss the phenomenon and mechanisms of spindle length, spindle shape and spindle elongation velocity scaling with cell size.

Keywords: cell size; principle components; scaling; spindle size.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Size
  • Eukaryotic Cells / cytology
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Humans
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Mitosis
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Spindle Apparatus*