CHO1 is a kinesin-like protein of the mitotic kinesin-like protein (MKLP)1 subfamily present in central spindles and midbodies in mammalian cells. It is different from other subfamily members in that it contains an extra ∼300 bp in the COOH-terminal tail. Analysis of the chicken genomic sequence showed that heterogeneity is derived from alternative splicing, and exon 18 is expressed in only the CHO1 isoform. CHO1 and its truncated isoform MKLP1 are coexpressed in a single cell. Surprisingly, the sequence encoded by exon 18 possesses a capability to interact with F-actin, suggesting that CHO1 can associate with both microtubule and actin cytoskeletons. Microinjection of exon 18-specific antibodies did not result in any inhibitory effects on karyokinesis and early stages of cytokinesis. However, almost completely separated daughter cells became reunited to form a binulceate cell, suggesting that the exon 18 protein may not have a role in the formation and ingression of the contractile ring in the cortex. Rather, it might be involved directly or indirectly in the membrane events necessary for completion of the terminal phase of cytokinesis.
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