HEC, a novel nuclear protein rich in leucine heptad repeats specifically involved in mitosis

Yumay Chen, Daniel J. Riley, Phang Lang Chen, Wen Hwa Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

100 Scopus citations


The protein encoded by the human gene HEC (highly expressed in cancer) contains 642 amino acids and a long series of leucine heptad repeats at its C-terminal region. HEC protein is expressed most abundantly in the S and M phases of rapidly dividing cells but not in terminal differentiated cells. It localizes to the nuclei of interphase cells, and a portion distributes to centromeres during M phase. Inactivation of HEC by microinjection of specific monoclonal antibodies into cells during interphase severely disturbs the subsequent mitoses. Disordered sister chromatid alignment and separation, as well as the formation of nonviable cells with multiple, fragmented micronuclei, are common features observed. These results suggest that the HEC protein may play an important role in chromosome segregation during M phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6049-6056
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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