A nematode kinesin required for cleavage furrow advancement

Curr Biol. 1998 Oct 8;8(20):1133-6. doi: 10.1016/s0960-9822(98)70470-1.


Dividing cells need to coordinate the separation of chromosomes with the formation of a cleavage plane. There is evidence that microtubule bundles in the interzone region of the anaphase spindle somehow control both the location and the assembly of the cleavage furrow [1-3]. A microtubule motor that concentrates in the interzone, MKLP1, has previously been implicated in the assembly of both the metaphase spindle and the cleavage furrow [4-6]. To gain insight into mechanisms that might underlie interdependence of the spindle and the cleavage furrow, we used RNA-mediated interference (RNAi) to study the effects of eliminating MKLP1 from Caenorhabditis elegans embryos. Surprisingly, in MKLP1(RNAi) embryos, spindle formation appears normal until late anaphase. Microtubule bundles form in the spindle interzone and the cleavage furrow assembles; anaphase and cleavage furrow ingression initially appear normal. The interzone bundles do not gather into a stable midbody, however, and furrow contraction always fails before complete closure. This sequence of relatively normal mitosis and a late failure of cytokinesis continues for many cell cycles. These and additional results suggest that the interzone microtubule bundles need MKLP1 to encourage the advance and stable closure of the cleavage furrow.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / cytology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / embryology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins*
  • Kinesin / genetics
  • Kinesin / physiology*
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / physiology*
  • RNA, Antisense
  • RNA, Small Interfering


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • MKLP1 protein, C elegans
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • RNA, Antisense
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Kinesin