Assembly and disassembly of the mitotic spindle are essential for both chromosome segregation and cell division. The small G-protein Ran has emerged as an important regulator of spindle assembly. In this review, we look at the role of Ran in different aspects of spindle assembly, including its effects on microtubule assembly dynamics and microtubule organization. In addition, we examine the possibility of a spindle matrix and the role Ran might play in such a structure.

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