PRC1-labeled microtubule bundles and kinetochore pairs show one-to-one association in metaphase.
Polak B., Risteski P., Lesjak S., Tolić IM.
In the mitotic spindle, kinetochore microtubules form k-fibers, whereas overlap or interpolar microtubules form antiparallel arrays containing the cross-linker protein regulator of cytokinesis 1 (PRC1). We have recently shown that an overlap bundle, termed bridging fiber, links outermost sister k-fibers. However, the relationship between overlap bundles and k-fibers throughout the spindle remained unknown. Here, we show that in a metaphase spindle more than 90% of overlap bundles act as a bridge between sister k-fibers. We found that the number of PRC1-GFP-labeled bundles per spindle is nearly the same as the number of kinetochore pairs. Live-cell imaging revealed that kinetochore movement in the equatorial plane of the spindle is highly correlated with the movement of the coupled PRC1-GFP-labeled fiber, whereas the correlation with other fibers decreases with increasing distance. Analysis of endogenous PRC1 localization confirmed the results obtained with PRC1-GFP PRC1 knockdown reduced the bridging fiber thickness and interkinetochore distance throughout the spindle, suggesting a function of PRC1 in bridging microtubule organization and force balance in the metaphase spindle.