2022 journal article
p Force by minus-end motors Dhc1 and Klp2 collapses the S. pombe spindle after laser ablation
BIOPHYSICAL JOURNAL, 121(2), 263–276.
A microtubule-based machine called the mitotic spindle segregates chromosomes when eukaryotic cells divide. In the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, which undergoes closed mitosis, the spindle forms a single bundle of microtubules inside the nucleus. During elongation, the spindle extends via antiparallel microtubule sliding by molecular motors. These extensile forces from the spindle are thought to resist compressive forces from the nucleus. We probe the mechanism and maintenance of this force balance via laser ablation of spindles at various stages of mitosis. We find that spindle pole bodies collapse toward each other after ablation, but spindle geometry is often rescued, allowing spindles to resume elongation. Although this basic behavior has been previously observed, many questions remain about the phenomenon's dynamics, mechanics, and molecular requirements. In this work, we find that previously hypothesized viscoelastic relaxation of the nucleus cannot explain spindle shortening in response to laser ablation. Instead, spindle collapse requires microtubule dynamics and is powered by the minus-end-directed motor proteins dynein Dhc1 and kinesin-14 Klp2, but it does not require the minus-end-directed kinesin Pkl1.