Kinesin-14s and microtubule dynamics define fission yeast mitotic and meiotic spindle assembly and elongation
To segregate the chromosomes faithfully during cell division, cells assemble a spindle that captures the kinetochores and pulls them towards opposite poles. Proper spindle function requires correct interplay between microtubule motors and non-motor proteins. Defects in spindle assembly or changes in spindle dynamics are associated with diseases like cancer or developmental disorders. Here we compared mitotic and meiotic spindles in fission yeast. We show that even though mitotic and meiotic spindles undergo the typical three phases of spindle elongation, they have distinct features. We found that the relative concentration of kinesin-14 Pkl1 is decreased in meiosis I compared to mitosis, while the concentration of kinesin-5 Cut7 remains constant. We identified the second kinesin-14 Klp2 and microtubule dynamics as factors necessary for proper meiotic spindle assembly. This work defines differences between mitotic and meiotic spindles in fission yeast, and provides prospect for future comparative studies.