Spindle assembly in the absence of a RanGTP gradient requires localized CPC activity
Movie S2. Time-Lapse Fluorescence Imaging of Sperm Spindle Assembly in the Absence of Centrosomes. (5.004Mb)
Maresca, Thomas J.
Groen, Aaron C.
Gatlin, Jesse C.
Mitchison, Timothy J.
Salmon, Edward D.
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During animal cell division, a gradient of GTP-bound Ran is generated around mitotic chromatin. It is generally accepted that this RanGTP gradient is essential for organizing the spindle since it locally activates critical spindle assembly factors. Here, we show in Xenopus egg extract, where the gradient is best characterized, that spindles can assemble in the absence of a RanGTP gradient. Gradient-free spindle assembly occurred around sperm nuclei but not around chromatin-coated beads and required the chromosomal passenger complex (CPC). Artificial enrichment of CPC activity within hybrid bead arrays containing both immobilized chromatin and the CPC supported local microtubule assembly even in the absence of a RanGTP gradient. We conclude that RanGTP and the CPC constitute the two major molecular signals that spatially promote microtubule polymerization around chromatin. Furthermore, we hypothesize that the two signals mainly originate from discreet physical sites on the chromosomes to localize microtubule assembly around chromatin: a RanGTP signal from any chromatin, and a CPC-dependent signal predominantly generated from centromeric chromatin.
Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2009. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Elsevier B.V. for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Current Biology 19 (2009): 1210-1215, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2009.05.061.