Interpolar microtubules are dispensable in fission yeast meiosis II

Takashi Akera, Masamitsu Sato*, Masayuki Yamamoto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The mitotic spindle consists of two types of microtubules. Dynamic kinetochore microtubules capture kinetochores, whereas stable interpolar microtubules serve as the structural backbone that connects the two spindle poles. Both have been believed to be indispensable for cell division in eukaryotes. Here we demonstrate that interpolar microtubules are dispensable for the second division of meiosis in fission yeast. Even when interpolar microtubules are disrupted by a microtubule-depolymerizing drug, spindle poles separate and chromosomes segregate poleward in second division of meiosis in most zygotes, producing viable spores. The forespore membrane, which encapsulates the nucleus in second division of meiosis and is guided by septins and the leading-edge proteins, is responsible for carrying out meiotic events in the absence of interpolar microtubules. Furthermore, during physiological second division of meiosis without microtubule perturbation, the forespore membrane assembly contributes structurally to spindle pole separation and nuclear division, generating sufficient force for spindle pole separation and subsequent events independently of interpolar microtubules.

Original languageEnglish
Article number695
JournalNature communications
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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