Using antipeptide antibodies to conserved regions of the kinesin motor domain, we cloned a kinesin-related protein that associates with the centromere region of mitotic chromosomes. We call the protein MCAK, for mitotic centromere-associated kinesin. MCAK appears concentrated on centromeres at prophase and persists until telophase, after which time the localization disperses. It is found throughout the centromere region and between the kinetochore plates of isolated mitotic CHO chromosomes, in contrast to two other kinetochore-associated microtubule motors: cytoplasmic dynein and CENP-E (Yen et al., 1992), which are closer to the outer surface of the kinetochore plates. Sequence analysis shows MCAK to be a kinesin-related protein with the motor domain located in the center of the protein. It is 60-70% similar to kif2, a kinesin-related protein originally cloned from mouse brain with a centrally located motor domain (Aizawa et al., 1992). MCAK protein is present in interphase and mitotic CHO cells and is transcribed as a single 3.4-kb message.

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