Vital Proteins: Mitosis in Action

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Submitted by Kristen Baroli, MIT Department of Biology

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Kristen Bartoli
MIT Department of Biology
Epi-fluorescence Microscopy

"This image demonstrates a cell in the dividing process, also known as mitosis. When a cell segregates its chromosomes (DNA) into the daughter cells, it must first align the chromosomes in a straight line also known as the metaphase plate. This occurs through a delicate balance of numerous proteins orchestrating this alignment. Shown here are two very important proteins that are vital to completing this process. First, the protein Kid (shown in red) is required to guide/push the chromosomes (DNA; shown in blue) into the center of the plate while using microtubules (shown in green) as tracks. Each chromosome is attached to a microtubule. The pink color is an overlay of Kid and the chromosomes.

I was studying mitosis in cancer cells. We were curious to see if molecular motor proteins (Kid) mislocalized in cancer cells. Kid is a mitotic motor protein that pushes chromosomes away from spindle poles. Therefore if Kid was mislocalized or overexpressed, would the cells still align along the metaphase plate?"