We have identified an 80-kD protein that is involved in mitotic spindle elongation in the diatom Cylindrotheca fusiformis. DSK1 (Diatom Spindle Kinesin 1) was isolated using a peptide antibody raised against a conserved region in the motor domain of the kinesin superfamily. By sequence homology, DSK1 belongs to the central motor family of kinesin-related proteins. Immunoblots using an antibody raised against a non-conserved region of DSK1 show that DSK1 is greatly enriched in mitotic spindle preparations. Anti-DSK1 stains in diatom central spindle with a bias toward the midzone, and staining is retained in the spindle midzone during spindle elongation in vitro. Furthermore, preincubation with anti-DSK1 blocks function in an in vitro spindle elongation assay. This inhibition of spindle elongation can be rescued by preincubating concurrently with the fusion protein against which anti-DSK1 was raised. We conclude that DSK1 is involved in spindle elongation and is likely to be responsible for pushing hal-spindles apart in the spindle midzone.

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