Chromatin shapes the mitotic spindle

Dinarina A, Pugieux C, Corral M, Loose M, Spatz J, Karsenti É, Nédélec F. 2009. Chromatin shapes the mitotic spindle. Cell. 138(3), 502–513.

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Dinarina, Ana; Pugieux, Céline; Corral, Maria M; Loose, MartinISTA ; Spatz, Joachim P; Karsenti, Éric; Nédélec, François J
In animal and plant cells, mitotic chromatin locally generates microtubules that self-organize into a mitotic spindle, and its dimensions and bipolar symmetry are essential for accurate chromosome segregation. By immobilizing microscopic chromatin-coated beads on slide surfaces using a microprinting technique, we have examined the effect of chromatin on the dimensions and symmetry of spindles in Xenopus laevis cytoplasmic extracts. While circular spots with diameters around 14-18 μm trigger bipolar spindle formation, larger spots generate an incorrect number of poles. We also examined lines of chromatin with various dimensions. Their length determined the number of poles that formed, with a 6 × 18 μm rectangular patch generating normal spindle morphology. Around longer lines, multiple poles formed and the structures were disorganized. While lines thinner than 10 μm generated symmetric structures, thicker lines induced the formation of asymmetric structures where all microtubules are on the same side of the line. Our results show that chromatin defines spindle shape and orientation. For a video summary of this article, see the PaperFlick file available with the online Supplemental Data.
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This work was supported by EU contract LSHG-CT-2004-503568 ComBio, the Spanish ministry of education (M.M.C.), and EU-STREP active BioMics (A.D.). Research in the Nedelec lab is funded by the Center for Modeling and Simulation in the Biosciences (, the Volkswagenstiftung, and Human Frontier Science Program grant RGY84.
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Dinarina A, Pugieux C, Corral M, et al. Chromatin shapes the mitotic spindle. Cell. 2009;138(3):502-513. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2009.05.027
Dinarina, A., Pugieux, C., Corral, M., Loose, M., Spatz, J., Karsenti, É., & Nédélec, F. (2009). Chromatin shapes the mitotic spindle. Cell. Cell Press.
Dinarina, Ana, Céline Pugieux, Maria Corral, Martin Loose, Joachim Spatz, Éric Karsenti, and François Nédélec. “Chromatin Shapes the Mitotic Spindle.” Cell. Cell Press, 2009.
A. Dinarina et al., “Chromatin shapes the mitotic spindle,” Cell, vol. 138, no. 3. Cell Press, pp. 502–513, 2009.
Dinarina A, Pugieux C, Corral M, Loose M, Spatz J, Karsenti É, Nédélec F. 2009. Chromatin shapes the mitotic spindle. Cell. 138(3), 502–513.
Dinarina, Ana, et al. “Chromatin Shapes the Mitotic Spindle.” Cell, vol. 138, no. 3, Cell Press, 2009, pp. 502–13, doi:10.1016/j.cell.2009.05.027.


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