Interaction of NuMA protein with the kinesin Eg5: Its possible role in bipolar spindle assembly and chromosome alignment

Yuko Iwakiri, Sachiko Kamakura, Junya Hayase, Hideki Sumimoto

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Bipolar spindle assembly in mitotic cells is a prerequisite to ensure correct alignment of chromosomes for their segregation to each daughter cell; spindle microtubules are tethered at plus ends to chromosomes and focused at minus ends to either of the two spindle poles. NuMA (nuclear mitotic apparatus protein) is present solely in the nucleus in interphase cells, but relocalizes during mitosis to the spindle poles to play a crucial role in spindle assembly via focusing spindle microtubules to each pole. In the present study we show that the kinesin-5 family motor Eg5 is a protein that directly interacts with NuMA, using a proteomics approach and various binding assays both in vivo and in vitro. During mitosis Eg5 appears to interact with NuMA in the vicinity of the spindle poles, whereas the interaction does not occur in interphase cells, where Eg5 is distributed throughout the cytoplasm but NuMA exclusively localizes to the nucleus. Slight, but significant, depletion of Eg5 in HeLa cells by RNA interference results in formation of less-focused spindle poles with misaligned chromosomes in metaphase; these phenotypes are similar to those induced by depletion of NuMA. Since NuMA is less accumulated at the spindle poles in Eg5- depleted cells, Eg5 probably contributes to spindle assembly via regulating NuMA localization. Furthermore, depletion of cytoplasmic dynein induces mislocalization of NuMA and phenotypes similar to those observed in NuMA-depleted cells, without affecting Eg5 localization to the spindles. Thus dynein appears to control NuMA function in conjunction with Eg5.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-204
Number of pages10
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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