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The Msd1-Wdr8-Pkl1 complex anchors microtubule minus ends to fission yeast spindle pole bodies

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journal contribution
posted on 23.09.2020 by M Yukawa, C Ikebe, T Toda
The minus ends of spindle microtubules are anchored to a microtubule-organizing center. The conserved Msd1/SSX2IP proteins are localized to the spindle pole body (SPB) and the centrosome in fission yeast and humans, respectively, and play a critical role in microtubule anchoring. In this paper, we show that fission yeast Msd1 forms a ternary complex with another conserved protein, Wdr8, and the minus end directed Pkl1/kinesin-14. Individual deletion mutants displayed the identical spindle-protrusion phenotypes. Msd1 and Wdr8 were delivered by Pkl1 to mitotic SPBs, where Pkl1 was tethered through Msd1 Wdr8. The spindle-anchoring defect imposed by msd1/wdr8/pkl1 deletions was suppressed by a mutation of the plus end directed Cut7/kinesin-5, which was shown to be mutual. Intriguingly, Pkl1 motor activity was not required for its anchoring role once targeted to the SPB. Therefore, spindle anchoring through Msd1-Wdr8-Pkl1 is crucial for balancing the Cut7/kinesin-5 mediated outward force at the SPB. Our analysis provides mechanistic insight into the spatiotemporal regulation of two opposing kinesins to ensure mitotic spindle bipolarity.