Microtubule nucleation for spindle assembly: one molecule at a time

Jodi Kraus, Raymundo Alfaro-Aco, Bernardo Gouveia, Sabine Petry

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The cell orchestrates the dance of chromosome segregation with remarkable speed and fidelity. The mitotic spindle is built from scratch after interphase through microtubule (MT) nucleation, which is dependent on the γ-tubulin ring complex (γ-TuRC), the universal MT template. Although several MT nucleation pathways build the spindle framework, the question of when and how γ-TuRC is targeted to these nucleation sites in the spindle and subsequently activated remains an active area of investigation. Recent advances facilitated the discovery of new MT nucleation effectors and their mechanisms of action. In this review, we illuminate each spindle assembly pathway and subsequently consider how the pathways are merged to build a spindle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)761-775
Number of pages15
JournalTrends in Biochemical Sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry


  • CDK5RAP2
  • TPX2
  • XMAP215
  • augmin
  • branching MT nucleation
  • spindle assembly factors (SAFs)
  • γ-tubulin ring complex (γ-TuRC)


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