Mitosis is a fundamental and highly regulated process that acts to faithfully segregate chromosomes into two identical daughter cells. Localization of gene transcripts involved in mitosis to the mitotic spindle might be an evolutionarily conserved mechanism to ensure that mitosis occurs in a timely manner. We identified many RNA transcripts that encode proteins involved in mitosis localized at the mitotic spindles in dividing sea urchin embryos and mammalian cells. Disruption of microtubule polymerization, kinesin-1 or dynein results in lack of spindle localization of these transcripts in the sea urchin embryo. Furthermore, results indicate that the cytoplasmic polyadenylation element (CPE) within the 3′UTR of the Aurora B transcript, a recognition sequence for CPEB, is essential for RNA localization to the mitotic spindle in the sea urchin embryo. Blocking this sequence results in arrested development during early cleavage stages, suggesting that RNA localization to the mitotic spindle might be a regulatory mechanism of cell division that is important for early development.

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