The Saccharomyces cerevisiae kinesin-related gene products Cin8p and Kip1p function to assemble the bipolar mitotic spindle. The cytoplasmic dynein heavy chain homologue Dyn1p (also known as Dhc1p) participates in proper cellular positioning of the spindle. In this study, the roles of these motor proteins in anaphase chromosome segregation were examined. While no single motor was essential, loss of function of all three completely halted anaphase chromatin separation. As combined motor activity was diminished by mutation, both the velocity and extent of chromatin movement were reduced, suggesting a direct role for all three motors in generating a chromosome-separating force. Redundancy for function between different types of microtubule-based motor proteins was also indicated by the observation that cin8 dyn1 double-deletion mutants are inviable. Our findings indicate that the bulk of anaphase chromosome segregation in S. cerevisiae is accomplished by the combined actions of these three motors.
Two Saccharomyces cerevisiae genes, CIN8 and KIP1 (a.k.a. CIN9), were identified by their requirement for normal chromosome segregation. Both genes encode polypeptides related to the heavy chain of the microtubule-based force-generating enzyme kinesin. Cin8p was found to be required for pole separation during mitotic spindle assembly at 37 degrees C, although overproduced Kip1p could substitute. At lower temperatures, the activity of at least one of these proteins was required for cell viability, indicating that they perform an essential but redundant function. Cin8p was observed to be a component of the mitotic spindle, colocalizing with the microtubules that lie between the poles. Taken together, these findings suggest that these proteins interact with spindle microtubules to produce an outwardly directed force acting upon the poles.
Antibodies to a set of structurally related autoantigens (p23-25) bind to a previously uncharacterized, large structural domain in the nucleus of a variety of human cell types. This subnuclear domain is visible by phase contrast alone as a region of decreased density after several different fixation protocols. The morphology of this region changes dramatically during the cell cycle and we have given it the name PIKA (for polymorphic interphase karyosomal association) based on preliminary evidence that the PIKA proteins may be associated with chromatin. The function of the PIKA is not yet known, but our immunolocalization data indicate that it is unlikely to be associated with regions of ongoing DNA replication, heterogeneous nuclear RNA storage, or mRNA processing. The discovery of the PIKA provides evidence supporting an emerging model of nuclear structure. It now appears that the nucleus is organized into distinct domains which include not only the nucleolus, but also previously unidentified regions such as the PIKAs. Furthermore, structural rearrangements undergone by the nucleolus and the PIKAs may be indicative of a broad tendency for nuclear organization to change in a cell cycle-specific fashion.