Overview Statistic: PDF-Downloads (blue) and Frontdoor-Views (gray)

Three-dimensional structure of kinetochore-fibers in human mitotic spindles

  • During cell division, kinetochore microtubules (KMTs) provide a physical linkage between the chromosomes and the rest of the spindle. KMTs in mammalian cells are organized into bundles, so-called kinetochore-fibers (k-fibers), but the ultrastructure of these fibers is currently not well characterized. Here we show by large-scale electron tomography that each k-fiber in HeLa cells in metaphase is composed of approximately nine KMTs, only half of which reach the spindle pole. Our comprehensive reconstructions allowed us to analyze the three-dimensional (3D) morphology of k-fibers and their surrounding MTs in detail. We found that k-fibers exhibit remarkable variation in circumference and KMT density along their length, with the pole-proximal side showing a broadening. Extending our structural analysis then to other MTs in the spindle, we further observed that the association of KMTs with non-KMTs predominantly occurs in the spindle pole regions. Our 3D reconstructions have implications for KMT growth and k-fiber self-organization models as covered in a parallel publication applying complementary live-cell imaging in combination with biophysical modeling (Conway et al., 2022). Finally, we also introduce a new visualization tool allowing an interactive display of our 3D spindle data that will serve as a resource for further structural studies on mitosis in human cells.

Export metadata

Additional Services

Share in Twitter Search Google Scholar Statistics - number of accesses to the document
Author:Robert Kiewisz, Gunar FabigORCiD, William Conway, Daniel BaumORCiD, Daniel Needleman, Thomas Müller-Reichert
Document Type:Article
Parent Title (English):eLife
First Page:e75459
Year of first publication:2022
Accept ✔
Diese Webseite verwendet technisch erforderliche Session-Cookies. Durch die weitere Nutzung der Webseite stimmen Sie diesem zu. Unsere Datenschutzerklärung finden Sie hier.