Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

The Journal of Cell Biology


Geisel School of Medicine


Anchorage of microtubule minus ends at spindle poles has been proposed to bear the load of poleward forces exerted by kinetochore-associated motors so that chromosomes move toward the poles rather than the poles toward the chromosomes. To test this hypothesis, we monitored chromosome movement during mitosis after perturbation of nuclear mitotic apparatus protein (NuMA) and the human homologue of the KIN C motor family (HSET), two noncentrosomal proteins involved in spindle pole organization in animal cells. Perturbation of NuMA alone disrupts spindle pole organization and delays anaphase onset, but does not alter the velocity of oscillatory chromosome movement in prometaphase. Perturbation of HSET alone increases the duration of prometaphase, but does not alter the velocity of chromosome movement in prometaphase or anaphase. In contrast, simultaneous perturbation of both HSET and NuMA severely suppresses directed chromosome movement in prometaphase. Chromosomes coalesce near the center of these cells on bi-oriented spindles that lack organized poles. Immunofluorescence and electron microscopy verify microtubule attachment to sister kinetochores, but this attachment fails to generate proper tension across sister kinetochores. These results demonstrate that anchorage of microtubule minus ends at spindle poles mediated by overlapping mechanisms involving both NuMA and HSET is essential for chromosome movement during mitosis.

Original Citation

Gordon MB, Howard L, Compton DA. Chromosome movement in mitosis requires microtubule anchorage at spindle poles. J Cell Biol. 2001 Feb 5;152(3):425-34. doi: 10.1083/jcb.152.3.425. PMID: 11157972; PMCID: PMC2196006.