Force and length in the mitotic spindle
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The mitotic spindle assembles to a steady-state length at metaphase through the integrated action of molecular mechanisms that generate and respond to mechanical forces. While molecular mechanisms that produce force have been described, our understanding of how they integrate with each other, and with the assembly-disassembly mechanisms that regulate length, is poor. We review current understanding of the basic architecture and dynamics of the metaphase spindle, and some of the elementary force producing mechanisms. We then discuss models for force integration, and spindle length determination. We also emphasize key missing data that notably includes absolute values of forces, and how they vary as a function of position, within the spindle.
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): R749-R761, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2009.07.028.