Chromosome alignment at the spindle equator promotes proper chromosome segregation and depends on pulling forces exerted at kinetochore fiber tips together with polar ejection forces. However, kinetochore fibers are also subjected to forces driving their poleward flux. Here we introduce a flux-driven centering model that relies on flux generated by forces within the overlaps of bridging and kinetochore fibers. This centering mechanism works so that the longer kinetochore fiber fluxes faster than the shorter one, moving the kinetochores toward the center. We develop speckle microscopy in human spindles and confirm the key prediction that kinetochore fiber flux is length dependent. Kinetochores are better centered when overlaps are shorter and the kinetochore fiber flux slower than the bridging fiber flux. We identify Kif18A and Kif4A as overlap and flux regulators and NuMA as a fiber coupler. Thus, length-dependent sliding forces exerted by the bridging fiber onto kinetochore fibers support chromosome alignment.
CP: Cell biology, chromosome alignment, kinetochore, mathematical model, microtubule poleward flux, mitotic spindle, speckle microscopy, Anaphase, Cell Cycle Proteins, Chromosome Segregation, Chromosomes, Humans, Kinesins, Kinetochores, Metaphase, Microtubules, Spindle Apparatus