KIF15 (also known as Kinesin-12 and HKLP2) is a motor protein expressed in all cells during mitosis and in postmitotic neurons undergoing axon growth. KIF15 maintains bipolar microtubule spindle apparatus in dividing cells and shares redundant functions with KIF11. KIF15 is thought to promote spindle assembly by cross-linking and sliding along microtubules creating a separation between centrosomes. HeLa cells depleted of KIF11, with reduced microtubule dynamics, are able to form bipolar spindles from acentrosomal asters in a KIF15 dependent manner.
KIF15 restricts the movement of short microtubules into growing axons by generating forces on microtubules which counteract those generated by cytoplasmic dynein. KIF15, together with KIF23 become enriched in dendrites as neurons mature to promote the transport of minus-end distal microtubules into nascent dendrites.
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