Polar electrostatic forces drive poleward chromosome motions

John J. Gagliardi, Daniel H. Shain

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Recent experiments revealing nanoscale electrostatic force generation at kinetochores for chromosome motions have prompted models for interactions between positively charged molecules in kinetochores and negative charge at and near the plus ends of microtubules. A clear picture of how kinetochores and centrosomes establish and maintain a dynamic coupling to microtubules for force generation during the complex motions of mitosis remains elusive. The molecular cell biology paradigm requires that specific molecules, or molecular geometries, for polar force generation be identified. While progress has been made regarding explanations of kinetochore-based chromosome motility, molecular machinery for chromosome poleward movements at centrosomes has yet to be identified. The present work concerns polar generation of poleward force in terms of experimentally known electric charge distributions at microtubule minus ends and centrosomes interacting over nanometer distances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5
JournalCell Division
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 30 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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