CHO1 is a mammalian kinesin-like motor protein of the MKLP1 subfamily. It associates with the spindle midzone during anaphase and concentrates to a midbody matrix during cytokinesis. CHO1 was originally implicated in karyokinesis, but the invertebrate homologues of CHO1 were shown to function in the midzone formation and cytokinesis. To analyze the role of the protein in mammalian cells, we mutated the ATP-binding site of CHO1 and expressed it in CHO cells. Mutant protein (CHO1F′) was able to interact with microtubules via ATP-independent microtubule-binding site(s) but failed to accumulate at the midline of the central spindle and affected the localization of endogenous CHO1. Although the segregation of chromosomes, the bundling of midzone microtubules, and the initiation of cytokinesis proceeded normally in CHO1F′-expressing cells, the completion of cytokinesis was inhibited. Daughter cells were frequently entering interphase while connected by a microtubule-containing cytoplasmic bridge from which the dense midbody matrix was missing. Depletion of endogenous CHO1 via RNA-mediated interference also affected the formation of midbody matrix in dividing cells, caused the disorganization of midzone microtubules, and resulted in abortive cytokinesis. Thus, CHO1 may not be required for karyokinesis, but it is essential for the proper midzone/midbody formation and cytokinesis in mammalian cells.