We identified two new Saccharomyces cerevisiae kinesin-related genes, KIP1 and KIP2, using polymerase chain reaction primers corresponding to highly conserved regions of the kinesin motor domain. Both KIP proteins are expressed in vivo, but deletion mutations conferred no phenotype. Moreover, kip1 kip2 double mutants and a triple mutant with kinesin-related kar3 had no synthetic phenotype. Using a genetic screen for mutations that make KIP1 essential, we identified another gene, KSL2, which proved to be another kinesin-related gene, CIN8. KIP1 and CIN8 are functionally redundant: double mutants arrested in mitosis whereas the single mutants did not. The microtubule organizing centers of arrested cells were duplicated but unseparated, indicating that KIP1 or CIN8 is required for mitotic spindle assembly. Consistent with this role, KIP1 protein was found to colocalize with the mitotic spindle.

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