Mitotic Spindle Assembly Mechanisms

  • Rebecca Heald
  • Claire E. Walczak


The mitotic spindle consists of dynamic microtubules and many associated factors that form an antiparallel, bipolar array. Duplicated chromosomes are attached to microtubules of the spindle and then are physically separated by the spindle to opposite ends of the dividing cell. Spindles vary in their morphology and assembly pathway depending on the cell type and organism, but common underlying mechanisms derive from the dynamics of the microtubules and microtubule-based motor proteins, and the activities of chromosomes themselves. In this chapter, we describe the multiple mechanisms that promote assembly of the dynamic mitotic spindle.


Spindle Pole Spindle Assembly Microtubule Dynamic Spindle Microtubule Cytoplasmic Dynein 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to thank all members of their lab for constant discussions. We are especially grateful to Anne-Lore Schlaitz and Benjamin Freedman for critical reading of this manuscript. Research in the authors’ labs was supported by grants from the NIH (R01GM057839, R01GM065232, and DP1OD000818 to RH and R01GM059618 to CEW), and the ACS (RSG CSM-106128 to CEW). The research in the lab of CEW was supported in part by the Indiana METACyt Initiative of Indiana University, funded in part through a major grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Molecular and Cell Biology DepartmentUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyU.S.A
  2. 2.Medical Sciences ProgramIndiana UniversityBloomington

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