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Science 307 (5706): 127-129

Copyright © 2005 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Spindle Multipolarity Is Prevented by Centrosomal Clustering

Nicholas J. Quintyne,1 Janet E. Reing,1 Diane R. Hoffelder,1 Susanne M. Gollin,2 William S. Saunders1*

Abstract: Most tumor cells are characterized by increased genomic instability and chromosome segregational defects, often associated with hyperamplification of the centrosome and the formation of multipolar spindles. However, extra centrosomes do not always lead to multipolarity. Here, we describe a process of centrosomal clustering that prevented the formation of multipolar spindles in noncancer cells. Noncancer cells needed to overcome this clustering mechanism to allow multipolar spindles to form at a high frequency. The microtubule motor cytoplasmic dynein was a critical part of this coalescing machinery, and in some tumor cells overexpression of the spindle protein NuMA interfered with dynein localization, promoting multipolarity.

1 Department of Biological Sciences,
2 Department of Human Genetics and the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, University of Pittsburgh, 4249 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: wsaund{at}

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