We investigated the role of Pav-KLP, a kinesin-6, in the coordination of spindle and cortical dynamics during mitosis in Drosophila embryos. In vitro, Pav-KLP behaves as a dimer. In vivo, it localizes to mitotic spindles and furrows. Inhibition of Pav-KLP causes defects in both spindle dynamics and furrow ingression, as well as causing changes in the distribution of actin and vesicles. Thus, Pav-KLP stabilizes the spindle by crosslinking interpolar microtubule bundles and contributes to actin furrow formation possibly by transporting membrane vesicles, actin and/or actin regulatory molecules along astral microtubules. Modeling suggests that furrow ingression during cellularization depends on: (1) a Pav-KLP-dependent force driving an initial slow stage of ingression; and (2) the subsequent Pav-KLP-driven transport of actin- and membrane-containing vesicles to the furrow during a fast stage of ingression. We hypothesize that Pav-KLP is a multifunctional mitotic motor that contributes both to bundling of interpolar microtubules, thus stabilizing the spindle, and to a biphasic mechanism of furrow ingression by pulling down the furrow and transporting vesicles that deliver new material to the descending furrow.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology