Genetic Control of Kinetochore-Driven Microtubule Growth in Drosophila Mitosis

Julia V. Popova, Gera A. Pavlova, Alyona V. Razuvaeva, Lyubov A. Yarinich, Evgeniya N. Andreyeva, Alina F. Anders, Yuliya A. Galimova, Fioranna Renda, Maria Patrizia Somma, Alexey V. Pindyurin, Maurizio Gatti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Centrosome-containing cells assemble their spindles exploiting three main classes of microtubules (MTs): MTs nucleated by the centrosomes, MTs generated near the chromosomes/kinetochores, and MTs nucleated within the spindle by the augmin-dependent pathway. Mammalian and Drosophila cells lacking the centrosomes generate MTs at kinetochores and eventually form functional bipolar spindles. However, the mechanisms underlying kinetochore-driven MT formation are poorly understood. One of the ways to elucidate these mechanisms is the analysis of spindle reassembly following MT depolymerization. Here, we used an RNA interference (RNAi)-based reverse genetics approach to dissect the process of kinetochore-driven MT regrowth (KDMTR) after colcemid-induced MT depolymerization. This MT depolymerization procedure allows a clear assessment of KDMTR, as colcemid disrupts centrosome-driven MT regrowth but not KDMTR. We examined KDMTR in normal Drosophila S2 cells and in S2 cells subjected to RNAi against conserved genes involved in mitotic spindle assembly: mast/orbit/chb (CLASP1), mei-38 (TPX2), mars (HURP), dgt6 (HAUS6), Eb1 (MAPRE1/EB1), Patronin (CAMSAP2), asp (ASPM), and Klp10A (KIF2A). RNAi-mediated depletion of Mast/Orbit, Mei-38, Mars, Dgt6, and Eb1 caused a significant delay in KDMTR, while loss of Patronin had a milder negative effect on this process. In contrast, Asp or Klp10A deficiency increased the rate of KDMTR. These results coupled with the analysis of GFP-tagged proteins (Mast/Orbit, Mei-38, Mars, Eb1, Patronin, and Asp) localization during KDMTR suggested a model for kinetochore-dependent spindle reassembly. We propose that kinetochores capture the plus ends of MTs nucleated in their vicinity and that these MTs elongate at kinetochores through the action of Mast/Orbit. The Asp protein binds the MT minus ends since the beginning of KDMTR, preventing excessive and disorganized MT regrowth. Mei-38, Mars, Dgt6, Eb1, and Patronin positively regulate polymerization, bundling, and stabilization of regrowing MTs until a bipolar spindle is reformed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2127
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022


  • Asp
  • Dgt6
  • Drosophila
  • Eb1
  • Klp10A
  • Mars
  • Mast/Orbit/Chb
  • Mei-38
  • Patronin
  • S2 cells
  • colcemid
  • kinetochores
  • microtubule depolymerization
  • microtubule regrowth
  • mitosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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