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Sample records for microtubule assembly dynamics

  1. Profilin connects actin assembly with microtubule dynamics.

    PubMed

    Nejedla, Michaela; Sadi, Sara; Sulimenko, Vadym; de Almeida, Francisca Nunes; Blom, Hans; Draber, Pavel; Aspenström, Pontus; Karlsson, Roger

    2016-08-01

    Profilin controls actin nucleation and assembly processes in eukaryotic cells. Actin nucleation and elongation promoting factors (NEPFs) such as Ena/VASP, formins, and WASP-family proteins recruit profilin:actin for filament formation. Some of these are found to be microtubule associated, making actin polymerization from microtubule-associated platforms possible. Microtubules are implicated in focal adhesion turnover, cell polarity establishment, and migration, illustrating the coupling between actin and microtubule systems. Here we demonstrate that profilin is functionally linked to microtubules with formins and point to formins as major mediators of this association. To reach this conclusion, we combined different fluorescence microscopy techniques, including superresolution microscopy, with siRNA modulation of profilin expression and drug treatments to interfere with actin dynamics. Our studies show that profilin dynamically associates with microtubules and this fraction of profilin contributes to balance actin assembly during homeostatic cell growth and affects micro-tubule dynamics. Hence profilin functions as a regulator of microtubule (+)-end turnover in addition to being an actin control element. PMID:27307590

  2. Harnessing microtubule dynamic instability for nanostructure assembly.

    SciTech Connect

    Bouchard, Ann Marie; Osbourn, Gordon Cecil

    2004-06-01

    Intracellular molecular machines synthesize molecules, tear apart others, transport materials, transform energy into different forms, and carry out a host of other coordinated processes. Many molecular processes have been shown to work outside of cells, and the idea of harnessing these molecular machines to build nanostructures is attractive. Two examples are microtubules and motor proteins, which aid cell movement, help determine cell shape and internal structure, and transport vesicles and organelles within the cell. These molecular machines work in a stochastic, noisy fashion: microtubules switch randomly between growing and shrinking in a process known as dynamic instability; motor protein movement along microtubules is randomly interrupted by the motor proteins falling off. A common strategy in attempting to gain control over these highly dynamic, stochastic processes is to eliminate some processes (e.g., work with stabilized microtubules) in order to focus on others (interaction of microtubules with motor proteins). In this paper, we illustrate a different strategy for building nanostructures, which, rather than attempting to control or eliminate some dynamic processes, uses them to advantage in building nanostructures. Specifically, using stochastic agent-based simulations, we show how the natural dynamic instability of microtubules can be harnessed in building nanostructures, and discuss strategies for ensuring that 'unreliable' stochastic processes yield a robust outcome.

  3. Micropattern-Guided Assembly of Overlapping Pairs of Dynamic Microtubules

    PubMed Central

    Fourniol, Franck J.; Li, Tai-De; Bieling, Peter; Mullins, R. Dyche; Fletcher, Daniel A.; Surrey, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Interactions between antiparallel microtubules are essential for the organization of spindles in dividing cells. The ability to form immobilized antiparallel microtubule pairs in vitro, combined with the ability to image them via TIRF microscopy, permits detailed biochemical characterization of microtubule cross-linking proteins and their effects on microtubule dynamics. Here, we describe methods for chemical micropatterning of microtubule seeds on glass surfaces in configurations that specifically promote the formation of antiparallel microtubule overlaps in vitro. We demonstrate that this assay is especially well suited for reconstitution of minimal midzone overlaps stabilized by the antiparallel microtubule cross-linking protein PRC1 and its binding partners. The micropatterning method is suitable for use with a broad range of proteins, and the assay is generally applicable to any microtubule cross-linking protein. PMID:24630116

  4. Microtubule dynamics and organization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dogterom, Marileen

    2000-03-01

    Microtubules are rigid biopolymers found in all higher order cells. They are a mayor part of the cytoskeleton, the network of protein polymers that gives the cell its shape and rigidity and allows for various forms of (intra)cellular motility. The intracellular spatial organization of the microtubule network is constantly changing as the microtubules adapt to their different functions. In part, this spatial organization depends on the assembly dynamics (including microtubule nucleation) and forces generated by the microtubules themselves. To understand these mechanisms, we study the physical aspects connected with the assembly, force generation and spatial organization of microtubules in simplified model systems, in the absence of other cellular components. We measure the forces generated by individual microtubules by making them grow against a microfabricated barrier. These experiments show that a single microtubule can generate at least several picoNewton of force, comparable to what is known for motor proteins. Theoretical modeling of force-generation by multi-protofilament polymers is used to predict force-velocity relations that can be compared to experimental data. We study the self-organization of microtubules by confining them to microfabricated chambers that mimic the geometry of living cells. The distribution of microtubule nucleation sites in these chambers is controlled to study its effect on the organization of the microtubule network. We find that so-called microtubule asters position themselves in response to forces generated by dynamic microtubules. Experiments aimed at measuring the forces acting on these asters using optical trapping techniques will be described.

  5. The Dynamics of Microtubule/Motor-Protein Assemblies in Biology and Physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shelley, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    Many important processes in the cell are mediated by stiff microtubule polymers and the active motor proteins moving on them. This includes the transport of subcellular structures (nuclei, chromosomes, organelles) and the self-assembly and positioning of the mitotic spindle. Little is understood of these processes, but they present fascinating problems in fluid-structure interactions. Microtubules and motor proteins are also the building blocks of new biosynthetic active suspensions driven by motor-protein activity. These reduced systems can be probed—and modeled—more easily than can the fully biological ones and demonstrate their own aspects of self-assembly and complex dynamics. I review recent work modeling such systems as fluid-structure interaction problems and as multiscale complex fluids.

  6. Dynamic assembly of polymer nanotube networks via kinesin powered microtubule filaments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paxton, Walter F.; Bouxsein, Nathan F.; Henderson, Ian M.; Gomez, Andrew; Bachand, George D.

    2015-06-01

    We describe for the first time how biological nanomotors may be used to actively self-assemble mesoscale networks composed of diblock copolymer nanotubes. The collective force generated by multiple kinesin nanomotors acting on a microtubule filament is large enough to overcome the energy barrier required to extract nanotubes from polymer vesicles comprised of poly(ethylene oxide-b-butadiene) in spite of the higher force requirements relative to extracting nanotubes from lipid vesicles. Nevertheless, large-scale polymer networks were dynamically assembled by the motors. These networks displayed enhanced robustness, persisting more than 24 h post-assembly (compared to 4-5 h for corresponding lipid networks). The transport of materials in and on the polymer membranes differs substantially from the transport on analogous lipid networks. Specifically, our data suggest that polymer mobility in nanotubular structures is considerably different from planar or 3D structures, and is stunted by 1D confinement of the polymer subunits. Moreover, quantum dots adsorbed onto polymer nanotubes are completely immobile, which is related to this 1D confinement effect and is in stark contrast to the highly fluid transport observed on lipid tubules.We describe for the first time how biological nanomotors may be used to actively self-assemble mesoscale networks composed of diblock copolymer nanotubes. The collective force generated by multiple kinesin nanomotors acting on a microtubule filament is large enough to overcome the energy barrier required to extract nanotubes from polymer vesicles comprised of poly(ethylene oxide-b-butadiene) in spite of the higher force requirements relative to extracting nanotubes from lipid vesicles. Nevertheless, large-scale polymer networks were dynamically assembled by the motors. These networks displayed enhanced robustness, persisting more than 24 h post-assembly (compared to 4-5 h for corresponding lipid networks). The transport of materials in and on

  7. Dynamic assembly of polymer nanotube networks via kinesin powered microtubule filaments

    SciTech Connect

    Paxton, Walter F.; Bachand, George D.; Gomez, Andrew; Henderson, Ian M.; Bouxsein, Nathan F.

    2015-04-24

    In this study, we describe for the first time how biological nanomotors may be used to actively self-assemble mesoscale networks composed of diblock copolymer nanotubes. The collective force generated by multiple kinesin nanomotors acting on a microtubule filament is large enough to overcome the energy barrier required to extract nanotubes from polymer vesicles comprised of poly(ethylene oxide-b-butadiene) in spite of the higher force requirements relative to extracting nanotubes from lipid vesicles. Nevertheless, large-scale polymer networks were dynamically assembled by the motors. These networks displayed enhanced robustness, persisting more than 24 h post-assembly (compared to 4–5 h for corresponding lipid networks). The transport of materials in and on the polymer membranes differs substantially from the transport on analogous lipid networks. Specifically, our data suggest that polymer mobility in nanotubular structures is considerably different from planar or 3D structures, and is stunted by 1D confinement of the polymer subunits. Moreover, quantum dots adsorbed onto polymer nanotubes are completely immobile, which is related to this 1D confinement effect and is in stark contrast to the highly fluid transport observed on lipid tubules.

  8. Dynamic assembly of polymer nanotube networks via kinesin powered microtubule filaments

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Paxton, Walter F.; Bachand, George D.; Gomez, Andrew; Henderson, Ian M.; Bouxsein, Nathan F.

    2015-04-24

    In this study, we describe for the first time how biological nanomotors may be used to actively self-assemble mesoscale networks composed of diblock copolymer nanotubes. The collective force generated by multiple kinesin nanomotors acting on a microtubule filament is large enough to overcome the energy barrier required to extract nanotubes from polymer vesicles comprised of poly(ethylene oxide-b-butadiene) in spite of the higher force requirements relative to extracting nanotubes from lipid vesicles. Nevertheless, large-scale polymer networks were dynamically assembled by the motors. These networks displayed enhanced robustness, persisting more than 24 h post-assembly (compared to 4–5 h for corresponding lipid networks).more » The transport of materials in and on the polymer membranes differs substantially from the transport on analogous lipid networks. Specifically, our data suggest that polymer mobility in nanotubular structures is considerably different from planar or 3D structures, and is stunted by 1D confinement of the polymer subunits. Moreover, quantum dots adsorbed onto polymer nanotubes are completely immobile, which is related to this 1D confinement effect and is in stark contrast to the highly fluid transport observed on lipid tubules.« less

  9. The dynamics of plus end polarization and microtubule assembly during Xenopus cortical rotation.

    PubMed

    Olson, David J; Oh, Denise; Houston, Douglas W

    2015-05-15

    The self-organization of dorsally-directed microtubules during cortical rotation in the Xenopus egg is essential for dorsal axis formation. The mechanisms controlling this process have been problematic to analyze, owing to difficulties in visualizing microtubules in living egg. Also, the order of events occurring at the onset of cortical rotation have not been satisfactorily visualized in vivo and have been inferred from staged fixed samples. To address these issues, we have characterized the dynamics of total microtubule and plus end behavior continuously throughout cortical rotation, as well as in oocytes and unfertilized eggs. Here, we show that the nascent microtubule network forms in the cortex but associates with the deep cytoplasm at the start of rotation. Importantly, plus ends remain cortical and become increasingly more numerous and active prior to rotation, with dorsal polarization occurring rapidly after the onset of rotation. Additionally, we show that vegetally localized Trim36 is required to attenuate dynamic plus end growth, suggesting that vegetal factors are needed to locally coordinate growth in the cortex. PMID:25753733

  10. Estimation of the diffusion-limited rate of microtubule assembly.

    PubMed Central

    Odde, D J

    1997-01-01

    Microtubule assembly is a complex process with individual microtubules alternating stochastically between extended periods of assembly and disassembly, a phenomenon known as dynamic instability. Since the discovery of dynamic instability, molecular models of assembly have generally assumed that tubulin incorporation into the microtubule lattice is primarily reaction-limited. Recently this assumption has been challenged and the importance of diffusion in microtubule assembly dynamics asserted on the basis of scaling arguments, with tubulin gradients predicted to extend over length scales exceeding a cell diameter, approximately 50 microns. To assess whether individual microtubules in vivo assemble at diffusion-limited rates and to predict the theoretical upper limit on the assembly rate, a steady-state mean-field model for the concentration of tubulin about a growing microtubule tip was developed. Using published parameter values for microtubule assembly in vivo (growth rate = 7 microns/min, diffusivity = 6 x 10(-12) m2/s, tubulin concentration = 10 microM), the model predicted that the tubulin concentration at the microtubule tip was approximately 89% of the concentration far from the tip, indicating that microtubule self-assembly is not diffusion-limited. Furthermore, the gradients extended less than approximately 50 nm (the equivalent of about two microtubule diameters) from the microtubule tip, a distance much less than a cell diameter. In addition, a general relation was developed to predict the diffusion-limited assembly rate from the diffusivity and bulk tubulin concentration. Using this relation, it was estimated that the maximum theoretical assembly rate is approximately 65 microns/min, above which tubulin can no longer diffuse rapidly enough to support faster growth. Images FIGURE 1 PMID:9199774

  11. Role of Microtubules in Stress Granule Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Chernov, Konstantin G.; Barbet, Aurélie; Hamon, Loic; Ovchinnikov, Lev P.; Curmi, Patrick A.; Pastré, David

    2009-01-01

    Following exposure to various stresses (arsenite, UV, hyperthermia, and hypoxia), mRNAs are assembled into large cytoplasmic bodies known as “stress granules,” in which mRNAs and associated proteins may be processed by specific enzymes for different purposes like transient storing, sorting, silencing, or other still unknown processes. To limit mRNA damage during stress, the assembly of micrometric granules has to be rapid, and, indeed, it takes only ∼10–20 min in living cells. However, such a rapid assembly breaks the rules of hindered diffusion in the cytoplasm, which states that large cytoplasmic bodies are almost immobile. In the present work, using HeLa cells and YB-1 protein as a stress granule marker, we studied three hypotheses to understand how cells overcome the limitation of hindered diffusion: shuttling of small messenger ribonucleoprotein particles from small to large stress granules, sliding of messenger ribonucleoprotein particles along microtubules, microtubule-mediated stirring of large stress granules. Our data favor the two last hypotheses and underline that microtubule dynamic instability favors the formation of micrometric stress granules. PMID:19843517

  12. How to measure microtubule dynamics?

    PubMed

    Straube, Anne

    2011-01-01

    Microtubules are one of the most spectacular features in the cell: long, fairly rigid tubules that provide physical strength while at the same time serving as tracks of the intracellular transport network. In addition, they are the main constituents of the cell division machinery, and guide axonal growth and the direction of cell migration. To be able to fulfil such diverse functions, microtubules have to be arranged into suitable patterns and remodelled according to extra- and intracellular cues. Moreover, the delicate regulation of microtubule dynamics and the dynamic interactions with subcellular structures, such as kinetochores or cell adhesion sites, appear to be of crucial importance to microtubule functions. It is, therefore, important to understand microtubule dynamics and its spatiotemporal regulation at the molecular level. In this chapter, I introduce the concept of microtubule dynamics and discuss the techniques that can be employed to study microtubule dynamics in vitro and in cells, for many of which detailed protocols can be found in this volume. Microtubule dynamics is traditionally assessed by the four parameters of dynamic instability: growth and shrinkage rates, rescue and catastrophe frequencies, sometimes supplemented by pause duration. I discuss emerging issues with and alternatives to this parameter description of microtubule dynamics. PMID:21773917

  13. Assembly and Positioning of Microtubule Asters in Microfabricated Chambers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holy, Timothy E.; Dogterom, Marileen; Yurke, Bernard; Leibler, Stanislas

    1997-06-01

    Intracellular organization depends on a variety of molecular assembly processes; while some of these have been studied in simplified cell-free systems, others depend on the confined geometry of cells and cannot be reconstructed using bulk techniques. To study the latter processes in vitro, we fabricated microscopic chambers that simulate the closed environment of cells. We used these chambers to study the positioning of microtubule asters. Microtubule assembly alone, without the action of molecular motors, is sufficient to position asters. Asters with short microtubules move toward the position expected from symmetry; however, once the microtubules become long enough to buckle, symmetry is broken. Calculations and experiments show that the bending-energy landscape has multiple minima. Microtubule dynamic instability modifies the landscape over time and allows asters to explore otherwise inaccessible configurations.

  14. A coarse-grained model of microtubule self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Regmi, Chola; Cheng, Shengfeng

    Microtubules play critical roles in cell structures and functions. They also serve as a model system to stimulate the next-generation smart, dynamic materials. A deep understanding of their self-assembly process and biomechanical properties will not only help elucidate how microtubules perform biological functions, but also lead to exciting insight on how microtubule dynamics can be altered or even controlled for specific purposes such as suppressing the division of cancer cells. Combining all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and the essential dynamics coarse-graining method, we construct a coarse-grained (CG) model of the tubulin protein, which is the building block of microtubules. In the CG model a tubulin dimer is represented as an elastic network of CG sites, the locations of which are determined by examining the protein dynamics of the tubulin and identifying the essential dynamic domains. Atomistic MD modeling is employed to directly compute the tubulin bond energies in the surface lattice of a microtubule, which are used to parameterize the interactions between CG building blocks. The CG model is then used to study the self-assembly pathways, kinetics, dynamics, and nanomechanics of microtubules.

  15. Multiscale modeling and simulation of microtubule-motor-protein assemblies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Tong; Blackwell, Robert; Glaser, Matthew A.; Betterton, M. D.; Shelley, Michael J.

    2015-12-01

    Microtubules and motor proteins self-organize into biologically important assemblies including the mitotic spindle and the centrosomal microtubule array. Outside of cells, microtubule-motor mixtures can form novel active liquid-crystalline materials driven out of equilibrium by adenosine triphosphate-consuming motor proteins. Microscopic motor activity causes polarity-dependent interactions between motor proteins and microtubules, but how these interactions yield larger-scale dynamical behavior such as complex flows and defect dynamics is not well understood. We develop a multiscale theory for microtubule-motor systems in which Brownian dynamics simulations of polar microtubules driven by motors are used to study microscopic organization and stresses created by motor-mediated microtubule interactions. We identify polarity-sorting and crosslink tether relaxation as two polar-specific sources of active destabilizing stress. We then develop a continuum Doi-Onsager model that captures polarity sorting and the hydrodynamic flows generated by these polar-specific active stresses. In simulations of active nematic flows on immersed surfaces, the active stresses drive turbulent flow dynamics and continuous generation and annihilation of disclination defects. The dynamics follow from two instabilities, and accounting for the immersed nature of the experiment yields unambiguous characteristic length and time scales. When turning off the hydrodynamics in the Doi-Onsager model, we capture formation of polar lanes as observed in the Brownian dynamics simulation.

  16. TCTP regulates spindle microtubule dynamics by stabilizing polar microtubules during mouse oocyte meiosis.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Hyuk-Joon; You, Seung Yeop; Park, Yong Seok; Chang, Jong Wook; Kim, Jae-Sung; Oh, Jeong Su

    2016-04-01

    Dynamic changes in spindle structure and function are essential for maintaining genomic integrity during the cell cycle. Spindle dynamics are highly dependent on several microtubule-associated proteins that coordinate the dynamic behavior of microtubules, including microtubule assembly, stability and organization. Here, we show that translationally controlled tumor protein (TCTP) is a novel microtubule-associated protein that regulates spindle dynamics during meiotic maturation. TCTP was expressed and widely distributed in the cytoplasm with strong enrichment at the spindle microtubules during meiosis. TCTP was found to be phosphorylated during meiotic maturation, and was exclusively localized to the spindle poles. Knockdown of TCTP impaired spindle organization without affecting chromosome alignment. These spindle defects were mostly due to the destabilization of the polar microtubules. However, the stability of kinetochore microtubules attached to chromosomes was not affected by TCTP knockdown. Overexpression of a nonphosphorylable mutant of TCTP disturbed meiotic maturation, stabilizing the spindle microtubules. In addition, Plk1 was decreased by TCTP knockdown. Taken together, our results demonstrate that TCTP is a microtubule-associating protein required to regulate spindle microtubule dynamics during meiotic maturation in mouse oocytes. PMID:26802898

  17. A Thermodynamic Model of Microtubule Assembly and Disassembly

    PubMed Central

    Piette, Bernard M. A. G.; Liu, Junli; Peeters, Kasper; Smertenko, Andrei; Hawkins, Timothy; Deeks, Michael; Quinlan, Roy; Zakrzewski, Wojciech J.; Hussey, Patrick J.

    2009-01-01

    Microtubules are self-assembling polymers whose dynamics are essential for the normal function of cellular processes including chromosome separation and cytokinesis. Therefore understanding what factors effect microtubule growth is fundamental to our understanding of the control of microtubule based processes. An important factor that determines the status of a microtubule, whether it is growing or shrinking, is the length of the GTP tubulin microtubule cap. Here, we derive a Monte Carlo model of the assembly and disassembly of microtubules. We use thermodynamic laws to reduce the number of parameters of our model and, in particular, we take into account the contribution of water to the entropy of the system. We fit all parameters of the model from published experimental data using the GTP tubulin dimer attachment rate and the lateral and longitudinal binding energies of GTP and GDP tubulin dimers at both ends. Also we calculate and incorporate the GTP hydrolysis rate. We have applied our model and can mimic published experimental data, which formerly suggested a single layer GTP tubulin dimer microtubule cap, to show that these data demonstrate that the GTP cap can fluctuate and can be several microns long. PMID:19668378

  18. Distinct roles for antiparallel microtubule pairing and overlap during early spindle assembly

    PubMed Central

    Nazarova, Elena; O'Toole, Eileen; Kaitna, Susi; Francois, Paul; Winey, Mark; Vogel, Jackie

    2013-01-01

    During spindle assembly, microtubules may attach to kinetochores or pair to form antiparallel pairs or interpolar microtubules, which span the two spindle poles and contribute to mitotic pole separation and chromosome segregation. Events in the specification of the interpolar microtubules are poorly understood. Using three-dimensional electron tomography and analysis of spindle dynamical behavior in living cells, we investigated the process of spindle assembly. Unexpectedly, we found that the phosphorylation state of an evolutionarily conserved Cdk1 site (S360) in γ-tubulin is correlated with the number and organization of interpolar microtubules. Mimicking S360 phosphorylation (S360D) results in bipolar spindles with a normal number of microtubules but lacking interpolar microtubules. Inhibiting S360 phosphorylation (S360A) results in spindles with interpolar microtubules and high-angle, antiparallel microtubule pairs. The latter are also detected in wild-type spindles <1 μm in length, suggesting that high-angle microtubule pairing represents an intermediate step in interpolar microtubule formation. Correlation of spindle architecture with dynamical behavior suggests that microtubule pairing is sufficient to separate the spindle poles, whereas interpolar microtubules maintain the velocity of pole displacement during early spindle assembly. Our findings suggest that the number of interpolar microtubules formed during spindle assembly is controlled in part through activities at the spindle poles. PMID:23966467

  19. Templated nanocrystal assembly on biodynamic artificial microtubule asters.

    PubMed

    Spoerke, Erik D; Boal, Andrew K; Bachand, George D; Bunker, Bruce C

    2013-03-26

    Microtubules (MTs) and the MT-associated proteins (MAPs) are critical cooperative agents involved in complex nanoassembly processes in biological systems. These biological materials and processes serve as important inspiration in developing new strategies for the assembly of synthetic nanomaterials in emerging techologies. Here, we explore a dynamic biofabrication process, modeled after the form and function of natural aster-like MT assemblies such as centrosomes. Specifically, we exploit the cooperative assembly of MTs and MAPs to form artificial microtubule asters and demonstrate that (1) these three-dimensional biomimetic microtubule asters can be controllably, reversibly assembled and (2) they serve as unique, dynamic biotemplates for the organization of secondary nanomaterials. We describe the MAP-mediated assembly and growth of functionalized MTs onto synthetic particles, the dynamic character of the assembled asters, and the application of these structures as templates for three-dimensional nanocrystal organization across multiple length scales. This biomediated nanomaterials assembly strategy illuminates a promising new pathway toward next-generation nanocomposite development. PMID:23363365

  20. Ahead of the Curve: New Insights into Microtubule Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Ohi, Ryoma; Zanic, Marija

    2016-01-01

    Microtubule dynamics are fundamental for many aspects of cell physiology, but their mechanistic underpinnings remain unclear despite 40 years of intense research. In recent years, the continued union of reconstitution biochemistry, structural biology, and modeling has yielded important discoveries that deepen our understanding of microtubule dynamics. These studies, which we review here, underscore the importance of GTP hydrolysis-induced changes in tubulin structure as microtubules assemble, and highlight the fact that each aspect of microtubule behavior is the output of complex, multi-step processes. Although this body of work moves us closer to appreciating the key features of microtubule biochemistry that drive dynamic instability, the divide between our understanding of microtubules in isolation versus within the cellular milieu remains vast. Bridging this gap will serve as fertile grounds of cytoskeleton-focused research for many years to come. PMID:26998244

  1. Drugs That Target Dynamic Microtubules: A New Molecular Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Stanton, Richard A.; Gernert, Kim M.; Nettles, James H.; Aneja, Ritu

    2011-01-01

    Microtubules have long been considered an ideal target for anticancer drugs because of the essential role they play in mitosis, forming the dynamic spindle apparatus. As such, there is a wide variety of compounds currently in clinical use and in development that act as antimitotic agents by altering microtubule dynamics. Although these diverse molecules are known to affect microtubule dynamics upon binding to one of the three established drug domains (taxane, vinca alkaloid, or colchicine site), the exact mechanism by which each drug works is still an area of intense speculation and research. In this study, we review the effects of microtubule-binding chemotherapeutic agents from a new perspective, considering how their mode of binding induces conformational changes and alters biological function relative to the molecular vectors of microtubule assembly or disassembly. These “biological vectors” can thus be used as a spatiotemporal context to describe molecular mechanisms by which microtubule-targeting drugs work. PMID:21381049

  2. Chromatin-Bound Xenopus Dppa2 Shapes the Nucleus by Locally Inhibiting Microtubule Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Xue, John Z.; Woo, Eileen M.; Postow, Lisa; Chait, Brian T.; Funabiki, Hironori

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Nuclear shape and size vary between species, during development and in many tissue pathologies, but the causes and effects of these differences remain poorly understood. During fertilization, sperm nuclei undergo a dramatic conversion from a heavily compacted form into decondensed, spherical pronuclei, accompanied by rapid nucleation of microtubules from centrosomes. Here we report that the assembly of the spherical nucleus depends on a critical balance of microtubule dynamics, which is regulated by the chromatin-binding protein Developmental pluripotency-associated 2 (Dppa2). While microtubules normally promote sperm pronuclear expansion, in Dppa2-depleted Xenopus egg extracts excess microtubules cause pronuclear assembly defects leading to abnormal morphology and disorganized DNA replication. Dppa2 inhibits microtubule polymerization in vitro, and Dppa2 activity is needed at a precise time and location during nascent pronuclear formation. This demonstrates a strict spatiotemporal requirement for local suppression of microtubules during nuclear formation, fulfilled by chromatin-bound microtubule regulators. PMID:24075807

  3. Self-assembly and sorting of acentrosomal microtubules by TACC3 facilitate kinetochore capture during the mitotic spindle assembly.

    PubMed

    Fu, Wenxiang; Chen, Hao; Wang, Gang; Luo, Jia; Deng, Zhaoxuan; Xin, Guangwei; Xu, Nan; Guo, Xiao; Lei, Jun; Jiang, Qing; Zhang, Chuanmao

    2013-09-17

    Kinetochore capture by dynamic kinetochore microtubule fibers (K fibers) is essential for proper chromosome alignment and accurate distribution of the replicated genome during cell division. Although this capture process has been extensively studied, the mechanisms underlying the initiation of this process and the proper formation of the K fibers remain largely unknown. Here we show that transforming acidic coiled-coil-containing protein 3 (TACC3) is essential for kinetochore capture and proper K-fiber formation in HeLa cells. To observe the assembly of acentrosomal microtubules more clearly, the cells were released from higher concentrations of nocodazole into zero or lower concentrations. We find that small acentrosomal TACC3-microtubule aster formation near the kinetochores and binding of the asters with the kinetochores are the initial steps of the kinetochore capture by the acentrosomal microtubules, and that the sorting of kinetochore-captured acentrosomal microtubules with centrosomal microtubules leads to the capture of kinetochore by centrosomal microtubules from both spindle poles. We demonstrate that the sorting of the TACC3-associated microtubules with the centrosomal microtubules is a crucial process for spindle assembly and chromosome movement. These findings, which are also supported in the unperturbed mitosis without nocodazole, reveal a critical TACC3-dependent acentrosomal microtubule nucleation and sorting process to regulate kinetochore-microtubule connections and provide deep insight into the mechanisms of mitotic spindle assembly and chromosome alignment. PMID:24003142

  4. Self-assembly of microtubules and motors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aranson, Igor; Tsimring, Lev

    2005-03-01

    We derive a model describing spatio-temporal assembly of an array of microtubules interacting via molecular motors. Starting from a stochastic model of inelastic polar rods with a generic anisotropic interaction kernel we obtain a set of equations for the local rods concentration and orientation. At large enough mean density of rods and concentration of motors, the model describes orientational instability. We demonstrate that the orientational instability leads to the formation of vortices and (for large density and/or kernel anisotropy) asters seen in recent experiments.

  5. Dynamics of Antarctic fish microtubules at low temperatures

    SciTech Connect

    Himes, R.H.; Detrich, H.W. III )

    1989-06-13

    The tubulins of Antarctic fishes, purified from brain tissue and depleted of microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs), polymerized efficiently in vitro to yield microtubules at near-physiological and supraphysiological temperatures (5, 10, and 20{degree}C). The dynamics of the microtubules at these temperatures were examined through the use of labeled guanosine 5{prime}-triphosphate (GTP) as a marker for the incorporation, retention, and loss of tubulin dimers. Following attainment of a steady state in microtubule mass at 20{degree}C, the rate of incorporation of ({sup 3}H)GTP (i.e., tubulin dimers) during pulses of constant duration decreased asymptotically toward a constant, nonzero value as the interval prior to label addition to the microtubule solution increased. Concomitant with the decreasing rate of label incorporation, the average length of the microtubules increased, and the number concentration of microtubules decreased. Thus, redistribution of microtubule lengths appears to be responsible for the time-dependent decrease in the rate of tubulin uptake. At each temperature, most of the incorporated label was retained by the microtubules during a subsequent chase with excess unlabeled GTP. In contrast, when microtubules were assembled do novo in the presence of ({alpha}-{sup 32}P)GTP at 5{degree}C and then exposed to a pulse of ({sup 3}H)GTP, the {sup 32}P label was lost over time during a subsequent chase with unlabeled GTP, whereas the {sup 3}H label was retained. Together, these results indicate that the microtubules of Antarctic fishes exhibit, at low temperatures, behaviors consistent both with subunit treadmilling and with dynamic instability and/or microtubule annealing.

  6. YB-1 promotes microtubule assembly in vitro through interaction with tubulin and microtubules

    PubMed Central

    Chernov, Konstantin G; Mechulam, Alain; Popova, Nadezhda V; Pastre, David; Nadezhdina, Elena S; Skabkina, Olga V; Shanina, Nina A; Vasiliev, Victor D; Tarrade, Anne; Melki, Judith; Joshi, Vandana; Baconnais, Sonia; Toma, Flavio; Ovchinnikov, Lev P; Curmi, Patrick A

    2008-01-01

    Background YB-1 is a major regulator of gene expression in eukaryotic cells. In addition to its role in transcription, YB-1 plays a key role in translation and stabilization of mRNAs. Results We show here that YB-1 interacts with tubulin and microtubules and stimulates microtubule assembly in vitro. High resolution imaging via electron and atomic force microscopy revealed that microtubules assembled in the presence of YB-1 exhibited a normal single wall ultrastructure and indicated that YB-1 most probably coats the outer microtubule wall. Furthermore, we found that YB-1 also promotes the assembly of MAPs-tubulin and subtilisin-treated tubulin. Finally, we demonstrated that tubulin interferes with RNA:YB-1 complexes. Conclusion These results suggest that YB-1 may regulate microtubule assembly in vivo and that its interaction with tubulin may contribute to the control of mRNA translation. PMID:18793384

  7. The Role of Molecular Microtubule Motors and the Microtubule Cytoskeleton in Stress Granule Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Bartoli, Kristen M.; Bishop, Darryl L.; Saunders, William S.

    2011-01-01

    Stress granules (SGs) are cytoplasmic foci that appear in cells exposed to stress-induced translational inhibition. SGs function as a triage center, where mRNAs are sorted for storage, degradation, and translation reinitiation. The underlying mechanisms of SGs dynamics are still being characterized, although many key players have been identified. The main components of SGs are stalled 48S preinitiation complexes. To date, many other proteins have also been found to localize in SGs and are hypothesized to function in SG dynamics. Most recently, the microtubule cytoskeleton and associated motor proteins have been demonstrated to function in SG dynamics. In this paper, we will discuss current literature examining the function of microtubules and the molecular microtubule motors in SG assembly, coalescence, movement, composition, organization, and disassembly. PMID:21760798

  8. Microtubule dynamics in neuronal morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Sakakibara, Akira; Ando, Ryota; Sapir, Tamar; Tanaka, Teruyuki

    2013-07-01

    Microtubules (MTs) are essential for neuronal morphogenesis in the developing brain. The MT cytoskeleton provides physical support to shape the fine structure of neuronal processes. MT-based motors play important roles in nucleokinesis, process formation and retraction. Regulation of MT stability downstream of extracellular cues is proposed to be critical for axonogenesis. Axons and dendrites exhibit different patterns of MT organization, underlying the divergent functions of these processes. Centrosomal positioning has drawn the attention of researchers because it is a major clue to understanding neuronal MT organization. In this review, we focus on how recent advances in live imaging have revealed the dynamics of MT organization and centrosome positioning during neural development. PMID:23864552

  9. Microtubule dynamics in neuronal morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Sakakibara, Akira; Ando, Ryota; Sapir, Tamar; Tanaka, Teruyuki

    2013-01-01

    Microtubules (MTs) are essential for neuronal morphogenesis in the developing brain. The MT cytoskeleton provides physical support to shape the fine structure of neuronal processes. MT-based motors play important roles in nucleokinesis, process formation and retraction. Regulation of MT stability downstream of extracellular cues is proposed to be critical for axonogenesis. Axons and dendrites exhibit different patterns of MT organization, underlying the divergent functions of these processes. Centrosomal positioning has drawn the attention of researchers because it is a major clue to understanding neuronal MT organization. In this review, we focus on how recent advances in live imaging have revealed the dynamics of MT organization and centrosome positioning during neural development. PMID:23864552

  10. Expression of Nucleolin Affects Microtubule Dynamics.

    PubMed

    Gaume, Xavier; Place, Christophe; Delage, Helene; Mongelard, Fabien; Monier, Karine; Bouvet, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    Nucleolin is present in diverse cellular compartments and is involved in a variety of cellular processes from nucleolar structure and function to intracellular trafficking, cell adhesion and migration. Recently, nucleolin has been localized at the mature centriole where it is involved in microtubule nucleation and anchoring. Although this new function of nucleolin linked to microtubule regulation has been identified, the global effects of nucleolin on microtubule dynamics have not been addressed yet. In the present study, we analyzed the roles of nucleolin protein levels on global microtubule dynamics by tracking the EB3 microtubule plus end binding protein in live cells. We have found that during microtubule growth phases, nucleolin affects both the speed and life time of polymerization and by analyzing catastrophe events, we showed that nucleolin reduces catastrophe frequency. This new property of nucleolin was then confirmed in a cold induced microtubule depolymerization experiment in which we have found that cold resistant microtubules were totally destabilized in nucleolin depleted cells. Altogether, our data demonstrate a new function of nucleolin on microtubule stabilization, thus bringing novel insights into understanding the multifunctional properties of nucleolin in healthy and cancer cells. PMID:27309529

  11. Expression of Nucleolin Affects Microtubule Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Gaume, Xavier; Place, Christophe; Delage, Helene; Mongelard, Fabien; Monier, Karine; Bouvet, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    Nucleolin is present in diverse cellular compartments and is involved in a variety of cellular processes from nucleolar structure and function to intracellular trafficking, cell adhesion and migration. Recently, nucleolin has been localized at the mature centriole where it is involved in microtubule nucleation and anchoring. Although this new function of nucleolin linked to microtubule regulation has been identified, the global effects of nucleolin on microtubule dynamics have not been addressed yet. In the present study, we analyzed the roles of nucleolin protein levels on global microtubule dynamics by tracking the EB3 microtubule plus end binding protein in live cells. We have found that during microtubule growth phases, nucleolin affects both the speed and life time of polymerization and by analyzing catastrophe events, we showed that nucleolin reduces catastrophe frequency. This new property of nucleolin was then confirmed in a cold induced microtubule depolymerization experiment in which we have found that cold resistant microtubules were totally destabilized in nucleolin depleted cells. Altogether, our data demonstrate a new function of nucleolin on microtubule stabilization, thus bringing novel insights into understanding the multifunctional properties of nucleolin in healthy and cancer cells. PMID:27309529

  12. Association of Microtubule Dynamics with Chronic Epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xin; Hu, Yida; Xiong, Yan; Li, Zhonggui; Wang, Wei; Du, Chao; Yang, Yong; Zhang, Yanke; Xiao, Fei; Wang, Xuefeng

    2016-09-01

    Approximately 30 % of epilepsy cases are refractory to current pharmacological treatments through unknown mechanisms. Much work has been done on the role of synaptic components in the pathogenesis of epilepsy, but relatively little attention has been given to the potential role of the microtubules. We investigated the level of microtubule dynamic in 30 human epileptic tissues and two different chronic epilepsy rat models. The administration of microtubule-modulating agent attenuated the progression of chronic epilepsy. By contrast, microtubule-depolymerizing agent aggravated the progression of chronic epilepsy. The electrophysiological index by whole-cell clamp was used to investigate the neuronal excitation and inhibitory synaptic transmission in brain slices after administration of microtubule-modulating agent and microtubule-depolymerizing agent. Interestingly, we found that microtubule-modulating agent significantly increased the frequency of action potential firing in interneurons, and significantly promoted the amplitudes and frequencies of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents. Microtubule-depolymerizing agent had an opposite effect. These findings suggest that modulating hyperdynamic microtubules may take an anti-epileptic effect via postsynaptic mechanisms in interneurons. It could represent a potential pharmacologic target in epilepsy treatment. PMID:26377107

  13. Interaction of CDK5RAP2 with EB1 to track growing microtubule tips and to regulate microtubule dynamics.

    PubMed

    Fong, Ka-Wing; Hau, Shiu-Yeung; Kho, Yik-Shing; Jia, Yue; He, Lisheng; Qi, Robert Z

    2009-08-01

    Mutations in cdk5rap2 are linked to autosomal recessive primary microcephaly, and attention has been paid to its function at centrosomes. In this report, we demonstrate that CDK5RAP2 localizes to microtubules and concentrates at the distal tips in addition to centrosomal localization. CDK5RAP2 interacts directly with EB1, a prototypic member of microtubule plus-end tracking proteins, and contains the basic and Ser-rich motif responsible for EB1 binding. The EB1-binding motif is conserved in the CDK5RAP2 sequences of chimpanzee, bovine, and dog but not in those of rat and mouse, suggesting a function gained during the evolution of mammals. The mutation of the Ile/Leu-Pro dipeptide within the motif abolishes EB1 interaction and plus-end attachment. In agreement with the mutational analysis, suppression of EB1 expression inhibits microtubule tip-tracking of CDK5RAP2. We have also found that the CDK5RAP2-EB1 complex regulates microtubule dynamics and stability. CDK5RAP2 depletion by RNA interference impacts the dynamic behaviors of microtubules. The CDK5RAP2-EB1 complex induces microtubule bundling and acetylation when expressed in cell cultures and stimulates microtubule assembly and bundle formation in vitro. Collectively, these results show that CDK5RAP2 targets growing microtubule tips in association with EB1 to regulate microtubule dynamics. PMID:19553473

  14. Dynamics of Actively Driven Crosslinked Microtubule Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yadav, Vikrant; Stanhope, Kasimira; Evans, Arthur A.; Ross, Jennifer L.

    We have designed a model experiment to explore dynamics of crosslinked active microtubule clusters crosslinked with MAP65. Microtubule clusters are allowed to settle on a slide coated with kinesin-1 molecular motors, which move microtubules. We systematically tune either concentration of cross linkers bound to microtubule (ρc) or the global concentration of microtubules (ρMT) . We quantified the shape of the cluster by measuring the standard deviation (σ) of the cluster outline. At low ρMTor ρc the network is in an expanding state. At higher ρMTor ρc expansion slows down, reaches zero at a critical density, and become negative indicating contraction. Further increase of ρMTor ρc halts any kind of dynamics. The ρMT-ρc phase space shows distinct regions of extensile, contractile and static regimes. We model these results using active hydrodynamic theory. Microtubules are modeled as active rods whereas effect of crosslinkers is modeled using a collision term that prefers anti-parallel alignment of microtubules. A linearized analysis of hydrodynamic equation predicts existence of density driven expanding, contracting, and static phases for microtubule clusters.

  15. Spatiotemporal control of microtubule nucleation and assembly using magnetic nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, Céline; Mazari, Elsa; Lallet, Sylvie; Le Borgne, Roland; Marchi, Valérie; Gosse, Charlie; Gueroui, Zoher

    2013-03-01

    Decisions on the fate of cells and their functions are dictated by the spatiotemporal dynamics of molecular signalling networks. However, techniques to examine the dynamics of these intracellular processes remain limited. Here, we show that magnetic nanoparticles conjugated with key regulatory proteins can artificially control, in time and space, the Ran/RCC1 signalling pathway that regulates the cell cytoskeleton. In the presence of a magnetic field, RanGTP proteins conjugated to superparamagnetic nanoparticles can induce microtubule fibres to assemble into asymmetric arrays of polarized fibres in Xenopus laevis egg extracts. The orientation of the fibres is dictated by the direction of the magnetic force. When we locally concentrated nanoparticles conjugated with the upstream guanine nucleotide exchange factor RCC1, the assembly of microtubule fibres could be induced over a greater range of distances than RanGTP particles. The method shows how bioactive nanoparticles can be used to engineer signalling networks and spatial self-organization inside a cell environment. PMID:23334169

  16. Kinetic model for colchicine inhibition of microtubule assembly

    SciTech Connect

    Sternlicht, H.; Ringel, I.; Szasz, J.

    1980-10-01

    Colchicine is a potent drug used to probe microtubule dependent processes. We have recently shown that substoichiometric concentrations of colchicine-tubulin complex (CD), a 1:1 tight binding complex of drug with tubulin, copolymerizes with tubulin to form microtubule copolymers. The affinity of the microtubule ends for tublin decreased as the CD mole fraction in the microtubule increased. Mole fraction ratios as small as 1 CD to approx. 50 to 100 tubulins in the copolymers were accompanied by a significant change in binding affinities and polymerization rates. We have further extended our investigation of the CD-tubulin copolymerization reaction. A kinetic model was derived which relates the composition of the microtubule copolymer to the composition of the reaction mixture. This model allowed a predictive correlation to be made between copolymer composition and the extent of assembly inhibition.

  17. Modeling the Effects of Drug Binding on the Dynamic Instability of Microtubules

    PubMed Central

    Hinow, Peter; Rezania, Vahid; Lopus, Manu; Jordan, Mary Ann; Tuszyński, Jack A.

    2011-01-01

    We propose a stochastic model that accounts for the growth, catastrophe and rescue processes of steady state microtubules assembled from MAP-free tubulin in the possible presence of a microtubule associated drug. As an example for the latter, we both experimentally and theoretically study the perturbation of microtubule dynamic instability by S-methyl-D-DM1, a synthetic derivative of the microtubule-targeted agent maytansine and a potential anticancer agent. Our model predicts that among drugs that act locally at the microtubule tip, primary inhibition of the loss of GDP tubulin results in stronger damping of microtubule dynamics than inhibition of GTP tubulin addition. On the other hand, drugs whose action occurs in the interior of the microtubule need to be present in much higher concentrations to have visible effects. PMID:21836336

  18. Effect of Aluminum, Iron, and Zinc Ions on the Assembly of Microtubules from Brain Microtubule Proteins.

    PubMed

    Shevtsov, P N; Shevtsova, E F; Burbaeva, G Sh

    2016-08-01

    Al(3+), Fe(3+), and Zn(2+) ions can disturb microtubule assembly from tubulin and microtubuleassociated proteins in rat brain. The main structural forms of these microtubules are rings and tangled bundles. These structures are formed only in the presence of Al(3+) and Fe(3+) ions. Therefore, Zn(2+) ions can be excluded from possible causes of structural abnormalities in microtubules during Alzheimer's disease. Al(3+) ions are the most probable etiological cause of Alzheimer's disease. The concentration of Al(3+) ions affecting the structure of microtubules is one order of magnitude lower than that of Fe(3+) ions (10 and 100 μM, respectively), which corresponds to their brain concentration reported in Alzheimer's disease. PMID:27591874

  19. Multiscale Polar Theory of Microtubule and Motor-Protein Assemblies

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Tong; Blackwell, Robert; Glaser, Matthew A.; Betterton, M. D.; Shelley, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    Microtubules and motor proteins are building blocks of self-organized subcellular biological structures such as the mitotic spindle and the centrosomal microtubule array. These same ingredients can form new “bioactive” liquid-crystalline fluids that are intrinsically out of equilibrium and which display complex flows and defect dynamics. It is not yet well understood how microscopic activity, which involves polarity-dependent interactions between motor proteins and microtubules, yields such larger-scale dynamical structures. In our multiscale theory, Brownian dynamics simulations of polar microtubule ensembles driven by cross-linking motors allow us to study microscopic organization and stresses. Polarity sorting and cross-link relaxation emerge as two polar-specific sources of active destabilizing stress. On larger length scales, our continuum Doi-Onsager theory captures the hydrodynamic flows generated by polarity-dependent active stresses. The results connect local polar structure to flow structures and defect dynamics. PMID:25679909

  20. Tau co-organizes dynamic microtubule and actin networks

    PubMed Central

    Elie, Auréliane; Prezel, Elea; Guérin, Christophe; Denarier, Eric; Ramirez-Rios, Sacnicte; Serre, Laurence; Andrieux, Annie; Fourest-Lieuvin, Anne; Blanchoin, Laurent; Arnal, Isabelle

    2015-01-01

    The crosstalk between microtubules and actin is essential for cellular functions. However, mechanisms underlying the microtubule-actin organization by cross-linkers remain largely unexplored. Here, we report that tau, a neuronal microtubule-associated protein, binds to microtubules and actin simultaneously, promoting in vitro co-organization and coupled growth of both networks. By developing an original assay to visualize concomitant microtubule and actin assembly, we show that tau can induce guided polymerization of actin filaments along microtubule tracks and growth of single microtubules along actin filament bundles. Importantly, tau mediates microtubule-actin co-alignment without changing polymer growth properties. Mutagenesis studies further reveal that at least two of the four tau repeated motifs, primarily identified as tubulin-binding sites, are required to connect microtubules and actin. Tau thus represents a molecular linker between microtubule and actin networks, enabling a coordination of the two cytoskeletons that might be essential in various neuronal contexts. PMID:25944224

  1. Push or Pull? -- Cryo-Electron Microscopy of Microtubule's Dynamic Instability and Its Roles in the Kinetochore

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Hong-Wei

    2009-03-01

    Microtubule is a biopolymer made up of alpha-beta-tubulin heterodimers. The tubulin dimers assemble head-to-tail as protofilaments and about 13 protofilaments interact laterally to form a hollow cylindrical structure which is the microtubule. As the major cytoskeleton in all eukaryotic cells, microtubules have the intrinsic property to switch stochastically between growth and shrinkage phases, a phenomenon termed as their dynamic instability. Microtubule's dynamic instability is closely related to the types of nucleotide (GTP or GDP) that binds to the beta-tubulin. We have biochemically trapped two types of assembly states of tubulin with GTP or GDP bound representing the polymerizing and depolymerizing ends of microtubules respectively. Using cryo-electron microscopy, we have elucidated the structures of these intermediate assemblies, showing that tubulin protofilaments demonstrate various curvatures and form different types of lateral interactions depending on the nucleotide states of tubulin and the temperature. Our work indicates that during the microtubule's dynamic cycle, tubulin undergoes various assembly states. These states, different from the straight microtubule, lend the highly dynamic and complicated behavior of microtubules. Our study of microtubule's interaction with certain kinetochore complexes suggests that the intermediate assemblies are responsible for specific mechanical forces that are required during the mitosis or meiosis. Our discoveries strongly suggest that a microtubule is a molecular machine rather than a simple cellular scaffold.

  2. Microtubule segment stabilization by RASSF1A is required for proper microtubule dynamics and Golgi integrity

    PubMed Central

    Arnette, Christopher; Efimova, Nadia; Zhu, Xiaodong; Clark, Geoffrey J.; Kaverina, Irina

    2014-01-01

    The tumor suppressor and microtubule-associated protein Ras association domain family 1A (RASSF1A) has a major effect on many cellular processes, such as cell cycle progression and apoptosis. RASSF1A expression is frequently silenced in cancer and is associated with increased metastasis. Therefore we tested the hypothesis that RASSF1A regulates microtubule organization and dynamics in interphase cells, as well as its effect on Golgi integrity and cell polarity. Our results show that RASSF1A uses a unique microtubule-binding pattern to promote site-specific microtubule rescues, and loss of RASSF1A leads to decreased microtubule stability. Furthermore, RASSF1A-associated stable microtubule segments are necessary to prevent Golgi fragmentation and dispersal in cancer cells and maintain a polarized cell front. These results indicate that RASSF1A is a key regulator in the fine tuning of microtubule dynamics in interphase cells and proper Golgi organization and cell polarity. PMID:24478455

  3. Tryprostatin A, a specific and novel inhibitor of microtubule assembly.

    PubMed Central

    Usui, T; Kondoh, M; Cui, C B; Mayumi, T; Osada, H

    1998-01-01

    We have investigated the cell cycle inhibition mechanism and primary target of tryprostatin A (TPS-A) purified from Aspergillus fumigatus. TPS-A inhibited cell cycle progression of asynchronously cultured 3Y1 cells in the M phase in a dose- and time-dependent manner. In contrast, TPS-B (the demethoxy analogue of TPS-A) showed cell-cycle non-specific inhibition on cell growth even though it inhibited cell growth at lower concentrations than TPS-A. TPS-A treatment induced the reversible disruption of the cytoplasmic microtubules of 3Y1 cells as observed by indirect immunofluorescence microscopy in the range of concentrations that specifically inhibited M-phase progression. TPS-A inhibited the assembly in vitro of microtubules purified from bovine brains (40% inhibition at 250 microM); however, there was little or no effect on the self-assembly of purified tubulin when polymerization was induced by glutamate even at 250 microM TPS-A. TPS-A did not inhibit assembly promoted by taxol or by digestion of the C-terminal domain of tubulin. However, TPS-A blocked the tubulin assembly induced by inducers interacting with the C-terminal domain, microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2), tau and poly-(l-lysine). These results indicate that TPS-A is a novel inhibitor of MAP-dependent microtubule assembly and, through the disruption of the microtubule spindle, specifically inhibits cell cycle progression at the M phase. PMID:9677311

  4. Carbendazim Inhibits Cancer Cell Proliferation by Suppressing Microtubule Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Yenjerla, Mythili; Cox, Corey; Wilson, Leslie; Jordan, Mary Ann

    2009-01-01

    Carbendazim (methyl 2-benzimidazolecarbamate) is widely used as a systemic fungicide in human food production and appears to act on fungal tubulin. However, it also inhibits proliferation of human cancer cells, including drug- and multidrug-resistant and p53-deficient cell lines. Because of its promising preclinical anti-tumor activity, it has undergone phase I clinical trials and is under further clinical development. Although it weakly inhibits polymerization of brain microtubules and induces G2/M arrest in tumor cells, its mechanism of action in human cells has not been fully elucidated. We examined its mechanism of action in MCF7 human breast cancer cells and found that it inhibits proliferation (IC50, 10 μM) and half-maximally arrests mitosis at a similar concentration (8 μM), in concert with suppression of microtubule dynamic instability without appreciable microtubule depolymerization. It induces mitotic spindle abnormalities and reduces the metaphase intercentromere distance of sister chromatids, indicating reduction of tension on kinetochores, thus leading to metaphase arrest. With microtubules assembled in vitro from pure tubulin, carbendazim also suppresses dynamic instability, reducing the dynamicity by 50% at 10 μM, with only minimal (21%) reduction of polymer mass. Carbendazim binds to mammalian tubulin (Kd, 42.8 ± 4.0 μM). Unlike some benzimidazoles that bind to the colchicine site in tubulin, carbendazim neither competes with colchicine nor competes with vinblastine for binding to brain tubulin. Thus, carbendazim binds to an as yet unidentified site in tubulin and inhibits tumor cell proliferation by suppressing the growing and shortening phases of microtubule dynamic instability, thus inducing mitotic arrest. PMID:19001156

  5. 3-D structure and dynamics of microtubule self-organization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jing; Ou-Yang, H. Daniel

    2008-03-01

    Laser scanning confocal microscopy was used to study the dynamics of 3D assemblies spontaneously formed in microtubule (MT) solutions. Microtubule solutions prepared by mixing and incubating tubulin in the presence of GTP and Oregon Green conjugated taxol in PM buffer were placed in long, sub-millimeter thin glass cells by the capillary action. Within 24 hours, starting with a uniform distribution, microtubules were found to be gradually separated into a few large ``buckled'' bundles along the long direction, and in the middle plane, of the sample cell. A well-defined wavelength of the buckling sinusoids was around 510 μm. The cross section of these round bundles was approximately 40 μm in diameter and the lengths were several centimeters. Detailed analysis of the 3-D image within the bundles revealed that each bundle seemed to consist of loosely packed MTs. It appeared that MTs were phase separated resulting from attractive interactions between charged MT fibers. The ``buckling'' behavior could be the result of geometrical constraints of the repulsive cell walls and the repulsive interaction between bundles. Detailed 3-D observations of the dynamic evolution of MT assembly could provide insight to the mechanisms of cellular MT organization and phase separation of charged colloidal rods.

  6. Measuring the Dynamic Parameters of MCF7 Cell Microtubules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winton, Carly; Shojania Feizabadi, Mitra

    2013-03-01

    Microtubules are the key component of the cytoskeleton. They are intrinsically dynamic displaying dynamic instability in which they randomly switch between a phase of growing and shrinking, both in vitro and in vivo. This dynamic is specified by the following parameters: growing rate, shrinking rate, frequency of catastrophe, and frequency of rescue. In this work, we will present our primary results in which we measured the dynamic parameters of a single microtubule polymerized from MCF7 tubulin in vitro. The results are significant since the MCF7 microtubules are non-neural mammalian consisting of different beta tubulin isotypes in their structures as compared to neural mammalian microtubules, such as bovine brain. The unique dynamic parameters of individual MCF7 microtubules in vitro, which are reported for the first time, indicate that non-neural microtubules can be fundamentally different from neural microtubules.

  7. Dynamic Concentration of Motors in Microtubule Arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nédélec, François; Surrey, Thomas; Maggs, A. C.

    2001-04-01

    We present experimental and theoretical studies of the dynamics of molecular motors in microtubule arrays and asters. By solving a convection-diffusion equation we find that the density profile of motors in a two-dimensional aster is characterized by continuously varying exponents. Simulations are used to verify the assumptions of the continuum model. We observe the concentration profiles of kinesin moving in quasi-two-dimensional artificial asters by fluorescent microscopy and compare with our theoretical results.

  8. Prion protein inhibits microtubule assembly by inducing tubulin oligomerization

    SciTech Connect

    Nieznanski, Krzysztof . E-mail: k.nieznanski@nencki.gov.pl; Podlubnaya, Zoya A.; Nieznanska, Hanna

    2006-10-13

    A growing body of evidence points to an association of prion protein (PrP) with microtubular cytoskeleton. Recently, direct binding of PrP to tubulin has also been found. In this work, using standard light scattering measurements, sedimentation experiments, and electron microscopy, we show for First time the effect of a direct interaction between these proteins on tubulin polymerization. We demonstrate that full-length recombinant PrP induces a rapid increase in the turbidity of tubulin diluted below the critical concentration for microtubule assembly. This effect requires magnesium ions and is weakened by NaCl. Moreover, the PrP-induced light scattering structures of tubulin are cold-stable. In preparations of diluted tubulin incubated with PrP, electron microscopy revealed the presence of {approx}50 nm disc-shaped structures not reported so far. These unique tubulin oligomers may form large aggregates. The effect of PrP is more pronounced under the conditions promoting microtubule formation. In these tubulin samples, PrP induces formation of the above oligomers associated with short protofilaments and sheets of protofilaments into aggregates. Noticeably, this is accompanied by a significant reduction of the number and length of microtubules. Hence, we postulate that prion protein may act as an inhibitor of microtubule assembly by inducing formation of stable tubulin oligomers.

  9. Contribution of Noncentrosomal Microtubules to Spindle Assembly in Drosophila Spermatocytes

    PubMed Central

    2004-01-01

    Previous data suggested that anastral spindles, morphologically similar to those found in oocytes, can assemble in a centrosome-independent manner in cells that contain centrosomes. It is assumed that the microtubules that build these acentrosomal spindles originate over the chromatin. However, the actual processes of centrosome-independent microtubule nucleation, polymerisation, and sorting have not been documented in centrosome-containing cells. We have identified two experimental conditions in which centrosomes are kept close to the plasma membrane, away from the nuclear region, throughout meiosis I in Drosophila spermatocytes. Time-lapse confocal microscopy of these cells labelled with fluorescent chimeras reveals centrosome-independent microtubule nucleation, growth, and sorting into a bipolar spindle array over the nuclear region, away from the asters. The onset of noncentrosomal microtubule nucleation is significantly delayed with respect to nuclear envelope breakdown and coincides with the end of chromosome condensation. It takes place in foci that are close to the membranes that ensheath the nuclear region, not over the condensed chromosomes. Metaphase plates are formed in these spindles, and, in a fraction of them, some degree of polewards chromosome segregation takes place. In these cells that contain both membrane-bound asters and an anastral spindle, the orientation of the cytokinesis furrow correlates with the position of the asters and is independent of the orientation of the spindle. We conclude that the fenestrated nuclear envelope may significantly contribute to the normal process of spindle assembly in Drosophila spermatocytes. We also conclude that the anastral spindles that we have observed are not likely to provide a robust back-up able to ensure successful cell division. We propose that these anastral microtubule arrays could be a constitutive component of wild-type spindles, normally masked by the abundance of centrosome-derived microtubules

  10. Dynamic microtubules: Experimental observation and computer simulation of polar microtubule behaviour with lateral cap model mechanisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bayley, P. M.; Martin, S. R.; Sharma, K. K.

    1991-05-01

    Microtubule dynamic instability involves the existence, within a population of microtubules, of sub-populations of growing and shrinking microtubules which interconvert apparently at random. We consider the scope and limitation of experimental observations of individual microtubules by video enhanced dark-field microscopy. This unique experimental phenomenon has been rationalized by the presence of a ``cap'' of tubulin-GTP which can stabilize the growing state. We have modelled this process quantitatively by numerical simulation and illustrate the basic principles by computer graphics. The inherent α-β asymmetry of the microtubule lattice determines that the relationship between the addition reaction of tubulin-GTP and the related hydrolysis of a polymer tubulin-GTP is different at the two ends of the microtubule. In the single layer, Lateral Cap model for microtubule dynamic instability, a plausible mechanism has been proposed for the dynamic properties at the ``active'' (presumed β-out) end in which the tubulin-GTP which is hydrolyzed is related longitudinally to the binding site by the 13-start protofilament helix. [1,2]. We now show a similar but distinct mechanism could hold for the ``inactive'' (presumed α-out) end of the microtubule. Lateral hydrolysis rules (related to 5- or 8- start helical contacts) predict that the α-end could in fact be less dynamic and cooperative in terms of reduced amplitudes of growth and shrinking. This would make a distinctive contribution to the J(c) plot of microtubule growth versus [tubulin-GTP]. These predictions are thus amenable to experimental verification. This approach illustrates how the helical lattice symmetry of the microtubule polymer can confer unique dynamic characteristics, which derive from the heterodimeric structure and guanine nucleotide binding properties of the component protein tubulin. It also provides a basis for the interpretation of the interactions of microtubules with anti-mitotic drugs used in

  11. Neurodegeneration and microtubule dynamics: death by a thousand cuts

    PubMed Central

    Dubey, Jyoti; Ratnakaran, Neena; Koushika, Sandhya P.

    2015-01-01

    Microtubules form important cytoskeletal structures that play a role in establishing and maintaining neuronal polarity, regulating neuronal morphology, transporting cargo, and scaffolding signaling molecules to form signaling hubs. Within a neuronal cell, microtubules are found to have variable lengths and can be both stable and dynamic. Microtubule associated proteins, post-translational modifications of tubulin subunits, microtubule severing enzymes, and signaling molecules are all known to influence both stable and dynamic pools of microtubules. Microtubule dynamics, the process of interconversion between stable and dynamic pools, and the proportions of these two pools have the potential to influence a wide variety of cellular processes. Reduced microtubule stability has been observed in several neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and tauopathies like Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. Hyperstable microtubules, as seen in Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), also lead to neurodegeneration. Therefore, the ratio of stable and dynamic microtubules is likely to be important for neuronal function and perturbation in microtubule dynamics might contribute to disease progression. PMID:26441521

  12. An assay to image neuronal microtubule dynamics in mice

    PubMed Central

    Kleele, Tatjana; Marinković, Petar; Williams, Philip R.; Stern, Sina; Weigand, Emily E.; Engerer, Peter; Naumann, Ronald; Hartmann, Jana; Karl, Rosa M.; Bradke, Frank; Bishop, Derron; Herms, Jochen; Konnerth, Arthur; Kerschensteiner, Martin; Godinho, Leanne; Misgeld, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Microtubule dynamics in neurons play critical roles in physiology, injury and disease and determine microtubule orientation, the cell biological correlate of neurite polarization. Several microtubule binding proteins, including end-binding protein 3 (EB3), specifically bind to the growing plus tip of microtubules. In the past, fluorescently tagged end-binding proteins have revealed microtubule dynamics in vitro and in non-mammalian model organisms. Here, we devise an imaging assay based on transgenic mice expressing yellow fluorescent protein-tagged EB3 to study microtubules in intact mammalian neurites. Our approach allows measurement of microtubule dynamics in vivo and ex vivo in peripheral nervous system and central nervous system neurites under physiological conditions and after exposure to microtubule-modifying drugs. We find an increase in dynamic microtubules after injury and in neurodegenerative disease states, before axons show morphological indications of degeneration or regrowth. Thus increased microtubule dynamics might serve as a general indicator of neurite remodelling in health and disease. PMID:25219969

  13. GIT1 enhances neurite outgrowth by stimulating microtubule assembly

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yi-sheng; Qin, Li-xia; Liu, Jie; Xia, Wei-liang; Li, Jian-ping; Shen, Hai-lian; Gao, Wei-Qiang

    2016-01-01

    GIT1, a G-protein-coupled receptor kinase interacting protein, has been reported to be involved in neurite outgrowth. However, the neurobiological functions of the protein remain unclear. In this study, we found that GIT1 was highly expressed in the nervous system, and its expression was maintained throughout all stages of neuritogenesis in the brain. In primary cultured mouse hippocampal neurons from GIT1 knockout mice, there was a significant reduction in total neurite length per neuron, as well as in the average length of axon-like structures, which could not be prevented by nerve growth factor treatment. Overexpression of GIT1 significantly promoted axon growth and fully rescued the axon outgrowth defect in the primary hippocampal neuron cultures from GIT1 knockout mice. The GIT1 N terminal region, including the ADP ribosylation factor-GTPase activating protein domain, the ankyrin domains and the Spa2 homology domain, were sufficient to enhance axonal extension. Importantly, GIT1 bound to many tubulin proteins and microtubule-associated proteins, and it accelerated microtubule assembly in vitro. Collectively, our findings suggest that GIT1 promotes neurite outgrowth, at least partially by stimulating microtubule assembly. This study provides new insight into the cellular and molecular pathogenesis of GIT1-associated neurological diseases. PMID:27127481

  14. Vinblastine suppresses dynamics of individual microtubules in living interphase cells.

    PubMed Central

    Dhamodharan, R; Jordan, M A; Thrower, D; Wilson, L; Wadsworth, P

    1995-01-01

    We have characterized the effects of vinblastine on the dynamic instability behavior of individual microtubules in living BS-C-1 cells microinjected with rhodamine-labeled tubulin and have found that at low concentrations (3-64 nM), vinblastine potently suppresses dynamic instability without causing net microtubule depolymerization. Vinblastine suppressed the rates of microtubule growth and shortening, and decreased the frequency of transitions from growth or pause to shortening, also called catastrophe. In vinblastine-treated cells, both the average duration of a pause (a state of attenuated dynamics where neither growth nor shortening could be detected) and the percentage of total time spent in pause were significantly increased. Vinblastine potently decreased dynamicity, a measure of the overall dynamic activity of microtubules, reducing this parameter by 75% at 32 nM. The present work, consistent with earlier in vitro studies, demonstrates that vinblastine kinetically caps the ends of microtubules in living cells and supports the hypothesis that the potent chemotherapeutic action of vinblastine as an antitumor drug is suppression of mitotic spindle microtubule dynamics. Further, the results indicate that molecules that bind to microtubule ends can regulate microtubule dynamic behavior in living cells and suggest that endogenous regulators of microtubule dynamics that work by similar mechanisms may exist in living cells. Images PMID:8534917

  15. The effect of human microtubule-associated-protein tau on the assembly structure of microtubules and its ionic strength dependence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, M. C.; Raviv, U.; Miller, H. P.; Gaylord, M. R.; Kiris, E.; Ventimiglia, D.; Needleman, D. J.; Chung, P. J.; Deek, J.; Lapointe, N.; Kim, M. W.; Wilson, L.; Feinstein, S. C.; Safinya, C. R.

    2010-03-01

    Microtubules (MTs), 25 nm protein nanotubes, are among the major filamentous elements of the eukaryotic cytoskeleton involved in intracellular trafficking, cell division and the establishment and maintenance of cell shape. Microtubule-associated-protein tau regulates tubulin assembly, MT dynamics and stability. Aberrant tau action has long been correlated with numerous neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's, and fronto-temporal dementia with Parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17 (FTDP-17) Using synchrotron small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) and binding assay, we examine the effects of tau on the assembly structure of taxol-stabilized MTs. We find that tau regulates the distribution of protofilament numbers in MTs as reflected in the observed increase in the average radius of MTs with increasing the tau/tubulin molar ratio. Additionally, tau-MT interactions are mediated to a large extent via electrostatic interactions: the binding affinity of tau to MTs is ionic strength dependent. Supported by DOE-BES DE-FG02-06ER46314, NSF DMR-0803103, NIH NS35010, NIH NS13560. (Ref) M.C. Choi, S.C. Feinstein, and C.R. Safinya et al. Biophys. J. 97; 519 (2009).

  16. Analysis of centrosome function and microtubule dynamics by time-lapse microscopy in Xenopus egg extracts.

    PubMed

    Wiese, Christiane; Mayers, Jonathan R; Albee, Alison J

    2009-01-01

    Centrosomes are essential organelles that organize the microtubule cytoskeleton during interphase and mitosis. Centrosomes are assembled from tens to hundreds of proteins, but how these proteins are organized into functional microtubule nucleating and organizing centers is not yet clear. An important step in understanding the role of individual proteins in centrosome function is to understand whether they are involved in forming, stabilizing, or anchoring microtubules. It is becoming increasingly clear that the analysis of fixed samples is inadequate for a true understanding of the dynamics that drive cell biological processes. In this chapter we focus on methods to analyze microtubule nucleation, organization, and dynamics using assays based on mitotic Xenopus egg extracts and in vitro reactions. These methods can easily be adapted to the study of interphase processes, or to the study of other cytoskeletal proteins and their dynamics. PMID:19768426

  17. The STARD9/Kif16a Kinesin Associates With Mitotic Microtubules and Regulates Spindle Pole Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Torres, Jorge Z.; Summers, Matthew K.; Peterson, David; Brauer, Matthew J.; Lee, James; Senese, Silvia; Gholkar, Ankur A.; Lo, Yu-Chen; Lei, Xingye; Jung, Kenneth; Anderson, David C.; Davis, David P.; Belmont, Lisa; Jackson, Peter K.

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY During cell division cells form the microtubule-based mitotic spindle, a highly specialized and dynamic structure that mediates proper chromosome transmission to daughter cells. Cancer cells can show perturbed mitotic spindles and an approach in cancer treatment has been to trigger cell killing by targeting microtubule dynamics or spindle assembly. To identify and characterize proteins necessary for spindle assembly, and potential antimitotic targets, we performed a proteomic and genetic analysis of 592 mitotic microtubule co-purifying proteins (MMCPs). Screening for regulators that affect both mitosis and apoptosis, we report the identification and characterization of STARD9, a kinesin-3 family member, which localizes to centrosomes and stabilizes the pericentriolar material (PCM). STARD9-depleted cells have fragmented PCM, form multipolar spindles, activate the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC), arrest in mitosis, and undergo apoptosis. Interestingly, STARD9-depletion synergizes with the chemotherapeutic agent taxol to increase mitotic death, demonstrating that STARD9 is a mitotic kinesin and a potential anti-mitotic target. PMID:22153075

  18. Force-generation and dynamic instability of microtubule bundles

    PubMed Central

    Laan, Liedewij; Husson, Julien; Munteanu, E. Laura; Kerssemakers, Jacob W. J.; Dogterom, Marileen

    2008-01-01

    Individual dynamic microtubules can generate pushing or pulling forces when their growing or shrinking ends are in contact with cellular objects such as the cortex or chromosomes. These microtubules can operate in parallel bundles, for example when interacting with mitotic chromosomes. Here, we investigate the force-generating capabilities of a bundle of growing microtubules and study the effect that force has on the cooperative dynamics of such a bundle. We used an optical tweezers setup to study microtubule bundles growing against a microfabricated rigid barrier in vitro. We show that multiple microtubules can generate a pushing force that increases linearly with the number of microtubules present. In addition, the bundle can cooperatively switch to a shrinking state, due to a force-induced coupling of the dynamic instability of single microtubules. In the presence of GMPCPP, bundle catastrophes no longer occur, and high bundle forces are reached more effectively. We reproduce the observed behavior with a simple simulation of microtubule bundle dynamics that takes into account previously measured force effects on single microtubules. Using this simulation, we also show that a constant compressive force on a growing bundle leads to oscillations in bundle length that are of potential relevance for chromosome oscillations observed in living cells. PMID:18577596

  19. Microtubule protein ADP-ribosylation in vitro leads to assembly inhibition and rapid depolymerization

    SciTech Connect

    Scaife, R.M. ); Wilson, L. ); Purich, D.L. )

    1992-01-14

    Bovine brain microtubule protein, containing both tubulin and microtubule-associated proteins, undergoes ADP-ribosylation in the presence of ({sup 14}C)NAD{sup +} and a turkey erythrocyte mono-ADP-ribosyltransferase in vitro. The modification reaction could be demonstrated in crude brain tissue extracts where selective ADP-ribosylation of both the {alpha} and {beta} chains of tubulin and of the high molecular weight microtubule-associated protein MAP-2 occurred. In experiments with purified microtubule protein, tubulin dimer, the high molecular weight microtubule-associated protein MAP-2, and another high molecular weight microtubule-associated protein which may be a MAP-1 species were heavily labeled. Tubulin and MAP-2 incorporated ({sup 14}C)ADP-ribose to an average extent of approximately 2.4 and 30 mol of ADP-ribose/mol of protein, respectively. Assembly of microtubule protein into microtubules in vitro was inhibited by ADP-ribosylation, and incubation of assembled steady-state microtubules with ADP-ribosyltransferase and NAD{sup +} resulted in rapid depolymerization of the microtubules. Thus, the eukaryotic enzyme can ADP-ribosylate tubulin and microtubule-associated proteins to much greater extents than previously observed with cholera and pertussis toxins, and the modification can significantly modulate microtubule assembly and disassembly.

  20. Thermodynamic and structural analysis of microtubule assembly: the role of GTP hydrolysis.

    PubMed Central

    Vulevic, B; Correia, J J

    1997-01-01

    Different models have been proposed that link the tubulin heterodimer nucleotide content and the role of GTP hydrolysis with microtubule assembly and dynamics. Here we compare the thermodynamics of microtubule assembly as a function of nucleotide content by van't Hoff analysis. The thermodynamic parameters of tubulin assembly in 30-100 mM piperazine-N,N'-bis(2-ethanesulfonic acid), 1 mM MgSO4, 2 mM EGTA, pH 6.9, in the presence of a weakly hydrolyzable analog, GMPCPP, the dinucleotide analog GMPCP plus 2 M glycerol, and GTP plus 2 M glycerol were obtained together with data for taxol-GTP/GDP tubulin assembly (GMPCPP and GMPCP are the GTP and GDP nucleotide analogs where the alpha beta oxygen has been replaced by a methylene, -CH2-). All of the processes studied are characterized by a positive enthalpy, a positive entropy, and a large, negative heat capacity change. GMPCP-induced assembly has the largest negative heat capacity change and GMPCPP has the second largest, whereas GTP/2 M glycerol- and taxol-induced assembly have more positive values, respectively. A large, negative heat capacity is most consistent with the burial of water-accessible hydrophobic surface area, which gives rise to the release of bound water. The heat capacity changes observed with GTP/2 M glycerol-induced and with taxol-induced assembly are very similar, -790 +/- 190 cal/mol/k, and correspond to the burial of 3330 +/- 820 A2 of nonpolar surface area. This value is shown to be very similar to an estimate of the buried nonpolar surface in a reconstructed microtubule lattice. Polymerization data from GMPCP- and GMPCPP-induced assembly are consistent with buried nonpolar surface areas that are 3 and 6 times larger. A linear enthalpy-entropy and enthalpy-free energy plot for tubulin polymerization reactions verifies that enthalpy-entropy compensation for this system is based upon true biochemical correlation, most likely corresponding to a dominant hydrophobic effect. Entropy analysis suggests

  1. Microtubule-binding agents: a dynamic field of cancer therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Dumontet, Charles; Jordan, Mary Ann

    2010-01-01

    Preface Microtubules are dynamic filamentous cytoskeletal proteins that are an important therapeutic target in tumor cells. Microtubule binding agents have been part of the pharmacopoeia of cancer for decades, and until the advent of targeted therapy microtubules were the only alternative to DNA as a therapeutic target in cancer. The screening of a variety of botanical species and marine organisms has yielded promising new antitubulin agents with novel properties. Enhanced tumor specificity, reduced neurotoxicity, and insensitivity to chemoresistance mechanisms are the three main objectives in the current search for novel microtubule binding agents. PMID:20885410

  2. Effects of anti-Alzheimer drugs on phosphorylation and assembly of microtubules from brain microtubular proteins.

    PubMed

    Shevtsov, P N; Shevtsova, E F; Burbaeva, G Sh; Bachurin, S O

    2014-04-01

    We studied the effects of anti-Alzheimer drugs (tacrine, amiridine, and memantine) on phosphorylation of tubulin and microtubule-associated proteins isolated from rat brain, evaluated the capacity of these proteins to polymerize into microtubules after addition of study pharmacological agents, and analyzed the structure of generated microtubules. It was shown that test substances impair assembly of microtubules to a different extent. Dose-dependent effects of these agents on phosphorylation of tubulin and microtubule-associated proteins were observed. Triazolam (not approved for clinical use as anti-Alzheimer drug) in the same concentrations was used as the reference substance in the same tests. It was observed that this substance even in minimal concentration induced the most pronounced changes in microtubule structure. A direct correlation between the capacity of the test substances to modulate tubulin phosphorylation and to impair microtubule structure was found: the more the substance inhibited tubulin phosphorylation, the more it disordered microtubule structure. PMID:24824692

  3. Leading at the Front: How EB Proteins Regulate Microtubule Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hawkins, Taviare

    2012-02-01

    Microtubules are the most rigid of the cytoskeletal filaments, they provide the cell's scaffolding, form the byways on which motor proteins transport intracellular cargo and reorganize to form the mitotic spindle when the cell needs to divide. These biopolymers are composed of alpha and beta tubulin monomers that create hollow cylindrical nanotubes with an outer diameter of 25 nm and an inner diameter of 17 nm. At steady state concentrations, microtubules undergo a process known as dynamic instability. During dynamic instability the length of individual microtubules is changing as the filament alternates between periods of growth to shrinkage (catastrophe) and shrinkage to growth (rescue). This process can be enhanced or diminished with the addition of microtubule associated proteins (MAPs). MAPs are microtubule binding proteins that stabilize, destabilize, or nucleate microtubules. We will discuss the effects of the stabilizing end-binding proteins (EB1, EB2 and EB3), on microtubule dynamics observed in vitro. The EBs are a unique family of MAPs known to tip track and enhance microtubule growth by stabilizing the ends. This is a different mechanism than those employed by structural MAPs such as tau or MAP4.

  4. Organization of microtubule assemblies in Dictyostelium syncytia depends on the microtubule crosslinker, Ase1.

    PubMed

    Tikhonenko, Irina; Irizarry, Karen; Khodjakov, Alexey; Koonce, Michael P

    2016-02-01

    It has long been known that the interphase microtubule (MT) array is a key cellular scaffold that provides structural support and directs organelle trafficking in eukaryotic cells. Although in animal cells, a combination of centrosome nucleating properties and polymer dynamics at the distal microtubule ends is generally sufficient to establish a radial, polar array of MTs, little is known about how effector proteins (motors and crosslinkers) are coordinated to produce the diversity of interphase MT array morphologies found in nature. This diversity is particularly important in multinucleated environments where multiple MT arrays must coexist and function. We initiate here a study to address the higher ordered coordination of multiple, independent MT arrays in a common cytoplasm. Deletion of a MT crosslinker of the MAP65/Ase1/PRC1 family disrupts the spatial integrity of multiple arrays in Dictyostelium discoideum, reducing the distance between centrosomes and increasing the intermingling of MTs with opposite polarity. This result, coupled with previous dynein disruptions suggest a robust mechanism by which interphase MT arrays can utilize motors and crosslinkers to sense their position and minimize overlap in a common cytoplasm. PMID:26298292

  5. Theoretical analysis of microtubule dynamics at all times.

    PubMed

    Li, Xin; Kolomeisky, Anatoly B

    2014-12-01

    Microtubules are biopolymers consisting of tubulin dimer subunits. As a major component of cytoskeleton they are essential for supporting most important cellular processes such as cell division, signaling, intracellular transport and cell locomotion. The hydrolysis of guanosine triphosphate (GTP) molecules attached to each tubulin subunit supports the nonequilibrium nature of microtubule dynamics. One of the most spectacular properties of microtubules is their dynamic instability when their growth from continuous attachment of tubulin dimers stochastically alternates with periods of shrinking. Despite the critical importance of this process to all cellular activities, its mechanism remains not fully understood. We investigated theoretically microtubule dynamics at all times by analyzing explicitly temporal evolution of various length clusters of unhydrolyzed subunits. It is found that the dynamic behavior of microtubules depends strongly on initial conditions. Our theoretical findings provide a microscopic explanation for recent experiments which found that the frequency of catastrophes increases with the lifetime of microtubules. It is argued that most growing microtubule configurations cannot transit in one step into a shrinking state, leading to a complex overall temporal behavior. Theoretical calculations combined with Monte Carlo computer simulations are also directly compared with experimental observations, and good agreement is found. PMID:25390471

  6. Curcumin suppresses the dynamic instability of microtubules, activates the mitotic checkpoint and induces apoptosis in MCF-7 cells.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Mithu; Singh, Parminder; Panda, Dulal

    2010-08-01

    In this study, curcumin, a potential anticancer agent, was found to dampen the dynamic instability of individual microtubules in living MCF-7 cells. It strongly reduced the rate and extent of shortening states, and modestly reduced the rate and extent of growing states. In addition, curcumin decreased the fraction of time microtubules spent in the growing state and strongly increased the time microtubules spent in the pause state. Brief treatment with curcumin depolymerized mitotic microtubules, perturbed microtubule-kinetochore attachment and disturbed the mitotic spindle structure. Curcumin also perturbed the localization of the kinesin protein Eg5 and induced monopolar spindle formation. Further, curcumin increased the accumulation of Mad2 and BubR1 at the kinetochores, indicating that it activated the mitotic checkpoint. In addition, curcumin treatment increased the metaphase/anaphase ratio, indicating that it can delay mitotic progression from the metaphase to anaphase. We provide evidence suggesting that the affected cells underwent apoptosis via the p53-dependent apoptotic pathway. The results support the idea that kinetic stabilization of microtubule dynamics assists in the nuclear translocation of p53. Curcumin exerted additive effects when combined with vinblastine, a microtubule depolymerizing drug, whereas the combination of curcumin with paclitaxel, a microtubule-stabilizing drug, produced an antagonistic effect on the inhibition of MCF-7 cell proliferation. The results together suggested that curcumin inhibited MCF-7 cell proliferation by inhibiting the assembly dynamics of microtubules. PMID:20646066

  7. Dynamical Length-Regulation of Microtubules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melbinger, Anna; Reese, Louis; Frey, Erwin

    2012-02-01

    Microtubules (MTs) are vital constituents of the cytoskeleton. These stiff filaments are not only needed for mechanical support. They also fulfill highly dynamic tasks. For instance MTs build the mitotic spindle, which pulls the doubled set of chromosomes apart during mitosis. Hence, a well-regulated and adjustable MT length is essential for cell division. Extending a recently introduced model [1], we here study length-regulation of MTs. Thereby we account for both spontaneous polymerization and depolymerization triggered by motor proteins. In contrast to the polymerization rate, the effective depolymerization rate depends on the presence of molecular motors at the tip and thereby on crowding effects which in turn depend on the MT length. We show that these antagonistic effects result in a well-defined MT length. Stochastic simulations and analytic calculations reveal the exact regimes where regulation is feasible. Furthermore, the adjusted MT length and the ensuing strength of fluctuations are analyzed. Taken together, we make quantitative predictions which can be tested experimentally. These results should help to obtain deeper insights in the microscopic mechanisms underlying length-regulation. [4pt] [1] L.Reese, A.Melbinger, E.Frey, Biophys. J., 101, 9, 2190 (2011)

  8. Nanomolar concentrations of nocodazole alter microtubule dynamic instability in vivo and in vitro.

    PubMed Central

    Vasquez, R J; Howell, B; Yvon, A M; Wadsworth, P; Cassimeris, L

    1997-01-01

    Previous studies demonstrated that nanomolar concentrations of nocodazole can block cells in mitosis without net microtubule disassembly and resulted in the hypothesis that this block was due to a nocodazole-induced stabilization of microtubules. We tested this hypothesis by examining the effects of nanomolar concentrations of nocodazole on microtubule dynamic instability in interphase cells and in vitro with purified brain tubulin. Newt lung epithelial cell microtubules were visualized by video-enhanced differential interference contrast microscopy and cells were perfused with solutions of nocodazole ranging in concentration from 4 to 400 nM. Microtubules showed a loss of the two-state behavior typical of dynamic instability as evidenced by the addition of a third state where they exhibited little net change in length (a paused state). Nocodazole perfusion also resulted in slower elongation and shortening velocities, increased catastrophe, and an overall decrease in microtubule turnover. Experiments performed on BSC-1 cells that were microinjected with rhodamine-labeled tubulin, incubated in nocodazole for 1 h, and visualized by using low-light-level fluorescence microscopy showed similar results except that nocodazole-treated BSC-1 cells showed a decrease in catastrophe. To gain insight into possible mechanisms responsible for changes in dynamic instability, we examined the effects of 4 nM to 12 microM nocodazole on the assembly of purified tubulin from axoneme seeds. At both microtubule plus and minus ends, perfusion with nocodazole resulted in a dose-dependent decrease in elongation and shortening velocities, increase in pause duration and catastrophe frequency, and decrease in rescue frequency. These effects, which result in an overall decrease in microtubule turnover after nocodazole treatment, suggest that the mitotic block observed is due to a reduction in microtubule dynamic turnover. In addition, the in vitro results are similar to the effects of

  9. Nonlinear dynamics of C-terminal tails in cellular microtubules.

    PubMed

    Sekulic, Dalibor L; Sataric, Bogdan M; Zdravkovic, Slobodan; Bugay, Aleksandr N; Sataric, Miljko V

    2016-07-01

    The mechanical and electrical properties, and information processing capabilities of microtubules are the permanent subject of interest for carrying out experiments in vitro and in silico, as well as for theoretical attempts to elucidate the underlying processes. In this paper, we developed a new model of the mechano-electrical waves elicited in the rows of very flexible C-terminal tails which decorate the outer surface of each microtubule. The fact that C-terminal tails play very diverse roles in many cellular functions, such as recruitment of motor proteins and microtubule-associated proteins, motivated us to consider their collective dynamics as the source of localized waves aimed for communication between microtubule and associated proteins. Our approach is based on the ferroelectric liquid crystal model and it leads to the effective asymmetric double-well potential which brings about the conditions for the appearance of kink-waves conducted by intrinsic electric fields embedded in microtubules. These kinks can serve as the signals for control and regulation of intracellular traffic along microtubules performed by processive motions of motor proteins, primarly from kinesin and dynein families. On the other hand, they can be precursors for initiation of dynamical instability of microtubules by recruiting the proper proteins responsible for the depolymerization process. PMID:27475079

  10. Nonlinear dynamics of C-terminal tails in cellular microtubules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sekulic, Dalibor L.; Sataric, Bogdan M.; Zdravkovic, Slobodan; Bugay, Aleksandr N.; Sataric, Miljko V.

    2016-07-01

    The mechanical and electrical properties, and information processing capabilities of microtubules are the permanent subject of interest for carrying out experiments in vitro and in silico, as well as for theoretical attempts to elucidate the underlying processes. In this paper, we developed a new model of the mechano-electrical waves elicited in the rows of very flexible C-terminal tails which decorate the outer surface of each microtubule. The fact that C-terminal tails play very diverse roles in many cellular functions, such as recruitment of motor proteins and microtubule-associated proteins, motivated us to consider their collective dynamics as the source of localized waves aimed for communication between microtubule and associated proteins. Our approach is based on the ferroelectric liquid crystal model and it leads to the effective asymmetric double-well potential which brings about the conditions for the appearance of kink-waves conducted by intrinsic electric fields embedded in microtubules. These kinks can serve as the signals for control and regulation of intracellular traffic along microtubules performed by processive motions of motor proteins, primarly from kinesin and dynein families. On the other hand, they can be precursors for initiation of dynamical instability of microtubules by recruiting the proper proteins responsible for the depolymerization process.

  11. Modulation of host microtubule dynamics by pathogenic bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Radhakrishnan, Girish K.; Splitter, Gary A.

    2013-01-01

    The eukaryotic cytoskeleton is a vulnerable target of many microbial pathogens during the course of infection. Rearrangements of host cytoskeleton benefit microbes in various stages of their infection cycle such as invasion, motility, and persistence. Bacterial pathogens deliver a number of effector proteins into host cells for modulating the dynamics of actin and microtubule cytoskeleton. Alteration of the actin cytoskeleton is generally achieved by bacterial effectors that target the small GTPases of the host. Modulation of microtubule dynamics involves direct interaction of effector proteins with the subunits of microtubules or recruiting cellular proteins that affect microtubule dynamics. This review will discuss effector proteins from animal and human bacterial pathogens that either destabilize or stabilize host micro-tubules to advance the infectious process. A compilation of these research findings will provide an overview of known and unknown strategies used by various bacterial effectors to modulate the host microtubule dynamics. The present review will undoubtedly help direct future research to determine the mechanisms of action of many bacterial effector proteins and contribute to understanding the survival strategies of diverse adherent and invasive bacterial pathogens. PMID:23585820

  12. Assembly of bipolar microtubule structures by passive cross-linkers and molecular motors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johann, D.; Goswami, D.; Kruse, K.

    2016-06-01

    During cell division, sister chromatids are segregated by the mitotic spindle, a bipolar assembly of interdigitating antiparallel polar filaments called microtubules. The spindle contains the midzone, a stable region of overlapping antiparallel microtubules, that is essential for maintaining bipolarity. Although a lot is known about the molecular players involved, the mechanism underlying midzone formation and maintenance is still poorly understood. We study the interaction of polar filaments that are cross-linked by molecular motors moving directionally and by passive cross-linkers diffusing along microtubules. Using a particle-based stochastic model, we find that the interplay of motors and passive cross-linkers can generate a stable finite overlap between a pair of antiparallel polar filaments. We develop a mean-field theory to study this mechanism in detail and investigate the influence of steric interactions between motors and passive cross-linkers on the overlap dynamics. In the presence of interspecies steric interactions, passive cross-linkers mimic the behavior of molecular motors and stable finite overlaps are generated even for non-cross-linking motors. Finally, we develop a mean-field theory for a bundle of aligned polar filaments and show that they can self-organize into a spindlelike pattern. Our work suggests possible ways as to how cells can generate spindle midzones and control their extensions.

  13. Mechanical breaking of microtubules in axons during dynamic stretch injury underlies delayed elasticity, microtubule disassembly, and axon degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Tang-Schomer, Min D.; Patel, Ankur R.; Baas, Peter W.; Smith, Douglas H.

    2010-01-01

    Little is known about which components of the axonal cytoskeleton might break during rapid mechanical deformation, such as occurs in traumatic brain injury. Here, we micropatterned neuronal cell cultures on silicone membranes to induce dynamic stretch exclusively of axon fascicles. After stretch, undulating distortions formed along the axons that gradually relaxed back to a straight orientation, demonstrating a delayed elastic response. Subsequently, swellings developed, leading to degeneration of almost all axons by 24 h. Stabilizing the microtubules with taxol maintained the undulating geometry after injury but greatly reduced axon degeneration. Conversely, destabilizing microtubules with nocodazole prevented undulations but greatly increased the rate of axon loss. Ultrastructural analyses of axons postinjury revealed immediate breakage and buckling of microtubules in axon undulations and progressive loss of microtubules. Collectively, these data suggest that dynamic stretch of axons induces direct mechanical failure at specific points along microtubules. This microtubule disorganization impedes normal relaxation of the axons, resulting in undulations. However, this physical damage also triggers progressive disassembly of the microtubules around the breakage points. While the disintegration of microtubules allows delayed recovery of the “normal” straight axon morphology, it comes at a great cost by interrupting axonal transport, leading to axonal swelling and degeneration.—Tang-Schomer, M. D., Patel, A. R,, Baas, P. W., Smith, D. H. Mechanical breaking of microtubules in axons during dynamic stretch injury underlies delayed elasticity, microtubule disassembly, and axon degeneration. PMID:20019243

  14. Microtubule plus tips: A dynamic route to chromosomal instability

    PubMed Central

    Stolz, Ailine; Ertych, Norman; Bastians, Holger

    2015-01-01

    Although chromosomal instability (CIN) is a recognized hallmark of cancer the underlying mechanisms and consequences are largely unknown. However, it is accepted that lagging chromosomes represent a major prerequisite for chromosome missegregation in cancer cells. Here, we discuss how lagging chromosomes are generated and our recent findings establishing increased microtubule assembly rates as a source of CIN.

  15. Dynamics and Organization of Cortical Microtubules as Revealed by Superresolution Structured Illumination Microscopy1[W

    PubMed Central

    Komis, George; Mistrik, Martin; Šamajová, Olga; Doskočilová, Anna; Ovečka, Miroslav; Illés, Peter; Bartek, Jiri; Šamaj, Jozef

    2014-01-01

    Plants employ acentrosomal mechanisms to organize cortical microtubule arrays essential for cell growth and differentiation. Using structured illumination microscopy (SIM) adopted for the optimal documentation of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) hypocotyl epidermal cells, dynamic cortical microtubules labeled with green fluorescent protein fused to the microtubule-binding domain of the mammalian microtubule-associated protein MAP4 and with green fluorescent protein-fused to the alpha tubulin6 were comparatively recorded in wild-type Arabidopsis plants and in the mitogen-activated protein kinase mutant mpk4 possessing the former microtubule marker. The mpk4 mutant exhibits extensive microtubule bundling, due to increased abundance and reduced phosphorylation of the microtubule-associated protein MAP65-1, thus providing a very useful genetic tool to record intrabundle microtubule dynamics at the subdiffraction level. SIM imaging revealed nano-sized defects in microtubule bundling, spatially resolved microtubule branching and release, and finally allowed the quantification of individual microtubules within cortical bundles. Time-lapse SIM imaging allowed the visualization of subdiffraction, short-lived excursions of the microtubule plus end, and dynamic instability behavior of both ends during free, intrabundle, or microtubule-templated microtubule growth and shrinkage. Finally, short, rigid, and nondynamic microtubule bundles in the mpk4 mutant were observed to glide along the parent microtubule in a tip-wise manner. In conclusion, this study demonstrates the potential of SIM for superresolution time-lapse imaging of plant cells, showing unprecedented details accompanying microtubule dynamic organization. PMID:24686112

  16. Functional role of ɛ-tubulin in the assembly of the centriolar microtubule scaffold

    PubMed Central

    Dupuis-Williams, Pascale; Fleury-Aubusson, Anne; de Loubresse, Nicole Garreau; Geoffroy, Hélène; Vayssié, Laurence; Galvani, Angélique; Espigat, Aude; Rossier, Jean

    2002-01-01

    Centrioles and basal bodies fascinate by their spectacular architecture, featuring an arrangement of nine microtubule triplets into an axial symmetry, whose biogenesis relies on yet elusive mechanisms. However, the recent discovery of new tubulins, such as δ-, ɛ-, or η-tubulin, could constitute a breakthrough for deciphering the assembly steps of this unconventional microtubule scaffold. Here, we report the functional analysis in vivo of ɛ-tubulin, based on gene silencing in Paramecium, which demonstrates that this protein, which localizes at the basal bodies, is essential for the assembly and anchorage of the centriolar microtubules. PMID:12356863

  17. α-Synuclein Fibrils Exhibit Gain of Toxic Function, Promoting Tau Aggregation and Inhibiting Microtubule Assembly.

    PubMed

    Oikawa, Takayuki; Nonaka, Takashi; Terada, Makoto; Tamaoka, Akira; Hisanaga, Shin-Ichi; Hasegawa, Masato

    2016-07-15

    α-Synuclein is the major component of Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites in Parkinson disease and dementia with Lewy bodies and of glial cytoplasmic inclusions in multiple system atrophy. It has been suggested that α-synuclein fibrils or intermediate protofibrils in the process of fibril formation may have a toxic effect on neuronal cells. In this study, we investigated the ability of soluble monomeric α-synuclein to promote microtubule assembly and the effects of conformational changes of α-synuclein on Tau-promoted microtubule assembly. In marked contrast to previous findings, monomeric α-synuclein had no effect on microtubule polymerization. However, both α-synuclein fibrils and protofibrils inhibited Tau-promoted microtubule assembly. The inhibitory effect of α-synuclein fibrils was greater than that of the protofibrils. Dot blot overlay assay and spin-down techniques revealed that α-synuclein fibrils bind to Tau and inhibit microtubule assembly by depleting the Tau available for microtubule polymerization. Using various deletion mutants of α-synuclein and Tau, the acidic C-terminal region of α-synuclein and the basic central region of Tau were identified as regions involved in the binding. Furthermore, introduction of α-synuclein fibrils into cultured cells overexpressing Tau protein induced Tau aggregation. These results raise the possibility that α-synuclein fibrils interact with Tau, inhibit its function to stabilize microtubules, and also promote Tau aggregation, leading to dysfunction of neuronal cells. PMID:27226637

  18. Regulation of actin assembly by microtubules in fission yeast cell polarity.

    PubMed

    Chang, Fred; Feierbach, Becket; Martin, Sophie

    2005-01-01

    It has been speculated that microtubule plus ends function to regulate the actin cytoskeleton in processes such as cytokinesis, cell polarization and cell migration. In the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, interphase microtubules regulate cell polarity through proteins such as tea1p, a kelch repeat protein, and for3p, a formin that nucleates actin cable assembly at cell tips. Here, we review recent progress on understanding tea1p regulation and function. Microtubules may govern the localization of tea1p by transporting it on the plus ends of microtubules and depositing it directly onto the cell tip when the microtubule catastrophes. The interaction of tea1p with the CLIP170 protein tip1p is responsible for its localization at growing microtubule plus ends. Tea1p may regulate cell polarity by associating with large 'polarisome' complexes that include for3p. For3p is present at both cell tips, but is not on the microtubules. Tea1p is needed to localize the formin to establish polarized cell growth at cell tips that have not grown previously. These studies begin to elucidate a molecular pathway for how microtubules contribute to the proper spatial regulation of actin assembly and polarized cell growth. PMID:16355535

  19. Ibuprofen regulation of microtubule dynamics in cystic fibrosis epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Rymut, Sharon M; Kampman, Claire M; Corey, Deborah A; Endres, Tori; Cotton, Calvin U; Kelley, Thomas J

    2016-08-01

    High-dose ibuprofen, an effective anti-inflammatory therapy for the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF), has been shown to preserve lung function in a pediatric population. Despite its efficacy, few patients receive ibuprofen treatment due to potential renal and gastrointestinal toxicity. The mechanism of ibuprofen efficacy is also unclear. We have previously demonstrated that CF microtubules are slower to reform after depolymerization compared with respective wild-type controls. Slower microtubule dynamics in CF cells are responsible for impaired intracellular transport and are related to inflammatory signaling. Here, it is identified that high-dose ibuprofen treatment in both CF cell models and primary CF nasal epithelial cells restores microtubule reformation rates to wild-type levels, as well as induce extension of microtubules to the cell periphery. Ibuprofen treatment also restores microtubule-dependent intracellular transport monitored by measuring intracellular cholesterol transport. These effects are specific to ibuprofen as other cyclooxygenase inhibitors have no effect on these measures. Effects of ibuprofen are mimicked by stimulation of AMPK and blocked by the AMPK inhibitor compound C. We conclude that high-dose ibuprofen treatment enhances microtubule formation in CF cells likely through an AMPK-related pathway. These findings define a potential mechanism to explain the efficacy of ibuprofen therapy in CF. PMID:27317686

  20. Microtubule-based nanomaterials: Exploiting nature's dynamic biopolymers

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Bachand, George D.; Stevens, Mark J.; Spoerke, Erik David

    2015-04-09

    For more than a decade now, biomolecular systems have served as an inspiration for the development of synthetic nanomaterials and systems that are capable of reproducing many of unique and emergent behaviors of living systems. In addition, one intriguing element of such systems may be found in a specialized class of proteins known as biomolecular motors that are capable of performing useful work across multiple length scales through the efficient conversion of chemical energy. Microtubule (MT) filaments may be considered within this context as their dynamic assembly and disassembly dissipate energy, and perform work within the cell. MTs are onemore » of three cytoskeletal filaments in eukaryotic cells, and play critical roles in a range of cellular processes including mitosis and vesicular trafficking. Based on their function, physical attributes, and unique dynamics, MTs also serve as a powerful archetype of a supramolecular filament that underlies and drives multiscale emergent behaviors. In this review, we briefly summarize recent efforts to generate hybrid and composite nanomaterials using MTs as biomolecular scaffolds, as well as computational and synthetic approaches to develop synthetic one-dimensional nanostructures that display the enviable attributes of the natural filaments.« less

  1. Microtubule-based nanomaterials: Exploiting nature's dynamic biopolymers

    SciTech Connect

    Bachand, George D.; Stevens, Mark J.; Spoerke, Erik David

    2015-04-09

    For more than a decade now, biomolecular systems have served as an inspiration for the development of synthetic nanomaterials and systems that are capable of reproducing many of unique and emergent behaviors of living systems. In addition, one intriguing element of such systems may be found in a specialized class of proteins known as biomolecular motors that are capable of performing useful work across multiple length scales through the efficient conversion of chemical energy. Microtubule (MT) filaments may be considered within this context as their dynamic assembly and disassembly dissipate energy, and perform work within the cell. MTs are one of three cytoskeletal filaments in eukaryotic cells, and play critical roles in a range of cellular processes including mitosis and vesicular trafficking. Based on their function, physical attributes, and unique dynamics, MTs also serve as a powerful archetype of a supramolecular filament that underlies and drives multiscale emergent behaviors. In this review, we briefly summarize recent efforts to generate hybrid and composite nanomaterials using MTs as biomolecular scaffolds, as well as computational and synthetic approaches to develop synthetic one-dimensional nanostructures that display the enviable attributes of the natural filaments.

  2. The engine of microtubule dynamics comes into focus.

    PubMed

    Mitchison, T J

    2014-05-22

    In this issue, Alushin et al. report high-resolution structures of three states of the microtubule lattice: GTP-bound, which is stable to depolymerization; unstable GDP-bound; and stable Taxol and GDP-bound. By comparing these structures at near-atomic resolution, they are able to propose a detailed model for how GTP hydrolysis destabilizes the microtubule and thus powers dynamic instability and chromosome movement. Destabilization of cytoskeleton filaments by nucleotide hydrolysis is an important general principle in cell dynamics, and this work represents a major step forward on a problem with a long history. PMID:24855939

  3. Mechanisms underlying the active self-assembly of microtubule rings and spools

    DOE PAGESBeta

    VanDelinder, Virginia; Brener, Stephanie; Bachand, George D.

    2016-02-04

    Here, active self-assembly offers a powerful route for the creation of dynamic multiscale structures that are presently inaccessible with standard microfabrication techniques. One such system uses the translation of microtubule filaments by surface-tethered kinesin to actively assemble nanocomposites with bundle, ring, and spool morphologies. Attempts to observe mechanisms involved in this active assembly system have been hampered by experimental difficulties with performing observation during buffer exchange and photodamage from fluorescent excitation. In the present work, we used a custom microfluidic device to remove these limitations and directly study ring/spool formation, including the earliest events (nucleation) that drive subsequent nanocomposite assembly.more » Three distinct formation events were observed: pinning, collisions, and induced curvature. Of these three, collisions accounted for the majority of event leading to ring/spool formation, while the rate of pinning was shown to be dependent on the amount of photodamage in the system. We further showed that formation mechanism directly affects the diameter and rotation direction of the resultant rings and spools. Overall, the fundamental understanding described in this work provides a foundation by which the properties of motor-driven, actively assembled nanocomposites may be tailored toward specific applications.« less

  4. Mechanisms Underlying the Active Self-Assembly of Microtubule Rings and Spools.

    PubMed

    VanDelinder, Virginia; Brener, Stephanie; Bachand, George D

    2016-03-14

    Active self-assembly offers a powerful route for the creation of dynamic multiscale structures that are presently inaccessible with standard microfabrication techniques. One such system uses the translation of microtubule filaments by surface-tethered kinesin to actively assemble nanocomposites with bundle, ring, and spool morphologies. Attempts to observe mechanisms involved in this active assembly system have been hampered by experimental difficulties with performing observation during buffer exchange and photodamage from fluorescent excitation. In the present work, we used a custom microfluidic device to remove these limitations and directly study ring/spool formation, including the earliest events (nucleation) that drive subsequent nanocomposite assembly. Three distinct formation events were observed: pinning, collisions, and induced curvature. Of these three, collisions accounted for the majority of event leading to ring/spool formation, while the rate of pinning was shown to be dependent on the amount of photodamage in the system. We further showed that formation mechanism directly affects the diameter and rotation direction of the resultant rings and spools. Overall, the fundamental understanding described in this work provides a foundation by which the properties of motor-driven, actively assembled nanocomposites may be tailored toward specific applications. PMID:26842978

  5. Self-Assembled Structures of Tubulin and Microtubules Complexed with Oppositely Charged Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Case, Ryan; Pfohl, Thomas; Kim, Joon Heon; Lin, Alison; Safinya, Cyrus R.; Miller, Herb P.; Wilson, Les

    2000-03-01

    Tubulin normally polymerizes into hollow cylindrical microtubules, with outer diameters of about 25 nm, in the presence of Mg^2+ ions and GTP at 37^o C. Microtubules can be stabilized with anticancer agents, such as Taxol. We report on synchotron x-ray studies and confocal imaging data that show that tubulin self-assembles in the presence of cationic lipids at room temperature. These complexes form novel structures with length scales up to three times the diameter of microtubules formed under normal conditions. To improve our understanding of these structures, we use x-ray scattering data of self-assembled structures of Taxol-stabilized microtubule - cationic lipid complexes as a comparison. Supported by NSF DMR-9972246, University of California Biotech Research, and Education Program Training Grant 99-14, DFG Pf 375/1-1.

  6. Probing a self-assembled fd virus membrane with a microtubule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Sheng; Pelcovits, Robert A.; Hagan, Michael F.

    2016-06-01

    The self-assembly of highly anisotropic colloidal particles leads to a rich variety of morphologies whose properties are just beginning to be understood. This article uses computer simulations to probe a particle-scale perturbation of a commonly studied colloidal assembly, a monolayer membrane composed of rodlike fd viruses in the presence of a polymer depletant. Motivated by experiments currently in progress, we simulate the interaction between a microtubule and a monolayer membrane as the microtubule "pokes" and penetrates the membrane face-on. Both the viruses and the microtubule are modeled as hard spherocylinders of the same diameter, while the depletant is modeled using ghost spheres. We find that the force exerted on the microtubule by the membrane is zero either when the microtubule is completely outside the membrane or when it has fully penetrated the membrane. The microtubule is initially repelled by the membrane as it begins to penetrate but experiences an attractive force as it penetrates further. We assess the roles played by translational and rotational fluctuations of the viruses and the osmotic pressure of the polymer depletant. We find that rotational fluctuations play a more important role than the translational ones. The dependence on the osmotic pressure of the depletant of the width and height of the repulsive barrier and the depth of the attractive potential well is consistent with the assumed depletion-induced attractive interaction between the microtubule and viruses. We discuss the relevance of these studies to the experimental investigations.

  7. Dependency of microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) for tubulin stability and assembly; use of estramustine phosphate in the study of microtubules.

    PubMed

    Fridén, B; Wallin, M

    1991-07-10

    Microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) were separated from tubulin with several different methods. The ability of the isolated MAPs to reinduce assembly of phosphocellulose purified tubulin differed markedly between the different methods. MAPs isolated by addition of 0.35 M NaCl to taxol-stabilized microtubules stimulated tubulin assembly most effectively, while addition of 0.6 M NaCl produced MAPs with a substantially lower ability to stimulate tubulin assembly. The second best preparation was achieved with phosphocellulose chromatographic separation of MAPs with 0.6 M NaCl elution. The addition of estramustine phosphate to microtubules reconstituted of MAPs prepared by 0.35 M NaCl or phosphocellulose chromatography, induced less disassembly than for microtubules assembled from unseparated proteins, and was almost without effect on microtubules reconstituted from MAPs prepared by taxol and 0.6 M NaCl. Estramustine phosphate binds to the tubulin binding part of the MAPs, and the results do therefore indicate that the MAPs are altered by the separation methods. Since the MAPs are regarded as highly stable molecules, one probable alteration could be aggregation of the MAPs, as also indicated by the results. The purified tubulin itself seemed not to be affected by the phosphocellulose purification, since the microtubule proteins were unchanged by the low buffer strenght used during the cromatography. However, the assembly competence after a prolonged incubation of the microtubule proteins at 4 degrees C was dependent on intact bindings between the tubulin and MAPs. PMID:1681420

  8. A genetic analysis of microtubule assembly and function in yeast

    SciTech Connect

    Solomon, F.; Guenette, S.; Kirkpatrick, D.; Praitis, V.; Weinstein, B.; Archer, J.

    1993-12-31

    The major goal of our laboratory`s research is to understand how cells organize their cytoskeletons to produce motility: specific patterns of shape change, intracellular motility and locomotion. We focus primarily on microtubules. We appreciate that results from several laboratories including our own, suggest that microtubule function is expressed in part through interactions with other elements of the cytoskeleton and other cellular compartments, such as the plasma membrane. However, focusing on microtubules represents a justifiable reduction, since a wide variety of drug interference and localization experiments support the notion that intact microtubules are essential for each of these motile phenomena. The primary problem facing this field is understanding how microtubule structure and function is regulated in vivo. Although there are a variety of excellent experimental systems which permit detailed analyses of behavior in vitro, the extrapolation of these results to the situation in the cytoplasm is problematic. These efforts have been boosted significantly in the last several years by two advances: first, traditionally excellent genetic organisms, such as the yeasts, have been enlisted in the study of motility; second, molecular biology has enabled {open_quotes}pseudo-genetic{close_quotes} approaches in animal cells which display the most interesting of motile phenomena. Our laboratory is involved in both of these efforts. In the present report, we will summarize our present approaches using yeast.

  9. Contributions of microtubule rotation and dynamic instability to kinetochore capture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sweezy-Schindler, Oliver; Edelmaier, Christopher; Blackwell, Robert; Glaser, Matt; Betterton, Meredith

    2014-03-01

    The capture of lost kinetochores (KCs) by microtubules (MTs) is a crucial part of prometaphase during mitosis. Microtubule dynamic instability has been considered the primary mechanism of KC capture, but recent work discovered that lateral KC attachment to pivoting MTs enabled rapid capture even with significantly reduced MT dynamics. We aim to understand the relative contributions of MT rotational diffusion and dynamic instability to KC capture, as well as KC capture through end-on and/or lateral attachment. Our model consists of rigid MTs and a spherical KC, which are allowed to diffuse inside a spherical nuclear envelope consistent with the geometry of fission yeast. For simplicity, we include a single spindle pole body, which is anchored to the nuclear membrane, and its associated polar MTs. Brownian dynamics treats the diffusion of the MTs and KC and kinetic Monte Carlo models stochastic processes such as dynamic instability. NSF 1546021.

  10. Dictyoceratidan poisons: Defined mark on microtubule-tubulin dynamics.

    PubMed

    Gnanambal K, Mary Elizabeth; Lakshmipathy, Shailaja Vommi

    2016-03-01

    Tubulin/microtubule assembly and disassembly is characterized as one of the chief processes during cell growth and division. Hence drugs those perturb these process are considered to be effective in killing fast multiplying cancer cells. There is a collection of natural compounds which disturb microtubule/tubulin dis/assemblage and there have been a lot of efforts concerted in the marine realm too, to surveying such killer molecules. Close to half the natural compounds shooting out from marine invertebrates are generally with no traceable definite mechanisms of action though may be tough anti-cancerous hits at nanogram levels, hence fatefully those discoveries conclude therein without a capacity of translation from laboratory to pharmacy. Astoundingly at least 50% of natural compounds which have definite mechanisms of action causing disorders in tubulin/microtubule kinetics have an isolation history from sponges belonging to the Phylum: Porifera. Poriferans have always been a wonder worker to treat cancers with a choice of, yet precise targets on cancerous tissues. There is a specific order: Dictyoceratida within this Phylum which has contributed to yielding at least 50% of effective compounds possessing this unique mechanism of action mentioned above. However, not much notice is driven to Dictyoceratidans alongside the order: Demospongiae thus dictating the need to know its select microtubule/tubulin irritants since the unearthing of avarol in the year 1974 till date. Hence this review selectively pinpoints all the compounds, noteworthy derivatives and analogs stemming from order: Dictyoceratida focusing on the past, present and future. PMID:26874035

  11. Nonlinear dynamics of dipoles in microtubules: Pseudospin model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nesterov, Alexander I.; Ramírez, Mónica F.; Berman, Gennady P.; Mavromatos, Nick E.

    2016-06-01

    We perform a theoretical study of the dynamics of the electric field excitations in a microtubule by taking into consideration the realistic cylindrical geometry, dipole-dipole interactions of the tubulin-based protein heterodimers, the radial electric field produced by the solvent, and a possible degeneracy of energy states of individual heterodimers. The consideration is done in the frame of the classical pseudospin model. We derive the system of nonlinear dynamical partial differential equations of motion for interacting dipoles and the continuum version of these equations. We obtain the solutions of these equations in the form of snoidal waves, solitons, kinks, and localized spikes. Our results will help to achieve a better understanding of the functional properties of microtubules including the motor protein dynamics and the information transfer processes. Our considerations are based on classical dynamics. Some speculations on the role of possible quantum effects are also made.

  12. Increased microtubule assembly rates influence chromosomal instability in colorectal cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Ertych, Norman; Stolz, Ailine; Stenzinger, Albrecht; Weichert, Wilko; Kaulfuß, Silke; Burfeind, Peter; Aigner, Achim; Wordeman, Linda; Bastians, Holger

    2014-08-01

    Chromosomal instability (CIN) is defined as the perpetual missegregation of whole chromosomes during mitosis and represents a hallmark of human cancer. However, the mechanisms influencing CIN and its consequences on tumour growth are largely unknown. We identified an increase in microtubule plus-end assembly rates as a mechanism influencing CIN in colorectal cancer cells. This phenotype is induced by overexpression of the oncogene AURKA or by loss of the tumour suppressor gene CHK2, a genetic constitution found in 73% of human colorectal cancers. Increased microtubule assembly rates are associated with transient abnormalities in mitotic spindle geometry promoting the generation of lagging chromosomes and influencing CIN. Reconstitution of proper microtubule assembly rates by chemical or genetic means suppresses CIN and thereby, unexpectedly, accelerates tumour growth in vitro and in vivo. Thus, we identify a fundamental mechanism influencing CIN in cancer cells and reveal its adverse consequence on tumour growth. PMID:24976383

  13. Kinetics of self-assembling microtubules: an "inverse problem" in biochemistry.

    PubMed

    Flyvbjerg, H; Jobs, E; Leibler, S

    1996-06-11

    Experimental time series for a nonequilibrium reaction may in some cases contain sufficient data to determine a unique kinetic model for the reaction by a systematic mathematical analysis. As an example, a kinetic model for the self-assembly of microtubules is derived here from turbidity time series for solutions in which microtubules assemble. The model may be seen as a generalization of Oosawa's classical nucleation-polymerization model. It reproduces the experimental data with a four-stage nucleation process and a critical nucleus of 15 monomers. PMID:8650204

  14. Dissecting the Function and Assembly of Acentriolar Microtubule Organizing Centers in Drosophila Cells In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Baumbach, Janina; Novak, Zsofia Anna; Raff, Jordan W.; Wainman, Alan

    2015-01-01

    Acentriolar microtubule organizing centers (aMTOCs) are formed during meiosis and mitosis in several cell types, but their function and assembly mechanism is unclear. Importantly, aMTOCs can be overactive in cancer cells, enhancing multipolar spindle formation, merotelic kinetochore attachment and aneuploidy. Here we show that aMTOCs can form in acentriolar Drosophila somatic cells in vivo via an assembly pathway that depends on Asl, Cnn and, to a lesser extent, Spd-2—the same proteins that appear to drive mitotic centrosome assembly in flies. This finding enabled us to ablate aMTOC formation in acentriolar cells, and so perform a detailed genetic analysis of the contribution of aMTOCs to acentriolar mitotic spindle formation. Here we show that although aMTOCs can nucleate microtubules, they do not detectably increase the efficiency of acentriolar spindle assembly in somatic fly cells. We find that they are required, however, for robust microtubule array assembly in cells without centrioles that also lack microtubule nucleation from around the chromatin. Importantly, aMTOCs are also essential for dynein-dependent acentriolar spindle pole focusing and for robust cell proliferation in the absence of centrioles and HSET/Ncd (a kinesin essential for acentriolar spindle pole focusing in many systems). We propose an updated model for acentriolar spindle pole coalescence by the molecular motors Ncd/HSET and dynein in conjunction with aMTOCs. PMID:26020779

  15. Dissecting the function and assembly of acentriolar microtubule organizing centers in Drosophila cells in vivo.

    PubMed

    Baumbach, Janina; Novak, Zsofia Anna; Raff, Jordan W; Wainman, Alan

    2015-05-01

    Acentriolar microtubule organizing centers (aMTOCs) are formed during meiosis and mitosis in several cell types, but their function and assembly mechanism is unclear. Importantly, aMTOCs can be overactive in cancer cells, enhancing multipolar spindle formation, merotelic kinetochore attachment and aneuploidy. Here we show that aMTOCs can form in acentriolar Drosophila somatic cells in vivo via an assembly pathway that depends on Asl, Cnn and, to a lesser extent, Spd-2--the same proteins that appear to drive mitotic centrosome assembly in flies. This finding enabled us to ablate aMTOC formation in acentriolar cells, and so perform a detailed genetic analysis of the contribution of aMTOCs to acentriolar mitotic spindle formation. Here we show that although aMTOCs can nucleate microtubules, they do not detectably increase the efficiency of acentriolar spindle assembly in somatic fly cells. We find that they are required, however, for robust microtubule array assembly in cells without centrioles that also lack microtubule nucleation from around the chromatin. Importantly, aMTOCs are also essential for dynein-dependent acentriolar spindle pole focusing and for robust cell proliferation in the absence of centrioles and HSET/Ncd (a kinesin essential for acentriolar spindle pole focusing in many systems). We propose an updated model for acentriolar spindle pole coalescence by the molecular motors Ncd/HSET and dynein in conjunction with aMTOCs. PMID:26020779

  16. Divergent microtubule assembly rates after short- versus long-term loss of end-modulating kinesins

    PubMed Central

    Wordeman, Linda; Decarreau, Justin; Vicente, Juan Jesus; Wagenbach, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Depletion of microtubule (MT) regulators can initiate stable alterations in MT assembly rates that affect chromosome instability and mitotic spindle function, but the manner by which cellular MT assembly rates can stably increase or decrease is not understood. To investigate this phenomenon, we measured the response of microtubule assembly to both rapid and long-term loss of MT regulators MCAK/Kif2C and Kif18A. Depletion of MCAK/Kif2C by siRNA stably decreases MT assembly rates in mitotic spindles, whereas depletion of Kif18A stably increases rates of assembly. Surprisingly, this is not phenocopied by rapid rapamycin-dependent relocalization of MCAK/Kif2C and Kif18A to the plasma membrane. Instead, this treatment yields opposite affects on MT assembly. Rapidly increased MT assembly rates are balanced by a decrease in nucleated microtubules, whereas nucleation appears to be maximal and limiting for decreased MT assembly rates and also for long-term treatments. We measured amplified tubulin synthesis during long-term depletion of MT regulators and hypothesize that this is the basis for different phenotypes arising from long-term versus rapid depletion of MT regulators. PMID:26912793

  17. Xenopus TACC1 is a microtubule plus-end tracking protein that can regulate microtubule dynamics during embryonic development.

    PubMed

    Lucaj, Christopher M; Evans, Matthew F; Nwagbara, Belinda U; Ebbert, Patrick T; Baker, Charlie C; Volk, Joseph G; Francl, Andrew F; Ruvolo, Sean P; Lowery, Laura Anne

    2015-05-01

    Microtubule plus-end dynamics are regulated by a family of proteins called plus-end tracking proteins (+TIPs). We recently demonstrated that the transforming acidic coiled-coil (TACC) domain family member, TACC3, can function as a +TIP to regulate microtubule dynamics in Xenopus laevis embryonic cells. Although it has been previously reported that TACC3 is the only TACC family member that exists in Xenopus, our examination of its genome determined that Xenopus, like all other vertebrates, contains three TACC family members. Here, we investigate the localization and function of Xenopus TACC1, the founding member of the TACC family. We demonstrate that it can act as a +TIP to regulate microtubule dynamics, and that the conserved C-terminal TACC domain is required for its localization to plus-ends. We also show that, in Xenopus embryonic mesenchymal cells, TACC1 and TACC3 are each required for maintaining normal microtubule growth speed but exhibit some functional redundancy in the regulation of microtubule growth lifetime. Given the conservation of TACC1 in Xenopus and other vertebrates, we propose that Xenopus laevis is a useful system to investigate unexplored cell biological functions of TACC1 and other TACC family members in the regulation of microtubule dynamics. PMID:26012630

  18. Effects of tertiary amine local anesthetics on the assembly and disassembly of brain microtubules in vitro.

    PubMed

    Genna, J M; Coffe, G; Pudles, J

    1980-09-01

    From kinetic and electron microscopy studies on the effects of procaine, tetracaine and dibucaine on the polymerization and depolymerization of the microtubules isolated from pig and rat brains the following results were obtained. 1. Procaine or tetracaine, at the concentration range of 0.5--20 mM and of 0.5--5 mM respectively, increases the rate of tubulin polymerization (24 degrees C or 37 degrees C) and of microtubule depolymerization (4 degrees C) as a linear function of the concentration of the anesthetics, while identical amounts of microtubules are formed. In the absence of microtubule-associated proteins the polymerization of tubulin is not induced by 10 mM procaine, furthermore, the critical concentration of microtubule proteins necessary for assembly into microtubules is not affected at this concentration level of the anesthetic. This suggests that procaine affects not the nucleation, but rather the elongation process. 2. Dibucaine, from 0.5 mM to 3 mM increases the lag time of the polymerization reaction, while from 0.5 mM to 2 mM it linearly decreases both tubulin polymerization (24 degrees C) and microtubule depolymerization (4 degrees C) rates. Dibucaine, up to mM concentration, does not affect the extent of tubulin polymerization; however, above this concentration it induces the formation of amorphous aggregates. 3. Procaine or tetracaine enhances the depolymerizing effect of calcium on microtubules. The half-maximal values for the depolymerizing effect of calcium were 0.96, 0.71 and 0.51 mM for the control, in the presence of 10 mM procaine and 5 mM tetracaine respectively. PMID:7439170

  19. Theory of self-assembly of microtubules and motors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aranson, Igor S.; Tsimring, Lev S.

    2006-09-01

    We derive a model describing spatiotemporal organization of an array of microtubules interacting via molecular motors. Starting from a stochastic model of inelastic polar rods with a generic anisotropic interaction kernel, we obtain a set of equations for the local rods concentration and orientation. At large enough mean density of rods and concentration of motors, the model describes an orientational instability. We demonstrate that the orientational instability leads to the formation of vortices and (for large density and/or kernel anisotropy) asters seen in recent experiments. We derive the specific form of the interaction kernel from the detailed analysis of microscopic interaction of two filaments mediated by a moving molecular motor and extend our results to include variable motor density and motor attachment to the substrate.

  20. Theory of self-assembly of microtubules and motors.

    SciTech Connect

    Aranson, I. S.; Tsimring, L. S.; Materials Science Division; Univ. California at San Diego

    2006-01-01

    We derive a model describing spatiotemporal organization of an array of microtubules interacting via molecular motors. Starting from a stochastic model of inelastic polar rods with a generic anisotropic interaction kernel, we obtain a set of equations for the local rods concentration and orientation. At large enough mean density of rods and concentration of motors, the model describes an orientational instability. We demonstrate that the orientational instability leads to the formation of vortices and (for large density and/or kernel anisotropy) asters seen in recent experiments. We derive the specific form of the interaction kernel from the detailed analysis of microscopic interaction of two filaments mediated by a moving molecular motor and extend our results to include variable motor density and motor attachment to the substrate.

  1. Steady-state theory of the interference of GTP hydrolysis in the mechanism of microtubule assembly.

    PubMed Central

    Hill, T L; Carlier, M F

    1983-01-01

    A model is presented for the interference of GTP hydrolysis in the mechanism of microtubule assembly. This model is suggested by previous results showing that both GTP and GDP are present at microtubule ends because of GTP hydrolysis and that tubulin does not bind to a GDP-bound end. The analytical theory developed here is aimed at calculation of the steady-state subunit flux at one end of the polymer. The GTP/GDP features just mentioned result in a nonlinear plot of the flux versus tubulin concentration. Microtubules are predicted to exhibit a different kinetic behavior below and above the critical concentration, which can be considered as a transition between two regimes. PMID:6580643

  2. Phosphorylation of tau by glycogen synthase kinase 3beta affects the ability of tau to promote microtubule self-assembly.

    PubMed Central

    Utton, M A; Vandecandelaere, A; Wagner, U; Reynolds, C H; Gibb, G M; Miller, C C; Bayley, P M; Anderton, B H

    1997-01-01

    To study the effects of phosphorylation by glycogen synthase kinase-3beta (GSK-3beta) on the ability of the microtubule-associated protein tau to promote microtubule self-assembly, tau isoform 1 (foetal tau) and three mutant forms of this tau isoform were investigated. The three mutant forms of tau had the following serine residues, known to be phosphorylated by GSK-3, replaced with alanine residues so as to preclude their phosphorylation: (1) Ser-199 and Ser-202 (Ser-199/202-->Ala), (2) Ser-235 (Ser-235-->Ala) and (3) Ser-396 and Ser-404 (Ser-396/404-->Ala). Wild-type tau and the mutant forms of tau were phosphorylated with GSK-3beta, and their ability to promote microtubule self-assembly was compared with the corresponding non-phosphorylated tau species. In the non-phosphorylated form, wild-type tau and all of the mutants affected the mean microtubule length and number concentrations of assembled microtubules in a manner consistant with enhanced microtubule nucleation. Phosphorylation of these tau species with GSK-3beta consistently reduced the ability of a given tau species to promote microtubule self-assembly, although the affinity of the tau for the microtubules was not greatly affected by phosphorylation since the tau species remained largely associated with the microtubules. This suggests that the regulation of microtubule assembly can be controlled by phosphorylation of tau at sites accessible to GSK-3beta by a mechanism that does not necessarily involve the dissociation of tau from the microtubules. PMID:9169608

  3. Stable kinetochore–microtubule attachment is sufficient to silence the spindle assembly checkpoint in human cells

    PubMed Central

    Tauchman, Eric C.; Boehm, Frederick J.; DeLuca, Jennifer G.

    2015-01-01

    During mitosis, duplicated sister chromatids attach to microtubules emanating from opposing sides of the bipolar spindle through large protein complexes called kinetochores. In the absence of stable kinetochore–microtubule attachments, a cell surveillance mechanism known as the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) produces an inhibitory signal that prevents anaphase onset. Precisely how the inhibitory SAC signal is extinguished in response to microtubule attachment remains unresolved. To address this, we induced formation of hyper-stable kinetochore–microtubule attachments in human cells using a non-phosphorylatable version of the protein Hec1, a core component of the attachment machinery. We find that stable attachments are sufficient to silence the SAC in the absence of sister kinetochore bi-orientation and strikingly in the absence of detectable microtubule pulling forces or tension. Furthermore, we find that SAC satisfaction occurs despite the absence of large changes in intra-kinetochore distance, suggesting that substantial kinetochore stretching is not required for quenching the SAC signal. PMID:26620470

  4. Kinesin-13 regulates flagellar, interphase, and mitotic microtubule dynamics in Giardia intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Dawson, Scott C; Sagolla, Meredith S; Mancuso, Joel J; Woessner, David J; House, Susan A; Fritz-Laylin, Lillian; Cande, W Zacheus

    2007-12-01

    Microtubule depolymerization dynamics in the spindle are regulated by kinesin-13, a nonprocessive kinesin motor protein that depolymerizes microtubules at the plus and minus ends. Here we show that a single kinesin-13 homolog regulates flagellar length dynamics, as well as other interphase and mitotic dynamics in Giardia intestinalis, a widespread parasitic diplomonad protist. Both green fluorescent protein-tagged kinesin-13 and EB1 (a plus-end tracking protein) localize to the plus ends of mitotic and interphase microtubules, including a novel localization to the eight flagellar tips, cytoplasmic anterior axonemes, and the median body. The ectopic expression of a kinesin-13 (S280N) rigor mutant construct caused significant elongation of the eight flagella with significant decreases in the median body volume and resulted in mitotic defects. Notably, drugs that disrupt normal interphase and mitotic microtubule dynamics also affected flagellar length in Giardia. Our study extends recent work on interphase and mitotic kinesin-13 functioning in metazoans to include a role in regulating flagellar length dynamics. We suggest that kinesin-13 universally regulates both mitotic and interphase microtubule dynamics in diverse microbial eukaryotes and propose that axonemal microtubules are subject to the same regulation of microtubule dynamics as other dynamic microtubule arrays. Finally, the present study represents the first use of a dominant-negative strategy to disrupt normal protein function in Giardia and provides important insights into giardial microtubule dynamics with relevance to the development of antigiardial compounds that target critical functions of kinesins in the giardial life cycle. PMID:17766466

  5. DDA3 associates with microtubule plus ends and orchestrates microtubule dynamics and directional cell migration

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Liangyu; Shao, Hengyi; Zhu, Tongge; Xia, Peng; Wang, Zhikai; Liu, Lifang; Yan, Maomao; Hill, Donald L.; Fang, Guowei; Chen, Zhengjun; Wang, Dongmei; Yao, Xuebiao

    2013-01-01

    Cell motility and adhesion involve orchestrated interaction of microtubules (MTs) with their plus-end tracking proteins (+TIPs). However, the mechanisms underlying regulations of MT dynamics and directional cell migration are still elusive. Here, we show that DDA3-EB1 interaction orchestrates MT plus-end dynamics and facilitates directional cell migration. Biochemical characterizations reveal that DDA3 interacts with EB1 via its SxIP motif within the C-terminal Pro/Ser-rich region. Time-lapse and total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopic assays demonstrate that DDA3 exhibits EB1-dependent, MT plus-end loading and tracking. The EB1-based loading of DDA3 is responsible for MT plus-ends stabilization at the cell cortex, which in turn orchestrates directional cell migration. Interestingly, the DDA3-EB1 interaction is potentially regulated by EB1 acetylation, which may account for physiological regulation underlying EGF-elicited cell migration. Thus, the EB1-based function of DDA3 links MT dynamics to directional cell migration. PMID:23652583

  6. Dynamic Nanoparticles Assemblies

    PubMed Central

    WANG, LIBING; XU, LIGUANG; KUANG, HUA; XU, CHUANLAI; KOTOV, NICHOLAS A.

    2012-01-01

    CONSPECTUS Importance Although nanoparticle (NP) assemblies are at the beginning of their development, their unique geometrical shapes and media-responsive optical, electronic and magnetic properties have attracted significant interest. Nanoscale assembly bridges multiple sizes of materials: individual nanoparticles, discrete molecule-like or virus-like nanoscale agglomerates, microscale devices, and macroscale materials. The capacity to self-assemble can greatly facilitate the integration of nanotechnology with other technologies and, in particular, with microscale fabrication. In this Account, we describe developments in the emerging field of dynamic NP assemblies, which are spontaneously formed superstructures containing more than two inorganic nanoscale particles that display ability to change their geometrical, physical, chemical, and other attributes. In many ways, dynamic assemblies can represent a bottleneck in the ‘bottom-up’ fabrication of NP-based devices because they can produce a much greater variety of assemblies, but they also provide a convenient tool for variation of geometries and dimensions of nanoparticle assemblies. Classification Superstructures of NPs (and those held together by similar intrinsic forces) are classified into two groups: Class 1 where media and external fields can alter shape, conformation, and order of stable superstructures with a nearly constant number same. The future development of successful dynamic assemblies requires understanding the equilibrium in dynamic NP systems. The dynamic nature of Class 1 assemblies is associated with the equilibrium between different conformations of a superstructure and is comparable to the isomerization in classical chemistry. Class 2 assemblies involve the formation and/or breakage of linkages between the NPs, which is analogous to the classical chemical equilibrium for the formation of a molecule from atoms. Finer classification of NP assemblies in accord with established conventions

  7. Microtubule dynamic instability: the role of cracks between protofilaments.

    PubMed

    Li, Chunlei; Li, Jun; Goodson, Holly V; Alber, Mark S

    2014-03-28

    Microtubules (MTs) are cytoplasmic protein polymers that are essential for fundamental cellular processes including the maintenance of cell shape, organelle transport and formation of the mitotic spindle. Microtubule dynamic instability is critical for these processes, but it remains poorly understood, in part because the relationship between the structure of the MT tip and the growth/depolymerization transitions is enigmatic. In previous work, we used computational models of dynamic instability to provide evidence that cracks (laterally unbonded regions) between protofilaments play a key role in the regulation of dynamic instability. Here we use computational models to investigate the connection between cracks and dynamic instability in more detail. Our work indicates that while cracks contribute to dynamic instability in a fundamental way, it is not the depth of the cracks per se that governs MT dynamic instability. Instead, what matters more is whether the cracks terminate in GTP-rich or GDP-rich regions of the MT. Based on these observations, we suggest that a functional "GTP cap" (i.e., one capable of promoting MT growth) is one where the cracks terminate in pairs of GTP-bound subunits, and that the likelihood of catastrophe rises significantly with the fraction of crack-terminating subunits that contain GDP. In addition to helping clarify the mechanism of dynamic instability, this idea could also explain how MT stabilizers work: proteins that introduce lateral cross-links between protofilaments would produce islands of GDP-bound tubulin that mimic GTP-rich regions in having strong lateral bonds, thus reducing crack propagation, suppressing catastrophe and promoting rescue. PMID:24652487

  8. Tau Assembly: The Dominant Role of PHF6 (VQIVYK) in Microtubule Binding Region Repeat R3

    PubMed Central

    Ganguly, Pritam; Do, Thanh D.; Larini, Luca; LaPointe, Nichole E.; Sercel, Alexander J.; Shade, Madeleine F.; Feinstein, Stuart C.; Bowers, Michael T.; Shea, Joan-Emma

    2015-01-01

    Self-aggregation of the microtubule-binding protein Tau reduces its functionality and is tightly associated with Tau-related diseases, termed tauopathies. Tau aggregation is also strongly associated with two nucleating six-residue segments, namely PHF6 (VQIVYK) and PHF6* (VQIINK). In this paper, using experiments and computational modeling, we study the self-assembly of individual and binary mixtures of Tau fragments containing PHF6* (R2/wt; 273GKVQIINKKLDL284) and PHF6 (R3/wt; 306VQIVYKPVDLSK317), and a mutant R2/ΔK280 associated with a neurodegenerative tauopathy. The initial stage of aggregation is probed by ion-mobility mass spectrometry, the kinetics of aggregation monitored with Thioflavin T assays and the morphology of aggregates visualized by transmission electron microscopy. Insights into the structure of early aggregates and the factors stabilizing the aggregates are obtained from replica exchange molecular dynamics simulations. Our data suggest that R3/wt has a much stronger aggregation propensity than either R2/wt or R2/ΔK280. Heterodimers containing R3/wt are less stable than R3/wt homodimers but much more stable than homodimers of R2/wt and R2/ΔK280, suggesting a possible role of PHF6*/PHF6 interactions in initiating the aggregation of full length Tau. Lastly, R2/ΔK280 binds stronger to R3/wt than R2/wt suggesting a possible mechanism for a pathological loss of normal Tau function. PMID:25775228

  9. Tank binding kinase 1 is a centrosome-associated kinase necessary for microtubule dynamics and mitosis

    PubMed Central

    Pillai, Smitha; Nguyen, Jonathan; Johnson, Joseph; Haura, Eric; Coppola, Domenico; Chellappan, Srikumar

    2015-01-01

    TANK Binding Kinase 1 (TBK1) is a non-canonical IκB kinase that contributes to KRAS-driven lung cancer. Here we report that TBK1 plays essential roles in mammalian cell division. Specifically, levels of active phospho-TBK1 increase during mitosis and localize to centrosomes, mitotic spindles and midbody, and selective inhibition or silencing of TBK1 triggers defects in spindle assembly and prevents mitotic progression. TBK1 binds to the centrosomal protein CEP170 and to the mitotic apparatus protein NuMA, and both CEP170 and NuMA are TBK1 substrates. Further, TBK1 is necessary for CEP170 centrosomal localization and binding to the microtubule depolymerase Kif2b, and for NuMA binding to dynein. Finally, selective disruption of the TBK1–CEP170 complex augments microtubule stability and triggers defects in mitosis, suggesting that TBK1 functions as a mitotic kinase necessary for microtubule dynamics and mitosis. PMID:26656453

  10. TOG Proteins Are Spatially Regulated by Rac-GSK3β to Control Interphase Microtubule Dynamics.

    PubMed

    Trogden, Kathryn P; Rogers, Stephen L

    2015-01-01

    Microtubules are regulated by a diverse set of proteins that localize to microtubule plus ends (+TIPs) where they regulate dynamic instability and mediate interactions with the cell cortex, actin filaments, and organelles. Although individual +TIPs have been studied in depth and we understand their basic contributions to microtubule dynamics, there is a growing body of evidence that these proteins exhibit cross-talk and likely function to collectively integrate microtubule behavior and upstream signaling pathways. In this study, we have identified a novel protein-protein interaction between the XMAP215 homologue in Drosophila, Mini spindles (Msps), and the CLASP homologue, Orbit. These proteins have been shown to promote and suppress microtubule dynamics, respectively. We show that microtubule dynamics are regionally controlled in cells by Rac acting to suppress GSK3β in the peripheral lamellae/lamellipodium. Phosphorylation of Orbit by GSK3β triggers a relocalization of Msps from the microtubule plus end to the lattice. Mutation of the Msps-Orbit binding site revealed that this interaction is required for regulating microtubule dynamic instability in the cell periphery. Based on our findings, we propose that Msps is a novel Rac effector that acts, in partnership with Orbit, to regionally regulate microtubule dynamics. PMID:26406596

  11. TOG Proteins Are Spatially Regulated by Rac-GSK3β to Control Interphase Microtubule Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Trogden, Kathryn P.; Rogers, Stephen L.

    2015-01-01

    Microtubules are regulated by a diverse set of proteins that localize to microtubule plus ends (+TIPs) where they regulate dynamic instability and mediate interactions with the cell cortex, actin filaments, and organelles. Although individual +TIPs have been studied in depth and we understand their basic contributions to microtubule dynamics, there is a growing body of evidence that these proteins exhibit cross-talk and likely function to collectively integrate microtubule behavior and upstream signaling pathways. In this study, we have identified a novel protein-protein interaction between the XMAP215 homologue in Drosophila, Mini spindles (Msps), and the CLASP homologue, Orbit. These proteins have been shown to promote and suppress microtubule dynamics, respectively. We show that microtubule dynamics are regionally controlled in cells by Rac acting to suppress GSK3β in the peripheral lamellae/lamellipodium. Phosphorylation of Orbit by GSK3β triggers a relocalization of Msps from the microtubule plus end to the lattice. Mutation of the Msps-Orbit binding site revealed that this interaction is required for regulating microtubule dynamic instability in the cell periphery. Based on our findings, we propose that Msps is a novel Rac effector that acts, in partnership with Orbit, to regionally regulate microtubule dynamics. PMID:26406596

  12. Tunable dynamics of microtubule-based active isotropic gels

    PubMed Central

    Henkin, Gil; DeCamp, Stephen J.; Chen, Daniel T. N.; Sanchez, Tim; Dogic, Zvonimir

    2014-01-01

    We investigate the dynamics of an active gel of bundled microtubules (MTs) that is driven by clusters of kinesin molecular motors. Upon the addition of ATP, the coordinated action of thousands of molecular motors drives the gel to a highly dynamical turbulent-like state that persists for hours and is only limited by the stability of constituent proteins and the availability of the chemical fuel. We characterize how enhanced transport and emergent macroscopic flows of active gels depend on relevant molecular parameters, including ATP, kinesin motor and depletant concentrations, MT volume fraction, as well as the stoichiometry of the constituent motor clusters. Our results show that the dynamical and structural properties of MT-based active gels are highly tunable. They also indicate existence of an optimal concentration of molecular motors that maximize far-from-equilibrium activity of active isotropic MT gels. PMID:25332391

  13. Self-Organization of Anastral Spindles by Synergy of Dynamic Instability, Autocatalytic Microtubule Production, and a Spatial Signaling Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Clausen, Thomas; Ribbeck, Katharina

    2007-01-01

    Assembly of the mitotic spindle is a classic example of macromolecular self-organization. During spindle assembly, microtubules (MTs) accumulate around chromatin. In centrosomal spindles, centrosomes at the spindle poles are the dominating source of MT production. However, many systems assemble anastral spindles, i.e., spindles without centrosomes at the poles. How anastral spindles produce and maintain a high concentration of MTs in the absence of centrosome-catalyzed MT production is unknown. With a combined biochemistry-computer simulation approach, we show that the concerted activity of three components can efficiently concentrate microtubules (MTs) at chromatin: (1) an external stimulus in form of a RanGTP gradient centered on chromatin, (2) a feed-back loop where MTs induce production of new MTs, and (3) continuous re-organization of MT structures by dynamic instability. The mechanism proposed here can generate and maintain a dissipative MT super-structure within a RanGTP gradient. PMID:17330139

  14. Inhibition of microtubule dynamics impedes repair of kidney ischemia/reperfusion injury and increases fibrosis.

    PubMed

    Han, Sang Jun; Kim, Ji-Hyeon; Kim, Jee In; Park, Kwon Moo

    2016-01-01

    The microtubule cytoskeleton is composed of α-tubulin and β-tubulin heterodimers, and it serves to regulate the shape, motility, and division of a cell. Post-translational modifications including acetylation are closely associated with the functional aspects of the microtubule, involving in a number of pathological diseases. However, the role of microtubule acetylation in acute kidney injury (AKI) and progression of AKI to chronic kidney disease have yet to be understood. In this study, ischemia/reperfusion (I/R), a major cause of AKI, resulted in deacetylation of the microtubules with a decrease in α-tubulin acetyltransferase 1 (α-TAT1). Paclitaxel (taxol), an agent that stabilizes microtubules by tubulin acetylation, treatment during the recovery phase following I/R injury inhibited tubular cell proliferation, impaired renal functional recovery, and worsened fibrosis. Taxol induced α-tubulin acetylation and post-I/R cell cycle arrest. Taxol aggregated the microtubule in the cytoplasm, resulting in suppression of microtubule dynamics. Our studies have demonstrated for the first time that I/R induced deacetylation of the microtubules, and that inhibition of microtubule dynamics retarded repair of injured tubular epithelial cells leading to an acceleration of fibrosis. This suggests that microtubule dynamics plays an important role in the processes of repair and fibrosis after AKI. PMID:27270990

  15. Inhibition of microtubule dynamics impedes repair of kidney ischemia/reperfusion injury and increases fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Han, Sang Jun; Kim, Ji-Hyeon; Kim, Jee In; Park, Kwon Moo

    2016-01-01

    The microtubule cytoskeleton is composed of α-tubulin and β-tubulin heterodimers, and it serves to regulate the shape, motility, and division of a cell. Post-translational modifications including acetylation are closely associated with the functional aspects of the microtubule, involving in a number of pathological diseases. However, the role of microtubule acetylation in acute kidney injury (AKI) and progression of AKI to chronic kidney disease have yet to be understood. In this study, ischemia/reperfusion (I/R), a major cause of AKI, resulted in deacetylation of the microtubules with a decrease in α-tubulin acetyltransferase 1 (α-TAT1). Paclitaxel (taxol), an agent that stabilizes microtubules by tubulin acetylation, treatment during the recovery phase following I/R injury inhibited tubular cell proliferation, impaired renal functional recovery, and worsened fibrosis. Taxol induced α-tubulin acetylation and post-I/R cell cycle arrest. Taxol aggregated the microtubule in the cytoplasm, resulting in suppression of microtubule dynamics. Our studies have demonstrated for the first time that I/R induced deacetylation of the microtubules, and that inhibition of microtubule dynamics retarded repair of injured tubular epithelial cells leading to an acceleration of fibrosis. This suggests that microtubule dynamics plays an important role in the processes of repair and fibrosis after AKI. PMID:27270990

  16. TMAO promotes fibrillization and microtubule assembly activity in the C-terminal repeat region of tau.

    PubMed

    Scaramozzino, Francesca; Peterson, Dylan W; Farmer, Patrick; Gerig, J T; Graves, Donald J; Lew, John

    2006-03-21

    Alzheimer's disease most closely correlates with the appearance of the neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), intracellular fibrous aggregates of the microtubule-associated protein, tau. Under native conditions, tau is an unstructured protein, and its physical characterization has revealed no clues about the three-dimensional structural determinants essential for aggregation or microtubule binding. We have found that the natural osmolyte trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) induces secondary structure in a C-terminal fragment of tau (tau(187)) and greatly promotes both self-aggregation and microtubule (MT) assembly activity. These processes could be distinguished, however, by a single-amino acid substitution (Tyr(310) --> Ala), which severely inhibited aggregation but had no effect on MT assembly activity. The inability of this mutant to aggregate could be completely reversed by TMAO. We propose a model in which TMAO induces partial order in tau(187), resulting in conformers that may correspond to on-pathway intermediates of either aggregation or tau-dependent MT assembly or both. These studies set the stage for future high-resolution structural characterization of these intermediates and the basis by which Tyr(310) may direct pathologic versus normal tau function. PMID:16533051

  17. Molecular mechanisms of Tau binding to microtubules and its role in microtubule dynamics in live cells.

    PubMed

    Breuzard, Gilles; Hubert, Pierre; Nouar, Roqiya; De Bessa, Tiphany; Devred, François; Barbier, Pascale; Sturgis, James N; Peyrot, Vincent

    2013-07-01

    Despite extensive studies, the molecular mechanisms of Tau binding to microtubules (MTs) and its consequences on MT stability still remain unclear. It is especially true in cells where the spatiotemporal distribution of Tau-MT interactions is unknown. Using Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET), we showed that the Tau-MT interaction was distributed along MTs in periodic hotspots of high and low FRET intensities. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) revealed a two-phase exchange of Tau with MTs as a rapid diffusion followed by a slower binding phase. A real-time FRET assay showed that high FRET occurred simultaneously with rescue and pause transitions at MT ends. To further explore the functional interaction of Tau with MTs, the binding of paclitaxel (PTX), tubulin acetylation induced by trichostatin A (TSA), and the expression of non-acetylatable tubulin were used. With PTX and TSA, FRAP curves best fitted a single phase with a long time constant, whereas with non-acetylatable α-tubulin, curves best fitted a two phase recovery. Upon incubation with PTX and TSA, the number of high and low FRET hotspots decreased by up to 50% and no hotspot was observed during rescue and pause transitions. In the presence of non-acetylatable α-tubulin, a 34% increase in low FRET hotspots occurred, and our real-time FRET assay revealed that low FRET hotspots appeared with MTs recovering growth. In conclusion, we have identified, by FRET and FRAP, a discrete Tau-MT interaction, in which Tau could induce conformational changes of MTs, favoring recovery of MT self-assembly. PMID:23659998

  18. The contribution of αβ-tubulin curvature to microtubule dynamics

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Microtubules are dynamic polymers of αβ-tubulin that form diverse cellular structures, such as the mitotic spindle for cell division, the backbone of neurons, and axonemes. To control the architecture of microtubule networks, microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) and motor proteins regulate microtubule growth, shrinkage, and the transitions between these states. Recent evidence shows that many MAPs exert their effects by selectively binding to distinct conformations of polymerized or unpolymerized αβ-tubulin. The ability of αβ-tubulin to adopt distinct conformations contributes to the intrinsic polymerization dynamics of microtubules. αβ-Tubulin conformation is a fundamental property that MAPs monitor and control to build proper microtubule networks. PMID:25385183

  19. Microtubule-dependent transport and dynamics of vimentin intermediate filaments

    PubMed Central

    Hookway, Caroline; Ding, Liya; Davidson, Michael W.; Rappoport, Joshua Z.; Danuser, Gaudenz; Gelfand, Vladimir I.

    2015-01-01

    We studied two aspects of vimentin intermediate filament dynamics—transport of filaments and subunit exchange. We observed transport of long filaments in the periphery of cells using live-cell structured illumination microscopy. We studied filament transport elsewhere in cells using a photoconvertible-vimentin probe and total internal reflection microscopy. We found that filaments were rapidly transported along linear tracks in both anterograde and retrograde directions. Filament transport was microtubule dependent but independent of microtubule polymerization and/or an interaction with the plus end–binding protein APC. We also studied subunit exchange in filaments by long-term imaging after photoconversion. We found that converted vimentin remained in small clusters along the length of filaments rather than redistributing uniformly throughout the network, even in cells that divided after photoconversion. These data show that vimentin filaments do not depolymerize into individual subunits; they recompose by severing and reannealing. Together these results show that vimentin filaments are very dynamic and that their transport is required for network maintenance. PMID:25717187

  20. Suppression of microtubule dynamic instability and turnover in MCF7 breast cancer cells by sulforaphane

    PubMed Central

    Azarenko, Olga; Okouneva, Tatiana; Singletary, Keith W.; Jordan, Mary Ann; Wilson, Leslie

    2008-01-01

    Sulforaphane (SFN), a prominent isothiocyanate present in cruciferous vegetables, is believed to be responsible along with other isothiocyanates for the cancer preventive activity of such vegetables. SFN arrests mitosis, possibly by affecting spindle microtubule function. A critical property of microtubules is their rapid and time-sensitive growth and shortening dynamics (dynamic instability), and suppression of dynamics by antimitotic anticancer drugs (e.g. taxanes and the vinca alkaloids) is central to the anticancer mechanisms of such drugs. We found that at concentrations that inhibited proliferation and mitosis of MCF7-green fluorescent protein-α-tubulin breast tumor cells by ∼50% (∼15 μM), SFN significantly modified microtubule organization in arrested spindles without modulating the spindle microtubule mass, in a manner similar to that of much more powerful antimitotic drugs. By using quantitative fluorescence video microscopy, we determined that at its mitotic concentration required to inhibit mitosis by 50%, SFN suppressed the dynamic instability of the interphase microtubules in these cells, strongly reducing the rate and extent of growth and shortening and decreasing microtubule turnover, without affecting the polymer mass. SFN suppressed the dynamics of purified microtubules in a similar fashion at concentrations well below those required to depolymerize microtubules, indicating that the suppression of dynamic instability by SFN in cells is due to a direct effect on the microtubules. The results indicate that SFN arrests proliferation and mitosis by stabilizing microtubules in a manner weaker than but similar to more powerful clinically used antimitotic anticancer drugs and strongly support the hypothesis that inhibition of mitosis by microtubule stabilization is important for SFN's chemopreventive activity. PMID:18952594

  1. Phase transition analysis of the dynamic instability of microtubules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yarahmadian, Shantia; Yari, Masoud

    2014-09-01

    This paper provides the phase transition analysis of a reaction diffusion equations system modelling the dynamic instability of microtubules (MTs). For this purpose, we have generalized the macroscopic model studied by Mourão et al (2011 Comput. Biol. Chem. 35 269-81). This model investigates the interaction between the MT nucleation, the essential dynamics parameters and extinction, and their impact on the stability of the system. The considered framework encompasses a system of partial differential equations for the elongation and shortening of MTs, where the rates of elongation as well as the lifetimes of the elongating shortening phases are linear functions of GTP-tubulin concentration. In a novel way, this paper investigates the stability analysis and provides a bifurcation analysis for the dynamic instability of MTs in the presence of diffusion and all of the fundamental dynamics parameters. Our stability analysis introduces the phase transition method as a new mathematical tool in the study of MT dynamics. The mathematical tools introduced to handle the problem should be of general use.

  2. Live imaging of microtubule dynamics in organotypic hippocampal slice cultures.

    PubMed

    Schätzle, Philipp; Kapitein, Lukas C; Hoogenraad, Casper C

    2016-01-01

    The microtubule (MT) cytoskeleton plays an active role during different phases of neuronal development and is an essential structure for stable neuronal morphology. MTs determine axon formation, control polarized cargo trafficking, and regulate the dynamics of dendritic spines, the major sites of excitatory synaptic input. Defects in MT function have been linked to various neurological and neurodegenerative diseases and recent studies highlight neuronal MTs as a potential target for therapeutic intervention. Thus, understanding MT dynamics and its regulation is of central importance to study many aspects of neuronal function. The dynamics of MT in neurons can be studied by visualizing fluorescently tagged MT plus-end tracking proteins (+TIPs). Tracking of +TIP trajectories allows analyzing the speeds and directionality of MT growth in axons and dendrites. Numerous labs now use +TIP to track growing MTs in dissociated neuron cultures. This chapter provides detailed methods for live imaging of MT dynamics in organotypic hippocampal slice cultures. We describe protocols for culturing and transducing organotypic slices and imaging MT dynamics by spinning disk confocal microscopy. PMID:26794510

  3. Minimal model for collective kinetochore-microtubule dynamics.

    PubMed

    Banigan, Edward J; Chiou, Kevin K; Ballister, Edward R; Mayo, Alyssa M; Lampson, Michael A; Liu, Andrea J

    2015-10-13

    Chromosome segregation during cell division depends on interactions of kinetochores with dynamic microtubules (MTs). In many eukaryotes, each kinetochore binds multiple MTs, but the collective behavior of these coupled MTs is not well understood. We present a minimal model for collective kinetochore-MT dynamics, based on in vitro measurements of individual MTs and their dependence on force and kinetochore phosphorylation by Aurora B kinase. For a system of multiple MTs connected to the same kinetochore, the force-velocity relation has a bistable regime with two possible steady-state velocities: rapid shortening or slow growth. Bistability, combined with the difference between the growing and shrinking speeds, leads to center-of-mass and breathing oscillations in bioriented sister kinetochore pairs. Kinetochore phosphorylation shifts the bistable region to higher tensions, so that only the rapidly shortening state is stable at low tension. Thus, phosphorylation leads to error correction for kinetochores that are not under tension. We challenged the model with new experiments, using chemically induced dimerization to enhance Aurora B activity at metaphase kinetochores. The model suggests that the experimentally observed disordering of the metaphase plate occurs because phosphorylation increases kinetochore speeds by biasing MTs to shrink. Our minimal model qualitatively captures certain characteristic features of kinetochore dynamics, illustrates how biochemical signals such as phosphorylation may regulate the dynamics, and provides a theoretical framework for understanding other factors that control the dynamics in vivo. PMID:26417109

  4. Steering microtubule shuttle transport with dynamically controlled magnetic fields.

    PubMed

    Mahajan, K D; Ruan, G; Dorcéna, C J; Vieira, G; Nabar, G; Bouxsein, N F; Chalmers, J J; Bachand, G D; Sooryakumar, R; Winter, J O

    2016-04-28

    Nanoscale control of matter is critical to the design of integrated nanosystems. Here, we describe a method to dynamically control directionality of microtubule (MT) motion using programmable magnetic fields. MTs are combined with magnetic quantum dots (i.e., MagDots) that are manipulated by external magnetic fields provided by magnetic nanowires. MT shuttles thus undergo both ATP-driven and externally-directed motion with a fluorescence component that permits simultaneous visualization of shuttle motion. This technology is used to alter the trajectory of MTs in motion and to pin MT motion. Such an approach could be used to evaluate the MT-kinesin transport system and could serve as the basis for improved lab-on-a-chip technologies based on MT transport. PMID:27049749

  5. Steering microtubule shuttle transport with dynamically controlled magnetic fields

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Mahajan, K. D.; Ruan, G.; Dorcéna, C. J.; Vieira, G.; Nabar, G.; Bouxsein, N. F.; Chalmers, J. J.; Bachand, G. D.; Sooryakumar, R.; Winter, J. O.

    2016-03-23

    Nanoscale control of matter is critical to the design of integrated nanosystems. Here, we describe a method to dynamically control directionality of microtubule (MT) motion using programmable magnetic fields. MTs are combined with magnetic quantum dots (i.e., MagDots) that are manipulated by external magnetic fields provided by magnetic nanowires. MT shuttles thus undergo both ATP-driven and externally-directed motion with a fluorescence component that permits simultaneous visualization of shuttle motion. This technology is used to alter the trajectory of MTs in motion and to pin MT motion. Ultimately, such an approach could be used to evaluate the MT-kinesin transport system andmore » could serve as the basis for improved lab-on-a-chip technologies based on MT transport.« less

  6. Steering microtubule shuttle transport with dynamically controlled magnetic fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahajan, K. D.; Ruan, G.; Dorcéna, C. J.; Vieira, G.; Nabar, G.; Bouxsein, N. F.; Chalmers, J. J.; Bachand, G. D.; Sooryakumar, R.; Winter, J. O.

    2016-04-01

    Nanoscale control of matter is critical to the design of integrated nanosystems. Here, we describe a method to dynamically control directionality of microtubule (MT) motion using programmable magnetic fields. MTs are combined with magnetic quantum dots (i.e., MagDots) that are manipulated by external magnetic fields provided by magnetic nanowires. MT shuttles thus undergo both ATP-driven and externally-directed motion with a fluorescence component that permits simultaneous visualization of shuttle motion. This technology is used to alter the trajectory of MTs in motion and to pin MT motion. Such an approach could be used to evaluate the MT-kinesin transport system and could serve as the basis for improved lab-on-a-chip technologies based on MT transport.Nanoscale control of matter is critical to the design of integrated nanosystems. Here, we describe a method to dynamically control directionality of microtubule (MT) motion using programmable magnetic fields. MTs are combined with magnetic quantum dots (i.e., MagDots) that are manipulated by external magnetic fields provided by magnetic nanowires. MT shuttles thus undergo both ATP-driven and externally-directed motion with a fluorescence component that permits simultaneous visualization of shuttle motion. This technology is used to alter the trajectory of MTs in motion and to pin MT motion. Such an approach could be used to evaluate the MT-kinesin transport system and could serve as the basis for improved lab-on-a-chip technologies based on MT transport. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c5nr08529b

  7. An ELMO2-RhoG-ILK network modulates microtubule dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Bradley C.; Ivanova, Iordanka A.; Dagnino, Lina

    2015-01-01

    ELMO2 belongs to a family of scaffold proteins involved in phagocytosis and cell motility. ELMO2 can simultaneously bind integrin-linked kinase (ILK) and RhoG, forming tripartite ERI complexes. These complexes are involved in promoting β1 integrin–dependent directional migration in undifferentiated epidermal keratinocytes. ELMO2 and ILK have also separately been implicated in microtubule regulation at integrin-containing focal adhesions. During differentiation, epidermal keratinocytes cease to express integrins, but ERI complexes persist. Here we show an integrin-independent role of ERI complexes in modulation of microtubule dynamics in differentiated keratinocytes. Depletion of ERI complexes by inactivating the Ilk gene in these cells reduces microtubule growth and increases the frequency of catastrophe. Reciprocally, exogenous expression of ELMO2 or RhoG stabilizes microtubules, but only if ILK is also present. Mechanistically, activation of Rac1 downstream from ERI complexes mediates their effects on microtubule stability. In this pathway, Rac1 serves as a hub to modulate microtubule dynamics through two different routes: 1) phosphorylation and inactivation of the microtubule-destabilizing protein stathmin and 2) phosphorylation and inactivation of GSK-3β, which leads to the activation of CRMP2, promoting microtubule growth. At the cellular level, the absence of ERI species impairs Ca2+-mediated formation of adherens junctions, critical to maintaining mechanical integrity in the epidermis. Our findings support a key role for ERI species in integrin-independent stabilization of the microtubule network in differentiated keratinocytes. PMID:25995380

  8. Paired arrangement of kinetochores together with microtubule pivoting and dynamics drive kinetochore capture in meiosis I

    PubMed Central

    Cojoc, Gheorghe; Florescu, Ana-Maria; Krull, Alexander; Klemm, Anna H.; Pavin, Nenad; Jülicher, Frank; Tolić, Iva M.

    2016-01-01

    Kinetochores are protein complexes on the chromosomes, whose function as linkers between spindle microtubules and chromosomes is crucial for proper cell division. The mechanisms that facilitate kinetochore capture by microtubules are still unclear. In the present study, we combine experiments and theory to explore the mechanisms of kinetochore capture at the onset of meiosis I in fission yeast. We show that kinetochores on homologous chromosomes move together, microtubules are dynamic and pivot around the spindle pole, and the average capture time is 3–4 minutes. Our theory describes paired kinetochores on homologous chromosomes as a single object, as well as angular movement of microtubules and their dynamics. For the experimentally measured parameters, the model reproduces the measured capture kinetics and shows that the paired configuration of kinetochores accelerates capture, whereas microtubule pivoting and dynamics have a smaller contribution. Kinetochore pairing may be a general feature that increases capture efficiency in meiotic cells. PMID:27166749

  9. Paired arrangement of kinetochores together with microtubule pivoting and dynamics drive kinetochore capture in meiosis I.

    PubMed

    Cojoc, Gheorghe; Florescu, Ana-Maria; Krull, Alexander; Klemm, Anna H; Pavin, Nenad; Jülicher, Frank; Tolić, Iva M

    2016-01-01

    Kinetochores are protein complexes on the chromosomes, whose function as linkers between spindle microtubules and chromosomes is crucial for proper cell division. The mechanisms that facilitate kinetochore capture by microtubules are still unclear. In the present study, we combine experiments and theory to explore the mechanisms of kinetochore capture at the onset of meiosis I in fission yeast. We show that kinetochores on homologous chromosomes move together, microtubules are dynamic and pivot around the spindle pole, and the average capture time is 3-4 minutes. Our theory describes paired kinetochores on homologous chromosomes as a single object, as well as angular movement of microtubules and their dynamics. For the experimentally measured parameters, the model reproduces the measured capture kinetics and shows that the paired configuration of kinetochores accelerates capture, whereas microtubule pivoting and dynamics have a smaller contribution. Kinetochore pairing may be a general feature that increases capture efficiency in meiotic cells. PMID:27166749

  10. Important factors determining the nanoscale tracking precision of dynamic microtubule ends.

    PubMed

    Bohner, G; Gustafsson, N; Cade, N I; Maurer, S P; Griffin, L D; Surrey, T

    2016-01-01

    Tracking dynamic microtubule ends in fluorescence microscopy movies provides insight into the statistical properties of microtubule dynamics and is vital for further analysis that requires knowledge of the trajectories of the microtubule ends. Here we analyse the performance of a previously developed automated microtubule end tracking routine; this has been optimized for comparatively low signal-to-noise image sequences that are characteristic of microscopy movies of dynamic microtubules growing in vitro. Sequences of simulated microtubule images were generated assuming a variety of different experimental conditions. The simulated movies were then tracked and the tracking errors were characterized. We found that the growth characteristics of the microtubules within realistic ranges had a negligible effect on the tracking precision. The fluorophore labelling density, the pixel size of the images, and the exposure times were found to be important parameters limiting the tracking precision which could be explained using concepts of single molecule localization microscopy. The signal-to-noise ratio was found to be a good single predictor of the tracking precision: typical experimental signal-to-noise ratios lead to tracking precisions in the range of tens of nanometres, making the tracking program described here a useful tool for dynamic microtubule end tracking with close to molecular precision. PMID:26444439

  11. Important factors determining the nanoscale tracking precision of dynamic microtubule ends

    PubMed Central

    BOHNER, G.; GUSTAFSSON, N.; CADE, N.I.; MAURER, S.P.; GRIFFIN, L.D.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Tracking dynamic microtubule ends in fluorescence microscopy movies provides insight into the statistical properties of microtubule dynamics and is vital for further analysis that requires knowledge of the trajectories of the microtubule ends. Here we analyse the performance of a previously developed automated microtubule end tracking routine; this has been optimized for comparatively low signal‐to‐noise image sequences that are characteristic of microscopy movies of dynamic microtubules growing in vitro. Sequences of simulated microtubule images were generated assuming a variety of different experimental conditions. The simulated movies were then tracked and the tracking errors were characterized. We found that the growth characteristics of the microtubules within realistic ranges had a negligible effect on the tracking precision. The fluorophore labelling density, the pixel size of the images, and the exposure times were found to be important parameters limiting the tracking precision which could be explained using concepts of single molecule localization microscopy. The signal‐to‐noise ratio was found to be a good single predictor of the tracking precision: typical experimental signal‐to‐noise ratios lead to tracking precisions in the range of tens of nanometres, making the tracking program described here a useful tool for dynamic microtubule end tracking with close to molecular precision. PMID:26444439

  12. Dynamic interplay between nitration and phosphorylation of tubulin cofactor B in the control of microtubule dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Rayala, Suresh K.; Martin, Emil; Sharina, Iraida G.; Molli, Poonam R.; Wang, Xiaoping; Jacobson, Raymond; Murad, Ferid; Kumar, Rakesh

    2007-01-01

    Tubulin cofactor B (TCoB) plays an important role in microtubule dynamics by facilitating the dimerization of α- and β-tubulin. Recent evidence suggests that p21-activated kinase 1 (Pak1), a major signaling nodule in eukaryotic cells, phosphorylates TCoB on Ser-65 and Ser-128 and plays an essential role in microtubule regrowth. However, to date, no upstream signaling molecules have been identified to antagonize the functions of TCoB, which might help in maintaining the equilibrium of microtubules. Here, we discovered that TCoB is efficiently nitrated, mainly on Tyr-64 and Tyr-98, and nitrated-TCoB attenuates the synthesis of new microtubules. In addition, we found that nitration of TCoB antagonizes signaling-dependent phosphorylation of TCoB, whereas optimal nitration of TCoB requires the presence of functional Pak1 phosphorylation sites, thus providing a feedback mechanism to regulate phosphorylation-dependent MT regrowth. Together these findings identified TCoB as the third cytoskeleton protein to be nitrated and suggest a previously undescribed mechanism, whereby growth factor signaling may coordinately integrate nitric oxide signaling in the regulation of microtubule dynamics. PMID:18048340

  13. A divergent canonical WNT-signaling pathway regulates microtubule dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Ciani, Lorenza; Krylova, Olga; Smalley, Matthew J.; Dale, Trevor C.; Salinas, Patricia C.

    2004-01-01

    Dishevelled (DVL) is associated with axonal microtubules and regulates microtubule stability through the inhibition of the serine/threonine kinase, glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β). In the canonical WNT pathway, the negative regulator Axin forms a complex with β-catenin and GSK-3β, resulting in β-catenin degradation. Inhibition of GSK-3β by DVL increases β-catenin stability and TCF transcriptional activation. Here, we show that Axin associates with microtubules and unexpectedly stabilizes microtubules through DVL. In turn, DVL stabilizes microtubules by inhibiting GSK-3β through a transcription- and β-catenin–independent pathway. More importantly, axonal microtubules are stabilized after DVL localizes to axons. Increased microtubule stability is correlated with a decrease in GSK-3β–mediated phosphorylation of MAP-1B. We propose a model in which Axin, through DVL, stabilizes microtubules by inhibiting a pool of GSK-3β, resulting in local changes in the phosphorylation of cellular targets. Our data indicate a bifurcation in the so-called canonical WNT-signaling pathway to regulate microtubule stability. PMID:14734535

  14. Tau assembly: the dominant role of PHF6 (VQIVYK) in microtubule binding region repeat R3.

    PubMed

    Ganguly, Pritam; Do, Thanh D; Larini, Luca; LaPointe, Nichole E; Sercel, Alexander J; Shade, Madeleine F; Feinstein, Stuart C; Bowers, Michael T; Shea, Joan-Emma

    2015-04-01

    Self-aggregation of the microtubule-binding protein Tau reduces its functionality and is tightly associated with Tau-related diseases, termed tauopathies. Tau aggregation is also strongly associated with two nucleating six-residue segments, namely PHF6 (VQIVYK) and PHF6* (VQIINK). In this paper, using experiments and computational modeling, we study the self-assembly of individual and binary mixtures of Tau fragments containing PHF6* (R2/wt; (273)GKVQIINKKLDL(284)) and PHF6 (R3/wt; (306)VQIVYKPVDLSK(317)) and a mutant R2/ΔK280 associated with a neurodegenerative tauopathy. The initial stage of aggregation is probed by ion-mobility mass spectrometry, the kinetics of aggregation monitored with Thioflavin T assays, and the morphology of aggregates visualized by transmission electron microscopy. Insights into the structure of early aggregates and the factors stabilizing the aggregates are obtained from replica exchange molecular dynamics simulations. Our data suggest that R3/wt has a much stronger aggregation propensity than either R2/wt or R2/ΔK280. Heterodimers containing R3/wt are less stable than R3/wt homodimers but much more stable than homodimers of R2/wt and R2/ΔK280, suggesting a possible role of PHF6*-PHF6 interactions in initiating the aggregation of full-length Tau. Lastly, R2/ΔK280 binds more strongly to R3/wt than R2/wt, suggesting a possible mechanism for a pathological loss of normal Tau function. PMID:25775228

  15. The oligomeric outer dynein arm assembly factor CCDC103 is tightly integrated within the ciliary axoneme and exhibits periodic binding to microtubules.

    PubMed

    King, Stephen M; Patel-King, Ramila S

    2015-03-20

    CCDC103 is an ∼29-kDa protein consisting of a central RPAP3_C domain flanked by N- and C-terminal coiled coils. Defects in CCDC103 lead to primary ciliary dyskinesia caused by the loss of outer dynein arms. This protein is present along the entire length of the ciliary axoneme and does not require other dynein or docking complex components for its integration. Unlike other known dynein assembly factors within the axoneme, CCDC103 is not solubilized by 0.6 M NaCl and requires more chaotropic conditions, such as 0.5 M KI. Alternatively, it can be extracted using 0.3% sarkosyl. CCDC103 forms stable dimers and other oligomers in solution through interactions involving the central domain. The smallest particle observed by dynamic light scattering has a hydrodynamic diameter of ∼25 nm. Furthermore, CCDC103 binds microtubules directly, forming ∼9-nm diameter particles that exhibit a 12-nm spacing on the microtubule lattice, suggesting that there may be two CCDC103 units per outer arm dynein repeat. Although the outer dynein arm docking complex is necessary to form arrays of dyneins along microtubules, it is not sufficient to set up a single array in a precise location on each axonemal doublet. We propose that CCDC103 helps generate a high-affinity site on the doublets for outer arm assembly, either through direct interactions or indirectly, perhaps by modifying the underlying microtubule lattice. PMID:25572396

  16. The Spontaneous Alignment of Microtubules in Vitro.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hitt, Anne Louise

    Microtubules assembled at 37^circ C in vitro from tubulin, with or without microtubule associated proteins (MAPs), spontaneously form macroscopic domains of intense birefringence. Because the intrinsic birefringence of microtubules is small, the observed effect must be due to form birefringence, caused by a mutually parallel disposition of microtubules. The observed birefringence cannot be accounted for by multiple light scattering. Birefringence and microtubule polymerization are observed to be temporally coupled. The development of multiple macroscopic birefringent domains is mirrored by the formation of large domains which scatter light strongly. Because these solutions are not homogeneous, Beer's law may not apply. These turbid domains may account for the turbidity overshoot observed by several laboratories. Electron micrographs of sections of gluteraldehyde -fixed microtubule solutions which exhibited birefringence before and after fixation displayed a directionality. This confirms that microtubules in solution are aligned with respect to each other. Centrifugation of birefringent microtubule solutions yields an isotropic supernatant and an intensely birefringent pellet, suggesting that the birefringent domains are dense and sediment intact. If MAPs are present, the birefringent domains can be observed in dilute solution after more than 20 hours at 37^circ C. Polymerization conditions which result in oscillations in microtubule assembly due to dynamic instability also result in oscillations in microtubule alignment. These observations, taken together, indicate that microtubule solutions become nematic liquid crystals exhibiting a polydomain schlieren texture upon polymerization in vitro. These domains appear to be stable, dense constructs of microtubules, which are liquid-crystalline in character. Assembly of microtubules initially results in the formation of many small microtubules; with time, however, fewer but longer microtubules are observed. Recently, two

  17. Spindle assembly checkpoint proteins are positioned close to core microtubule attachment sites at kinetochores

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Xiaohu; Cheerambathur, Dhanya; Gassmann, Reto; Suzuki, Aussie; Lawrimore, Josh; Desai, Arshad; Salmon, E.D.

    2013-01-01

    Spindle assembly checkpoint proteins have been thought to reside in the peripheral corona region of the kinetochore, distal to microtubule attachment sites at the outer plate. However, recent biochemical evidence indicates that checkpoint proteins are closely linked to the core kinetochore microtubule attachment site comprised of the Knl1–Mis12–Ndc80 (KMN) complexes/KMN network. In this paper, we show that the Knl1–Zwint1 complex is required to recruit the Rod–Zwilch–Zw10 (RZZ) and Mad1–Mad2 complexes to the outer kinetochore. Consistent with this, nanometer-scale mapping indicates that RZZ, Mad1–Mad2, and the C terminus of the dynein recruitment factor Spindly are closely juxtaposed with the KMN network in metaphase cells when their dissociation is blocked and the checkpoint is active. In contrast, the N terminus of Spindly is ∼75 nm outside the calponin homology domain of the Ndc80 complex. These results reveal how checkpoint proteins are integrated within the substructure of the kinetochore and will aid in understanding the coordination of microtubule attachment and checkpoint signaling during chromosome segregation. PMID:23979716

  18. MACF1 regulates the migration of pyramidal neurons via microtubule dynamics and GSK-3 signaling.

    PubMed

    Ka, Minhan; Jung, Eui-Man; Mueller, Ulrich; Kim, Woo-Yang

    2014-11-01

    Neuronal migration and subsequent differentiation play critical roles for establishing functional neural circuitry in the developing brain. However, the molecular mechanisms that regulate these processes are poorly understood. Here, we show that microtubule actin crosslinking factor 1 (MACF1) determines neuronal positioning by regulating microtubule dynamics and mediating GSK-3 signaling during brain development. First, using MACF1 floxed allele mice and in utero gene manipulation, we find that MACF1 deletion suppresses migration of cortical pyramidal neurons and results in aberrant neuronal positioning in the developing brain. The cell autonomous deficit in migration is associated with abnormal dynamics of leading processes and centrosomes. Furthermore, microtubule stability is severely damaged in neurons lacking MACF1, resulting in abnormal microtubule dynamics. Finally, MACF1 interacts with and mediates GSK-3 signaling in developing neurons. Our findings establish a cellular mechanism underlying neuronal migration and provide insights into the regulation of cytoskeleton dynamics in developing neurons. PMID:25224226

  19. Centriolar satellite– and hMsd1/SSX2IP-dependent microtubule anchoring is critical for centriole assembly

    PubMed Central

    Hori, Akiko; Peddie, Christopher J.; Collinson, Lucy M.; Toda, Takashi

    2015-01-01

    Centriolar satellites are numerous electron-dense granules dispersed around the centrosome. Mutations in their components are linked to various human diseases, but their molecular roles remain elusive. In particular, the significance of spatial communication between centriolar satellites and the centrosome is unknown. hMsd1/SSX2IP localizes to both the centrosome and centriolar satellites and is required for tethering microtubules to the centrosome. Here we show that hMsd1/SSX2IP-mediated microtubule anchoring is essential for proper centriole assembly and duplication. On hMsd1/SSX2IP knockdown, the centriolar satellites become stuck at the microtubule minus end near the centrosome. Intriguingly, these satellites contain many proteins that normally localize to the centrosome. Of importance, microtubule structures, albeit not being anchored properly, are still required for the emergence of abnormal satellites, as complete microtubule depolymerization results in the disappearance of these aggregates from the vicinity of the centrosome. We highlighted, using superresolution and electron microscopy, that under these conditions, centriole structures are faulty. Remarkably, these cells are insensitive to Plk4 overproduction–induced ectopic centriole formation, yet they accelerate centrosome reduplication upon hydroxyurea arrest. Finally, the appearance of satellite aggregates is cancer cell specific. Together our findings provide novel insights into the mechanism of centriole assembly and microtubule anchoring. PMID:25833712

  20. Centriolar satellite- and hMsd1/SSX2IP-dependent microtubule anchoring is critical for centriole assembly.

    PubMed

    Hori, Akiko; Peddie, Christopher J; Collinson, Lucy M; Toda, Takashi

    2015-06-01

    Centriolar satellites are numerous electron-dense granules dispersed around the centrosome. Mutations in their components are linked to various human diseases, but their molecular roles remain elusive. In particular, the significance of spatial communication between centriolar satellites and the centrosome is unknown. hMsd1/SSX2IP localizes to both the centrosome and centriolar satellites and is required for tethering microtubules to the centrosome. Here we show that hMsd1/SSX2IP-mediated microtubule anchoring is essential for proper centriole assembly and duplication. On hMsd1/SSX2IP knockdown, the centriolar satellites become stuck at the microtubule minus end near the centrosome. Intriguingly, these satellites contain many proteins that normally localize to the centrosome. Of importance, microtubule structures, albeit not being anchored properly, are still required for the emergence of abnormal satellites, as complete microtubule depolymerization results in the disappearance of these aggregates from the vicinity of the centrosome. We highlighted, using superresolution and electron microscopy, that under these conditions, centriole structures are faulty. Remarkably, these cells are insensitive to Plk4 overproduction-induced ectopic centriole formation, yet they accelerate centrosome reduplication upon hydroxyurea arrest. Finally, the appearance of satellite aggregates is cancer cell specific. Together our findings provide novel insights into the mechanism of centriole assembly and microtubule anchoring. PMID:25833712

  1. Kinesin superfamily proteins and the regulation of microtubule dynamics in morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Niwa, Shinsuke

    2015-01-01

    Kinesin superfamily proteins (KIFs) are microtubule-dependent molecular motors that serve as sources of force for intracellular transport and cell division. Recent studies have revealed new roles of KIFs as microtubule stabilizers and depolymerizers, and these activities are fundamental to cellular morphogenesis and mammalian development. KIF2A and KIF19A have microtubule-depolymerizing activities and regulate the neuronal morphology and cilia length, respectively. KIF21A and KIF26A work as microtubule stabilizers that regulate axonal morphology. Morphological defects that are similar to human diseases are observed in mice in which these KIF genes have been deleted. Actually, KIF2A and KIF21A have been identified as causes of human neuronal diseases. In this review, the functions of these atypical KIFs that regulate microtubule dynamics are discussed. Moreover, some interesting unanswered questions and hypothetical answers to them are discussed. PMID:25347970

  2. Dietary flavonoid fisetin binds to β-tubulin and disrupts microtubule dynamics in prostate cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Mukhtar, Eiman; Adhami, Vaqar Mustafa; Sechi, Mario; Mukhtar, Hasan

    2015-10-28

    Microtubule targeting based therapies have revolutionized cancer treatment; however, resistance and side effects remain a major limitation. Therefore, novel strategies that can overcome these limitations are urgently needed. We made a novel discovery that fisetin, a hydroxyflavone, is a microtubule stabilizing agent. Fisetin binds to tubulin and stabilizes microtubules with binding characteristics far superior than paclitaxel. Surface plasmon resonance and computational docking studies suggested that fisetin binds to β-tubulin with superior affinity compared to paclitaxel. Fisetin treatment of human prostate cancer cells resulted in robust up-regulation of microtubule associated proteins (MAP)-2 and -4. In addition, fisetin treated cells were enriched in α-tubulin acetylation, an indication of stabilization of microtubules. Fisetin significantly inhibited PCa cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. Nudc, a protein associated with microtubule motor dynein/dynactin complex that regulates microtubule dynamics, was inhibited with fisetin treatment. Further, fisetin treatment of a P-glycoprotein overexpressing multidrug-resistant cancer cell line NCI/ADR-RES inhibited the viability and colony formation. Our results offer in vitro proof-of-concept for fisetin as a microtubule targeting agent. We suggest that fisetin could be developed as an adjuvant for treatment of prostate and other cancer types. PMID:26235140

  3. A minimal model for kinetochore-microtubule dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Andrea

    2014-03-01

    During mitosis, chromosome pairs align at the center of a bipolar microtubule (MT) spindle and oscillate as MTs attaching them to the cell poles polymerize and depolymerize. The cell fixes misaligned pairs by a tension-sensing mechanism. Pairs later separate as shrinking MTs pull each chromosome toward its respective cell pole. We present a minimal model for these processes based on properties of MT kinetics. We apply the measured tension-dependence of single MT kinetics to a stochastic many MT model, which we solve numerically and with master equations. We find that the force-velocity curve for the single chromosome system is bistable and hysteretic. Above some threshold load, tension fluctuations induce MTs to spontaneously switch from a pulling state into a growing, pushing state. To recover pulling from the pushing state, the load must be reduced far below the threshold. This leads to oscillations in the two-chromosome system. Our minimal model quantitatively captures several aspects of kinetochore dynamics observed experimentally. This work was supported by NSF-DMR-1104637.

  4. Mechanism and Dynamics of Breakage of Fluorescent Microtubules

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Honglian; Xu, Chunhua; Liu, Chunxiang; Qu, E.; Yuan, Ming; Li, Zhaolin; Cheng, Bingying; Zhang, Daozhong

    2006-01-01

    The breakage of fluorescence-labeled microtubules under irradiation of excitation light is found in our experiments. Its mechanism is studied. The results indicate that free radicals are the main reason for the photosensitive breakage. Furthermore, the mechanical properties of the microtubules are probed with a dual-optical tweezers system. It is found that the fluorescence-labeled microtubules are much easier to extend compared with those without fluorescence. Such microtubules can be extended by 30%, and the force for breaking them up is only several piconewtons. In addition, we find that the breakup of the protofilaments is not simultaneous but step-by-step, which further confirms that the interaction between protofilaments is fairly weak. PMID:16387782

  5. Rapid Movements of Vimentin on Microtubule Tracks: Kinesin-dependent Assembly of Intermediate Filament Networks

    PubMed Central

    Prahlad, Veena; Yoon, Miri; Moir, Robert D.; Vale, Ronald D.; Goldman, Robert D.

    1998-01-01

    The assembly and maintenance of an extended intermediate filament (IF) network in fibroblasts requires microtubule (MT) integrity. Using a green fluorescent protein–vimentin construct, and spreading BHK-21 cells as a model system to study IF–MT interactions, we have discovered a novel mechanism involved in the assembly of the vimentin IF cytoskeleton. This entails the rapid, discontinuous, and MT-dependent movement of IF precursors towards the peripheral regions of the cytoplasm where they appear to assemble into short fibrils. These precursors, or vimentin dots, move at speeds averaging 0.55 ± 0.24 μm/s. The vimentin dots colocalize with MT and their motility is inhibited after treatment with nocodazole. Our studies further implicate a conventional kinesin in the movement of the vimentin dots. The dots colocalize with conventional kinesin as shown by indirect immunofluorescence, and IF preparations from spreading cells are enriched in kinesin. Furthermore, microinjection of kinesin antibodies into spreading cells prevents the assembly of an extended IF network. These studies provide insights into the interactions between the IF and MT systems. They also suggest a role for conventional kinesin in the distribution of non-membranous protein cargo, and the local regulation of IF assembly. PMID:9763428

  6. Rapid movements of vimentin on microtubule tracks: kinesin-dependent assembly of intermediate filament networks.

    PubMed

    Prahlad, V; Yoon, M; Moir, R D; Vale, R D; Goldman, R D

    1998-10-01

    The assembly and maintenance of an extended intermediate filament (IF) network in fibroblasts requires microtubule (MT) integrity. Using a green fluorescent protein-vimentin construct, and spreading BHK-21 cells as a model system to study IF-MT interactions, we have discovered a novel mechanism involved in the assembly of the vimentin IF cytoskeleton. This entails the rapid, discontinuous, and MT-dependent movement of IF precursors towards the peripheral regions of the cytoplasm where they appear to assemble into short fibrils. These precursors, or vimentin dots, move at speeds averaging 0.55 +/- 0.24 micrometer/s. The vimentin dots colocalize with MT and their motility is inhibited after treatment with nocodazole. Our studies further implicate a conventional kinesin in the movement of the vimentin dots. The dots colocalize with conventional kinesin as shown by indirect immunofluorescence, and IF preparations from spreading cells are enriched in kinesin. Furthermore, microinjection of kinesin antibodies into spreading cells prevents the assembly of an extended IF network. These studies provide insights into the interactions between the IF and MT systems. They also suggest a role for conventional kinesin in the distribution of non-membranous protein cargo, and the local regulation of IF assembly. PMID:9763428

  7. Xorbit/CLASP links dynamic microtubules to chromosomes in the Xenopus meiotic spindle

    PubMed Central

    Hannak, Eva; Heald, Rebecca

    2006-01-01

    A family of microtubule (MT)-binding proteins, Orbit/multiple asters/cytoplasmic linker protein–associated protein, has emerged as an important player during mitosis, but their functional mechanisms are poorly understood. In this study, we used meiotic egg extracts to gain insight into the role of the Xenopus laevis homologue Xorbit in spindle assembly and function. Xorbit immunodepletion or its inhibition by a dominant-negative fragment resulted in chromosome alignment defects and aberrant MT structures, including monopolar and small spindles. Xorbit-depleted extracts failed to nucleate MTs around chromatin-coated beads, indicating its essential requirement for spindle assembly in the absence of centrosomes and kinetochores. Xorbit's MT stabilizing effect was most apparent during anaphase, when spindle MTs depolymerized rapidly upon Xorbit inhibition. Biochemical interaction between a COOH-terminal Xorbit fragment and the kinetochore-associated kinesin centromeric protein E may contribute to Xorbit's role in chromosome congression. We propose that Xorbit tethers dynamic MT plus ends to kinetochores and chromatin, providing a stabilizing activity that is crucial for spindle assembly and chromosome segregation. PMID:16390996

  8. The effect of multivalent cations and Tau on paclitaxel-stabilized microtubule assembly, disassembly, and structure.

    PubMed

    Safinya, Cyrus R; Chung, Peter J; Song, Chaeyeon; Li, Youli; Ewert, Kai K; Choi, Myung Chul

    2016-06-01

    In this review we describe recent studies directed at understanding the formation of novel nanoscale assemblies in biological materials systems. In particular, we focus on the effects of multivalent cations, and separately, of microtubule-associated protein (MAP) Tau, on microtubule (MT) ordering (bundling), MT disassembly, and MT structure. Counter-ion directed bundling of paclitaxel-stabilized MTs is a model electrostatic system, which parallels efforts to understand MT bundling by intrinsically disordered proteins (typically biological polyampholytes) expressed in neurons. We describe studies, which reveal an unexpected transition from tightly spaced MT bundles to loose bundles consisting of strings of MTs as the valence of the cationic counter-ion decreases from Z=3 to Z=2. This transition is not predicted by any current theories of polyelectrolytes. Notably, studies of a larger series of divalent counter-ions reveal strong ion specific effects. Divalent counter-ions may either bundle or depolymerize paclitaxel-stabilized MTs. The ion concentration required for depolymerization decreases with increasing atomic number. In a more biologically related system we review synchrotron small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) studies on the effect of the Tau on the structure of paclitaxel-stabilized MTs. The electrostatic binding of MAP Tau isoforms leads to an increase in the average radius of microtubules with increasing Tau coverage (i.e. a re-distribution of protofilament numbers in MTs). Finally, inspired by MTs as model nanotubes, we briefly describe other more robust lipid-based cylindrical nanostructures, which may have technological applications, for example, in drug encapsulation and delivery. PMID:26684364

  9. Regulation of Microtubule Assembly by Tau and not by Pin1.

    PubMed

    Kutter, Steffen; Eichner, Timo; Deaconescu, Alexandra M; Kern, Dorothee

    2016-05-01

    The molecular mechanism by which the microtubule-associated protein (MAP) tau regulates the formation of microtubules (MTs) is poorly understood. The activity of tau is controlled via phosphorylation at specific Ser/Thr sites. Of those phosphorylation sites, 17 precede a proline, making them potential recognition sites for the peptidyl-prolyl isomerase Pin1. Pin1 binding and catalysis of phosphorylated tau at the AT180 epitope, which was implicated in Alzheimer's disease, has been reported to be crucial for restoring tau's ability to promote MT polymerization in vitro and in vivo [1]. Surprisingly, we discover that Pin1 does not promote phosphorylated tau-induced MT formation in vitro, refuting the commonly accepted model in which Pin1 binding and catalysis on the A180 epitope restores the function of the Alzheimer's associated phosphorylated tau in tubulin assembly [1, 2]. Using turbidity assays, time-resolved small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), and time-resolved negative stain electron microscopy (EM), we investigate the mechanism of tau-mediated MT assembly and the role of the Thr231 and Ser235 phosphorylation on this process. We discover novel GTP-tubulin ring-shaped species, which are detectable in the earliest stage of tau-induced polymerization and may play a crucial role in the early nucleation phase of MT assembly. Finally, by NMR and SAXS experiments, we show that the tau molecules must be located on the surface of MTs and tubulin rings during the polymerization reaction. The interaction between tau and tubulin is multipartite, with a high affinity interaction of the four tubulin-binding repeats, and a weaker interaction with the proline-rich sequence and the termini of tau. PMID:26996940

  10. Assembly and bundling of marginal band microtubule protein: role of tau.

    PubMed

    Sanchez, I; Cohen, W D

    1994-01-01

    Microtubule protein extracted from dogfish erythrocyte cytoskeletons by disassembly of marginal bands at low temperature formed linear microtubule (MT) bundles upon reassembly at 22 degrees C. The bundles, which were readily visible by video-enhanced phase contrast or DIC microscopy, increased in length and thickness with time. At steady state after 1 hour, most bundles were 6-11 microns in length and 2-5 MTs in thickness. No inter-MT cross-bridges were visible by negative staining. The bundles exhibited mechanical stability in flow as well as flexibility, in this respect resembling native marginal bands. As analyzed by SDS-PAGE and immunoblotting, our standard extraction conditions yielded MT protein preparations and bundles containing tau protein but not high molecular weight MAPs such as MAP-2 or syncolin. In addition, late fractions of MT protein obtained by gel filtration were devoid of high molecular weight proteins but still produced MT bundles. The marginal band tau was salt-extractable and heat-stable, bound antibodies to mammalian brain tau, and formed aggregates upon desalting. Antibodies to tau blocked MT assembly, but both assembly and bundling occurred in the presence of antibodies to actin or syncolin. The MTs were "unbundled" by subtilisin or by high salt (0.5-1 M KCl or NaCl), consistent with tau involvement in bundling. High salt extracts retained bundling activity, and salt-induced unbundling was reversible with desalting. However, reversibility was observed only after salt-induced MT disassembly had occurred. Reconstitution experiments showed that addition of marginal band tau to preassembled MTs did not produce bundles, whereas tau presence during MT reassembly did yield bundles. Thus, in this system, tau appears to play a role in both MT assembly and bundling, serving in the latter function as a coassembly factor. PMID:7820858

  11. Rac1 Modulates Stimulus-evoked Ca2+ Release in Neuronal Growth Cones via Parallel Effects on Microtubule/Endoplasmic Reticulum Dynamics and Reactive Oxygen Species Production

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiao-Feng

    2009-01-01

    The small G protein Rac regulates cytoskeletal protein dynamics in neuronal growth cones and has been implicated in axon growth, guidance, and branching. Intracellular Ca2+ is another well known regulator of growth cone function; however, effects of Rac activity on intracellular Ca2+ metabolism have not been well characterized. Here, we investigate how Rac1 activity affects release of Ca2+ from intracellular endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stores stimulated by application of serotonin (5-hydroxytriptamine). We also address how Rac1 effects on microtubule assembly dynamics affect distribution of Ca2+ release sites. Multimode fluorescent microscopy was used to correlate microtubule and ER behavior, and ratiometric imaging was used to assess intracellular Ca2+ dynamics. We report that Rac1 activity both promotes Ca2+ release and affects its spatial distribution in neuronal growth cones. The underlying mechanism involves synergistic Rac1 effects on microtubule assembly and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Rac1 activity modulates Ca2+ by 1) enhancing microtubule assembly which in turn promotes spread of the ER-based Ca2+ release machinery into the growth cone periphery, and 2) by increasing ROS production which facilitated inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate-dependent Ca2+ release. These results cast Rac1 as a key modulator of intracellular Ca2+ function in the neuronal growth cone. PMID:19570918

  12. Biogenesis of the crystalloid organelle in Plasmodium involves microtubule-dependent vesicle transport and assembly

    PubMed Central

    Saeed, Sadia; Tremp, Annie Z.; Dessens, Johannes T.

    2015-01-01

    Malaria parasites possess unique subcellular structures and organelles. One of these is the crystalloid, a multivesicular organelle that forms during the parasite’s development in vector mosquitoes. The formation and function of these organelles remain poorly understood. A family of six conserved and modular proteins named LCCL-lectin adhesive-like proteins (LAPs), which have essential roles in sporozoite transmission, localise to the crystalloids. In this study we analyse crystalloid formation using transgenic Plasmodium berghei parasites expressing GFP-tagged LAP3. We show that deletion of the LCCL domain from LAP3 causes retarded crystalloid development, while knockout of LAP3 prevents formation of the organelle. Our data reveal that the process of crystalloid formation involves active relocation of endoplasmic reticulum-derived vesicles to common assembly points via microtubule-dependent transport. Inhibition of microtubule-dependent cargo transport disrupts this process and replicates the LCCL domain deletion mutant phenotype in wildtype parasites. These findings provide the first clear insight into crystalloid biogenesis, demonstrating a fundamental role for the LAP family in this process, and identifying the crystalloid and its formation as potential targets for malaria transmission control. PMID:25900212

  13. The molecular dynamics of crawling migration in microtubule-disrupted keratocytes

    PubMed Central

    Nakashima, Hitomi; Okimura, Chika; Iwadate, Yoshiaki

    2015-01-01

    Cell-crawling migration plays an essential role in complex biological phenomena. It is now generally believed that many processes essential to such migration are regulated by microtubules in many cells, including fibroblasts and neurons. However, keratocytes treated with nocodazole, which is an inhibitor of microtubule polymerization – and even keratocyte fragments that contain no microtubules – migrate at the same velocity and with the same directionality as normal keratocytes. In this study, we discovered that not only these migration properties, but also the molecular dynamics that regulate such properties, such as the retrograde flow rate of actin filaments, distributions of vinculin and myosin II, and traction forces, are also the same in nocodazole-treated keratocytes as those in untreated keratocytes. These results suggest that microtubules are not in fact required for crawling migration of keratocytes, either in terms of migrating properties or of intracellular molecular dynamics. PMID:27493851

  14. Microtubules, Tubulins and Associated Proteins.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raxworthy, Michael J.

    1988-01-01

    Reviews much of what is known about microtubules, which are biopolymers consisting predominantly of subunits of the globular protein, tubulin. Describes the functions of microtubules, their structure and assembly, microtube associated proteins, and microtubule-disrupting agents. (TW)

  15. Nucleation and Dynamics of Golgi-derived Microtubules

    PubMed Central

    Sanders, Anna A. W. M.; Kaverina, Irina

    2015-01-01

    Integrity of the Golgi apparatus requires the microtubule (MT) network. A subset of MTs originates at the Golgi itself, which in this case functions as a MT-organizing center (MTOC). Golgi-derived MTs serve important roles in post-Golgi trafficking, maintenance of Golgi integrity, cell polarity and motility, as well as cell type-specific functions, including neurite outgrowth/branching. Here, we discuss possible models describing the formation and dynamics of Golgi-derived MTs. How Golgi-derived MTs are formed is not fully understood. A widely discussed model implicates that the critical step of the process is recruitment of molecular factors, which drive MT nucleation (γ-tubulin ring complex, or γ-TuRC), to the Golgi membrane via specific scaffolding interactions. Based on recent findings, we propose to introduce an additional level of regulation, whereby MT-binding proteins and/or local tubulin dimer concentration at the Golgi helps to overcome kinetic barriers at the initial nucleation step. According to our model, emerging MTs are subsequently stabilized by Golgi-associated MT-stabilizing proteins. We discuss molecular factors potentially involved in all three steps of MT formation. To preserve proper cell functioning, a balance must be maintained between MT subsets at the centrosome and the Golgi. Recent work has shown that certain centrosomal factors are important in maintaining this balance, suggesting a close connection between regulation of centrosomal and Golgi-derived MTs. Finally, we will discuss potential functions of Golgi-derived MTs based on their nucleation site location within a Golgi stack. PMID:26617483

  16. Domains of tau protein, differential phosphorylation, and dynamic instability of microtubules.

    PubMed

    Trinczek, B; Biernat, J; Baumann, K; Mandelkow, E M; Mandelkow, E

    1995-12-01

    The dynamic instability of microtubules is thought to be regulated by MAPs and phosphorylation. Here we describe the effect of the neuronal microtubule-associated protein tau by observing the dynamics of single microtubules by video microscopy. We used recombinant tau isoforms and tau mutants, and we phosphorylated tau by the neuronal kinases MARK (affecting the KXGS motifs within tau's repeat domain) and cdk5 (phosphorylating Ser-Pro motifs in the regions flanking the repeats). The variants of tau can be broadly classified into three categories, depending on their potency to affect microtubule dynamics. "Strong" tau variants have four repeats and both flanking regions. "Medium" variants have one to three repeats and both flanking regions. "Weak" variants lack one or both of the flanking regions, or have no repeats; with such constructs, microtubule dynamics is not significantly different from that of pure tubulin. N- or C-terminal tails of tau have no influence on dynamic instability. The two ends of microtubules (plus and minus) showed different activities but analogous behavior. These results are consistent with the "jaws" model of tau where the flanking regions are considered as targeting domains whereas the addition of repeats makes them catalytically active in terms of microtubule stabilization. The dominant changes in the parameters of dynamic instability induced by tau are those in the dissociation rate and in the catastrophe rate (up to 30-fold). Other rates change only moderately or not at all (association rate increased up to twofold, rates of rescue or rapid shrinkage decreased up to approximately twofold). The order of repeats has little influence on microtubule dynamics (i.e., repeats can be re-arranged or interchanged), arguing in favor of the "distributed weak binding" model proposed by Butner and Kirschner (1991); however, we confirmed the presence of a "hotspot" of binding potential involving Lys274 and Lys281 observed by Goode and Feinstein, 1994

  17. A Web Interface for the Quantification of Microtubule Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Kong, Koon Yin; Marcus, Adam I.; Giaanakakou, Paraskevi; Wang, May D.

    2016-01-01

    We propose a web interface that allows researchers to quantify and analyze microtubule confocal images online. Most analyses of microtubule confocal images are performed manually using very simple software or tools. Analysis results are stored locally within each collaborator with different styles and formats. This has limited the sharing of data and results when collaborating among different research parties. A web interface provides a simple way for users to process data online. It also allows easy sharing of both data and results among different participating groups. Analysis workflow of the interface is made similar to existing manual protocols. We demonstrate the integration of image processing algorithm in the current workflow to aid the analysis. Our design also allows integration of novel automated analysis algorithms and modules to re-evaluate existing data. This interface can provide a validation platform for new automated algorithm and allow collaboration on microtubule image analysis from different locations.

  18. Aurora B suppresses microtubule dynamics and limits central spindle size by locally activating KIF4A

    PubMed Central

    Nunes Bastos, Ricardo; Gandhi, Sapan R.; Baron, Ryan D.; Gruneberg, Ulrike; Nigg, Erich A.

    2013-01-01

    Anaphase central spindle formation is controlled by the microtubule-stabilizing factor PRC1 and the kinesin KIF4A. We show that an MKlp2-dependent pool of Aurora B at the central spindle, rather than global Aurora B activity, regulates KIF4A accumulation at the central spindle. KIF4A phosphorylation by Aurora B stimulates the maximal microtubule-dependent ATPase activity of KIF4A and promotes its interaction with PRC1. In the presence of phosphorylated KIF4A, microtubules grew more slowly and showed long pauses in growth, resulting in the generation of shorter PRC1-stabilized microtubule overlaps in vitro. Cells expressing only mutant forms of KIF4A lacking the Aurora B phosphorylation site overextended the anaphase central spindle, demonstrating that this regulation is crucial for microtubule length control in vivo. Aurora B therefore ensures that suppression of microtubule dynamic instability by KIF4A is restricted to a specific subset of microtubules and thereby contributes to central spindle size control in anaphase. PMID:23940115

  19. Macroscopic stiffening of embryonic tissues via microtubules, RhoGEF and the assembly of contractile bundles of actomyosin

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Jian; Kim, Hye Young; Wang, James H.-C.; Davidson, Lance A.

    2010-01-01

    During morphogenesis, forces generated by cells are coordinated and channeled by the viscoelastic properties of the embryo. Microtubules and F-actin are considered to be two of the most important structural elements within living cells accounting for both force production and mechanical stiffness. In this paper, we investigate the contribution of microtubules to the stiffness of converging and extending dorsal tissues in Xenopus laevis embryos using cell biological, biophysical and embryological techniques. Surprisingly, we discovered that depolymerizing microtubules stiffens embryonic tissues by three- to fourfold. We attribute tissue stiffening to Xlfc, a previously identified RhoGEF, which binds microtubules and regulates the actomyosin cytoskeleton. Combining drug treatments and Xlfc activation and knockdown lead us to the conclusion that mechanical properties of tissues such as viscoelasticity can be regulated through RhoGTPase pathways and rule out a direct contribution of microtubules to tissue stiffness in the frog embryo. We can rescue nocodazole-induced stiffening with drugs that reduce actomyosin contractility and can partially rescue morphogenetic defects that affect stiffened embryos. We support these conclusions with a multi-scale analysis of cytoskeletal dynamics, tissue-scale traction and measurements of tissue stiffness to separate the role of microtubules from RhoGEF activation. These findings suggest a re-evaluation of the effects of nocodazole and increased focus on the role of Rho family GTPases as regulators of the mechanical properties of cells and their mechanical interactions with surrounding tissues. PMID:20630946

  20. Photoswitchable Inhibitors of Microtubule Dynamics Optically Control Mitosis and Cell Death.

    PubMed

    Borowiak, Malgorzata; Nahaboo, Wallis; Reynders, Martin; Nekolla, Katharina; Jalinot, Pierre; Hasserodt, Jens; Rehberg, Markus; Delattre, Marie; Zahler, Stefan; Vollmar, Angelika; Trauner, Dirk; Thorn-Seshold, Oliver

    2015-07-16

    Small molecules that interfere with microtubule dynamics, such as Taxol and the Vinca alkaloids, are widely used in cell biology research and as clinical anticancer drugs. However, their activity cannot be restricted to specific target cells, which also causes severe side effects in chemotherapy. Here, we introduce the photostatins, inhibitors that can be switched on and off in vivo by visible light, to optically control microtubule dynamics. Photostatins modulate microtubule dynamics with a subsecond response time and control mitosis in living organisms with single-cell spatial precision. In longer-term applications in cell culture, photostatins are up to 250 times more cytotoxic when switched on with blue light than when kept in the dark. Therefore, photostatins are both valuable tools for cell biology, and are promising as a new class of precision chemotherapeutics whose toxicity may be spatiotemporally constrained using light. PMID:26165941

  1. Myosin-Va and dynamic actin oppose microtubules to drive long-range organelle transport.

    PubMed

    Evans, Richard D; Robinson, Christopher; Briggs, Deborah A; Tooth, David J; Ramalho, Jose S; Cantero, Marta; Montoliu, Lluis; Patel, Shyamal; Sviderskaya, Elena V; Hume, Alistair N

    2014-08-01

    In animal cells, microtubule and actin tracks and their associated motors (dynein, kinesin, and myosin) are thought to regulate long- and short-range transport, respectively. Consistent with this, microtubules extend from the perinuclear centrosome to the plasma membrane and allow bidirectional cargo transport over long distances (>1 μm). In contrast, actin often comprises a complex network of short randomly oriented filaments, suggesting that myosin motors move cargo short distances. These observations underpin the "highways and local roads" model for transport along microtubule and actin tracks. The "cooperative capture" model exemplifies this view and suggests that melanosome distribution in melanocyte dendrites is maintained by long-range transport on microtubules followed by actin/myosin-Va-dependent tethering. In this study, we used cell normalization technology to quantitatively examine the contribution of microtubules and actin/myosin-Va to organelle distribution in melanocytes. Surprisingly, our results indicate that microtubules are essential for centripetal, but not centrifugal, transport. Instead, we find that microtubules retard a centrifugal transport process that is dependent on myosin-Va and a population of dynamic F-actin. Functional analysis of mutant proteins indicates that myosin-Va works as a transporter dispersing melanosomes along actin tracks whose +/barbed ends are oriented toward the plasma membrane. Overall, our data highlight the role of myosin-Va and actin in transport, and not tethering, and suggest a new model in which organelle distribution is determined by the balance between microtubule-dependent centripetal and myosin-Va/actin-dependent centrifugal transport. These observations appear to be consistent with evidence coming from other systems showing that actin/myosin networks can drive long-distance organelle transport and positioning. PMID:25065759

  2. How the transition frequencies of microtubule dynamic instability (nucleation, catastrophe, and rescue) regulate microtubule dynamics in interphase and mitosis: analysis using a Monte Carlo computer simulation.

    PubMed Central

    Gliksman, N R; Skibbens, R V; Salmon, E D

    1993-01-01

    Microtubules (MTs) in newt mitotic spindles grow faster than MTs in the interphase cytoplasmic microtubule complex (CMTC), yet spindle MTs do not have the long lengths or lifetimes of the CMTC microtubules. Because MTs undergo dynamic instability, it is likely that changes in the durations of growth or shortening are responsible for this anomaly. We have used a Monte Carlo computer simulation to examine how changes in the number of MTs and changes in the catastrophe and rescue frequencies of dynamic instability may be responsible for the cell cycle dependent changes in MT characteristics. We used the computer simulations to model interphase-like or mitotic-like MT populations on the basis of the dynamic instability parameters available from newt lung epithelial cells in vivo. We started with parameters that produced MT populations similar to the interphase newt lung cell CMTC. In the simulation, increasing the number of MTs and either increasing the frequency of catastrophe or decreasing the frequency of rescue reproduced the changes in MT dynamics measured in vivo between interphase and mitosis. Images PMID:8298190

  3. Cooperative dynamics of microtubule ensembles: Polymerization forces and rescue-induced oscillations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zelinski, Björn; Kierfeld, Jan

    2013-01-01

    We investigate the cooperative dynamics of an ensemble of N microtubules growing against an elastic barrier. Microtubules undergo so-called catastrophes, which are abrupt stochastic transitions from a growing to a shrinking state, and rescues, which are transitions back to the growing state. Microtubules can exert pushing or polymerization forces on an obstacle, such as an elastic barrier, if the growing end is in contact with the obstacle. We use dynamical mean-field theory and stochastic simulations to analyze a model where each microtubule undergoes catastrophes and rescues and where microtubules interact by force sharing. For zero rescue rate, cooperative growth terminates in a collective catastrophe. The maximal polymerization force before catastrophes grows linearly with N for small N or a stiff elastic barrier, in agreement with available experimental results, whereas it crosses over to a logarithmic dependence for larger N or a soft elastic barrier. For a nonzero rescue rate and a soft elastic barrier, the dynamics becomes oscillatory with both collective catastrophe and rescue events, which are part of a robust limit cycle. Both the average and maximal polymerization forces then grow linearly with N, and we investigate their dependence on tubulin on-rates and rescue rates, which can be involved in cellular regulation mechanisms. We further investigate the robustness of the collective catastrophe and rescue oscillations with respect to different catastrophe models.

  4. Effects of aging in catastrophe on the steady state and dynamics of a microtubule population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jemseena, V.; Gopalakrishnan, Manoj

    2015-05-01

    Several independent observations have suggested that the catastrophe transition in microtubules is not a first-order process, as is usually assumed. Recent in vitro observations by Gardner et al. [M. K. Gardner et al., Cell 147, 1092 (2011), 10.1016/j.cell.2011.10.037] showed that microtubule catastrophe takes place via multiple steps and the frequency increases with the age of the filament. Here we investigate, via numerical simulations and mathematical calculations, some of the consequences of the age dependence of catastrophe on the dynamics of microtubules as a function of the aging rate, for two different models of aging: exponential growth, but saturating asymptotically, and purely linear growth. The boundary demarcating the steady-state and non-steady-state regimes in the dynamics is derived analytically in both cases. Numerical simulations, supported by analytical calculations in the linear model, show that aging leads to nonexponential length distributions in steady state. More importantly, oscillations ensue in microtubule length and velocity. The regularity of oscillations, as characterized by the negative dip in the autocorrelation function, is reduced by increasing the frequency of rescue events. Our study shows that the age dependence of catastrophe could function as an intrinsic mechanism to generate oscillatory dynamics in a microtubule population, distinct from hitherto identified ones.

  5. Microtubule dynamics of the centrosome-like polar organizers from the basal land plant Marchantia polymorpha.

    PubMed

    Buschmann, Henrik; Holtmannspötter, Michael; Borchers, Agnes; O'Donoghue, Martin-Timothy; Zachgo, Sabine

    2016-02-01

    The liverwort Marchantia employs both modern and ancestral devices during cell division: it forms preprophase bands and in addition it shows centrosome-like polar organizers. We investigated whether polar organizers and preprophase bands cooperate to set up the division plane. To this end, two novel green fluorescent protein-based microtubule markers for dividing cells of Marchantia were developed. Cells of the apical notch formed polar organizers first and subsequently assembled preprophase bands. Polar organizers were formed de novo from multiple mobile microtubule foci localizing to the nuclear envelope. The foci then became concentrated by bipolar aggregation. We determined the comet production rate of polar organizers and show that microtubule plus ends of astral microtubules polymerize faster than those found on cortical microtubules. Importantly, it was observed that conditions increasing polar organizer numbers interfere with preprophase band formation. The data show that polar organizers have much in common with centrosomes, but that they also have specialized features. The results suggest that polar organizers contribute to preprophase band formation and in this way are involved in controlling the division plane. Our analyses of the basal land plant Marchantia shed new light on the evolution of plant cell division. PMID:26467050

  6. Kinesin-12 motors cooperate to suppress microtubule catastrophes and drive the formation of parallel microtubule bundles.

    PubMed

    Drechsler, Hauke; McAinsh, Andrew D

    2016-03-22

    Human Kinesin-12 (hKif15) plays a crucial role in assembly and maintenance of the mitotic spindle. These functions of hKif15 are partially redundant with Kinesin-5 (Eg5), which can cross-link and drive the extensile sliding of antiparallel microtubules. Although both motors are known to be tetramers, the functional properties of hKif15 are less well understood. Here we reveal how single or multiple Kif15 motors can cross-link, transport, and focus the plus-ends of intersecting microtubules. During transport, Kif15 motors step simultaneously along both microtubules with relative microtubule transport driven by a velocity differential between motor domain pairs. Remarkably, this differential is affected by the underlying intersection geometry: the differential is low on parallel and extreme on antiparallel microtubules where one motor domain pair becomes immobile. As a result, when intersecting microtubules are antiparallel, canonical transport of one microtubule along the other is allowed because one motor is firmly attached to one microtubule while it is stepping on the other. When intersecting microtubules are parallel, however, Kif15 motors can drive (biased) parallel sliding because the motor simultaneously steps on both microtubules that it cross-links. These microtubule rearrangements will focus microtubule plus-ends and finally lead to the formation of parallel bundles. At the same time, Kif15 motors cooperate to suppress catastrophe events at polymerizing microtubule plus-ends, raising the possibility that Kif15 motors may synchronize the dynamics of bundles that they have assembled. Thus, Kif15 is adapted to operate on parallel microtubule substrates, a property that clearly distinguishes it from the other tetrameric spindle motor, Eg5. PMID:26969727

  7. Kinesin-12 motors cooperate to suppress microtubule catastrophes and drive the formation of parallel microtubule bundles

    PubMed Central

    Drechsler, Hauke; McAinsh, Andrew D.

    2016-01-01

    Human Kinesin-12 (hKif15) plays a crucial role in assembly and maintenance of the mitotic spindle. These functions of hKif15 are partially redundant with Kinesin-5 (Eg5), which can cross-link and drive the extensile sliding of antiparallel microtubules. Although both motors are known to be tetramers, the functional properties of hKif15 are less well understood. Here we reveal how single or multiple Kif15 motors can cross-link, transport, and focus the plus-ends of intersecting microtubules. During transport, Kif15 motors step simultaneously along both microtubules with relative microtubule transport driven by a velocity differential between motor domain pairs. Remarkably, this differential is affected by the underlying intersection geometry: the differential is low on parallel and extreme on antiparallel microtubules where one motor domain pair becomes immobile. As a result, when intersecting microtubules are antiparallel, canonical transport of one microtubule along the other is allowed because one motor is firmly attached to one microtubule while it is stepping on the other. When intersecting microtubules are parallel, however, Kif15 motors can drive (biased) parallel sliding because the motor simultaneously steps on both microtubules that it cross-links. These microtubule rearrangements will focus microtubule plus-ends and finally lead to the formation of parallel bundles. At the same time, Kif15 motors cooperate to suppress catastrophe events at polymerizing microtubule plus-ends, raising the possibility that Kif15 motors may synchronize the dynamics of bundles that they have assembled. Thus, Kif15 is adapted to operate on parallel microtubule substrates, a property that clearly distinguishes it from the other tetrameric spindle motor, Eg5. PMID:26969727

  8. APC is an RNA-Binding Protein and its Interactome Provides a Link to Neural Development and Microtubule Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Preitner, Nicolas; Quan, Jie; Nowakowski, Dan W.; Hancock, Melissa L.; Shi, Jianhua; Tcherkezian, Joseph; Young-Pearse, Tracy L.; Flanagan, John G.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) is a microtubule plus-end scaffolding protein important in biology and disease. APC is implicated in RNA localization, although the mechanisms and functional significance remain unclear. We show that APC is an RNA-binding protein, and identify an RNA interactome by HITS-CLIP. Targets were highly enriched for APC-related functions, including microtubule organization, cell motility, cancer and neurologic disease. Among the targets is β2B-tubulin, known to be required in human neuron and axon migration. We show β2B-tubulin is synthesized in axons and localizes preferentially to dynamic microtubules in the growth cone periphery. APC binds the β2B-tubulin 3'UTR; treatments interfering with this interaction reduced β2B-tubulin mRNA axonal localization and expression, depleted dynamic microtubules and the growth cone periphery, and impaired neuron migration. These results identify APC as a platform binding functionally-related protein and RNA networks, and suggest a self-organizing model for the microtubule to localize synthesis of its own subunits. PMID:25036633

  9. Escape from Mitotic Arrest: An Unexpected Connection Between Microtubule Dynamics and Epigenetic Regulation of Centromeric Chromatin in Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

    PubMed

    George, Anuja A; Walworth, Nancy C

    2015-12-01

    Accurate chromosome segregation is necessary to ensure genomic integrity. Segregation depends on the proper functioning of the centromere, kinetochore, and mitotic spindle microtubules and is monitored by the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC). In the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, defects in Dis1, a microtubule-associated protein that influences microtubule dynamics, lead to mitotic arrest as a result of an active SAC and consequent failure to grow at low temperature. In a mutant dis1 background (dis1-288), loss of function of Msc1, a fission yeast homolog of the KDM5 family of proteins, suppresses the growth defect and promotes normal mitosis. Genetic analysis implicates a histone deacetylase (HDAC)-linked pathway in suppression because HDAC mutants clr6-1, clr3∆, and sir2∆, though not hos2∆, also promote normal mitosis in the dis1-288 mutant. Suppression of the dis phenotype through loss of msc1 function requires the spindle checkpoint protein Mad2 and is limited by the presence of the heterochromatin-associated HP1 protein homolog Swi6. We speculate that alterations in histone acetylation promote a centromeric chromatin environment that compensates for compromised dis1 function by allowing for successful kinetochore-microtubule interactions that can satisfy the SAC. In cells arrested in mitosis by mutation of dis1, loss of function of epigenetic determinants such as Msc1 or specific HDACs can promote cell survival. Because the KDM5 family of proteins has been implicated in human cancers, an appreciation of the potential role of this family of proteins in chromosome segregation is warranted. PMID:26510788

  10. A direct interaction between fascin and microtubules contributes to adhesion dynamics and cell migration

    PubMed Central

    Villari, Giulia; Jayo, Asier; Zanet, Jennifer; Fitch, Briana; Serrels, Bryan; Frame, Margaret; Stramer, Brian M.; Goult, Benjamin T.; Parsons, Maddy

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Fascin is an actin-binding and bundling protein that is highly upregulated in most epithelial cancers. Fascin promotes cell migration and adhesion dynamics in vitro and tumour cell metastasis in vivo. However, potential non-actin bundling roles for fascin remain unknown. Here, we show for the first time that fascin can directly interact with the microtubule cytoskeleton and that this does not depend upon fascin-actin bundling. Microtubule binding contributes to fascin-dependent control of focal adhesion dynamics and cell migration speed. We also show that fascin forms a complex with focal adhesion kinase (FAK, also known as PTK2) and Src, and that this signalling pathway lies downstream of fascin–microtubule association in the control of adhesion stability. These findings shed light on new non actin-dependent roles for fascin and might have implications for the design of therapies to target fascin in metastatic disease. PMID:26542021

  11. Dynamic instability 30 years later: complexities in microtubule growth and catastrophe

    PubMed Central

    Brouhard, Gary J.

    2015-01-01

    Microtubules are not like other polymers. Whereas polymers such as F-actin will grow continuously as long as the subunit concentration is high enough, a steadily growing microtubule can suddenly shrink even when there is ample αβ-tubulin around. This remarkable behavior was discovered in 1984 when Tim Mitchison and Marc Kirschner deduced that microtubules switch from growth to shrinkage when they lose their GTP caps. Here, I review the canonical explanation of dynamic instability that was fleshed out in the years after its discovery. Many aspects of this explanation have been recently subverted, particularly those related to how GTP-tubulin forms polymers and why GTP hydrolysis disrupts them. I describe these developments and speculate on how our explanation of dynamic instability can be changed to accommodate them. PMID:25823928

  12. Mutations in Human Tubulin Proximal to the Kinesin-Binding Site Alter Dynamic Instability at Microtubule Plus- and Minus-Ends.

    PubMed

    Ti, Shih-Chieh; Pamula, Melissa C; Howes, Stuart C; Duellberg, Christian; Cade, Nicholas I; Kleiner, Ralph E; Forth, Scott; Surrey, Thomas; Nogales, Eva; Kapoor, Tarun M

    2016-04-01

    The assembly of microtubule-based cellular structures depends on regulated tubulin polymerization and directional transport. Here, we purify and characterize tubulin heterodimers that have human β-tubulin isotype III (TUBB3), as well as heterodimers with one of two β-tubulin mutations (D417H or R262H). Both point mutations are proximal to the kinesin-binding site and have been linked to an ocular motility disorder in humans. Compared to wild-type, microtubules with these mutations have decreased catastrophe frequencies and increased average lifetimes of plus- and minus-end-stabilizing caps. Importantly, the D417H mutation does not alter microtubule lattice structure or Mal3 binding to growing filaments. Instead, this mutation reduces the affinity of tubulin for TOG domains and colchicine, suggesting that the distribution of tubulin heterodimer conformations is changed. Together, our findings reveal how residues on the surface of microtubules, distal from the GTP-hydrolysis site and inter-subunit contacts, can alter polymerization dynamics at the plus- and minus-ends of microtubules. PMID:27046833

  13. Cryo-EM Studies of Microtubule Structural Intermediates and Kinetochore–Microtubule Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Nogales, Eva; Ramey, Vincent H.; Wang, Hong-Wei

    2014-01-01

    The existence of structural intermediates in the processes of microtubule assembly and disassembly, and their relationship with the nucleotide state of tubulin, have been the subject of significant study and recent controversy. The first part of this chapter describes experiments and methods designed to characterize, using cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and image analysis, the structure of stabilized tubulin assemblies that we propose mimic the growth and shortening states at microtubule ends. We further put forward the idea that these intermediates have important biological functions, especially during cellular processes where the dynamic character of microtubules is essential. One such process is the attachment of spindle microtubules to kinetochores in eukaryotic cell division. The second part of this chapter is consequently dedicated to studies of the yeast Dam1 kinetochore complex and its interaction with microtubules. This complex is essential for accurate chromosome segregation and is an important target of the Aurora B spindle check-point kinase. The Dam1 complex self-assembles in a microtubule-dependent manner into rings and spirals. The rings are able to track microtubule-depolymerizing ends against a load and in a highly processive manner, an essential property for their function in vivo. We describe the experimental in vitro protocols to produce biologically relevant self-assembled structures of Dam1 around microtubules and their structural characterization by cryo-EM. PMID:20466133

  14. Microtubule-dependent membrane dynamics in Ustilago maydis

    PubMed Central

    Göhre, Vera; Vollmeister, Evelyn; Bölker, Michael; Feldbrügge, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Long-distance trafficking of membranous structures along the cytoskeleton is crucial for secretion and endocytosis in eukaryotes. Molecular motors are transporting both secretory and endocytic vesicles along polarized microtubules. Here, we review the transport mechanism and biological function of a distinct subset of large vesicles marked by the G-protein Rab5a in the model microorganism Ustilago maydis. These Rab5a-positive endosomes shuttle bi-directionally along microtubules mediated by the Unc104/KIF1A-related motor Kin3 and dynein Dyn1/2. Rab5a-positive endosomes exhibit diverse functions during the life cycle of U. maydis. In haploid budding cells they are involved in cytokinesis and pheromone signaling. During filamentous growth endosomes are used for long-distance transport of mRNA, a prerequisite to maintain polarity most likely via local translation of specific proteins at both the apical and distal ends of filaments. Endosomal co-transport of mRNA constitutes a novel function of these membrane compartments supporting the view that endosomes function as multipurpose platforms. PMID:23181166

  15. Desmosome assembly and dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Nekrasova, Oxana; Green, Kathleen J.

    2013-01-01

    Desmosomes are intercellular junctions that anchor intermediate filaments to the plasma membrane, forming a supracellular scaffold that provides mechanical resilience to tissues. This anchoring function is accomplished by specialized members of the cadherin family and associated cytoskeletal linking proteins, which together form a highly organized membrane core flanked by mirror image cytoplasmic plaques. Due to the biochemical insolubility of desmosomes, the mechanisms that govern assembly of these components into a functional organelle remained elusive. Recently developed molecular reporters and live cell imaging approaches have provided powerful new tools to monitor this finely-tuned process in real time. Here we discuss studies that are beginning to decipher the machinery and regulation governing desmosome assembly and homeostasis in situ, and how these mechanisms are affected during disease pathogenesis. PMID:23891292

  16. Titanium dioxide nanoparticles alter cellular morphology via disturbing the microtubule dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, Zhilei; Xu, Bo; Ji, Xiaoli; Zhou, Kun; Zhang, Xuemei; Chen, Minjian; Han, Xiumei; Tang, Qiusha; Wang, Xinru; Xia, Yankai

    2015-04-01

    Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles (NPs) have been widely used in our daily lives, for example, in the areas of sunscreens, cosmetics, toothpastes, food products, and nanomedical reagents. Recently, increasing concern has been raised about their neurotoxicity, but the mechanisms underlying such toxic effects are still unknown. In this work, we employed a human neuroblastoma cell line (SH-SY5Y) to study the effects of TiO2 NPs on neurological systems. Our results showed that TiO2 NPs did not affect cell viability but induced noticeable morphological changes until 100 μg ml-1. Immunofluorescence detection showed disorder, disruption, retraction, and decreased intensity of the microtubules after TiO2 NPs treatment. Both α and β tubule expressions did not change in the TiO2 NP-treated group, but the percentage of soluble tubules was increased. A microtubule dynamic study in living cells indicated that TiO2 NPs caused a lower growth rate and a higher shortening rate of microtubules as well as shortened lifetimes of de novo microtubules. TiO2 NPs did not cause changes in the expression and phosphorylation state of tau proteins, but a tau-TiO2 NP interaction was observed. TiO2 NPs could interact with tubule heterodimers, microtubules and tau proteins, which led to the instability of microtubules, thus contributing to the neurotoxicity of TiO2 NPs.Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles (NPs) have been widely used in our daily lives, for example, in the areas of sunscreens, cosmetics, toothpastes, food products, and nanomedical reagents. Recently, increasing concern has been raised about their neurotoxicity, but the mechanisms underlying such toxic effects are still unknown. In this work, we employed a human neuroblastoma cell line (SH-SY5Y) to study the effects of TiO2 NPs on neurological systems. Our results showed that TiO2 NPs did not affect cell viability but induced noticeable morphological changes until 100 μg ml-1. Immunofluorescence detection showed disorder

  17. The self-assembly ability of First microtubule-binding repeat from tau and its modulation by phosphorylation

    SciTech Connect

    Zhou Lianxiu; Zeng Zhiyang; Du Jintang; Zhao Yufen; Li Yanmei . E-mail: liym@mail.tsinghua.edu.cn

    2006-09-22

    Aggregation of abnormally phosphorylated tau in the form of tangs of paired helical filaments (PHFs) is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other tauopathies. It is of fundamental importance to study the mechanism of PHF formation and its modulation by phosphorylation. In this work, we have focused on First microtubule-binding repeat of tau encompassing an abnormal phosphorylation site Ser{sup 262}. The assembly propensities of this repeat and its corresponding phosphorylated form were investigated by turbidity and electron microscopy. Additionally, conformation of the two peptides is also analyzed through circular dichroism (CD) and NMR spectroscopy. Our results reveal that both of them are capable of self-assembly and phosphorylation at Ser{sup 262} could speed up the process of assembly. A possible mechanism of PHF formation is proposed and enhancing effect of phosphorylation on assembly provides an explanation to its toxicity in Alzheimer's disease.

  18. XMAP215 activity sets spindle length by controlling the total mass of spindle microtubules.

    PubMed

    Reber, Simone B; Baumgart, Johannes; Widlund, Per O; Pozniakovsky, Andrei; Howard, Jonathon; Hyman, Anthony A; Jülicher, Frank

    2013-09-01

    Metaphase spindles are microtubule-based structures that use a multitude of proteins to modulate their morphology and function. Today, we understand many details of microtubule assembly, the role of microtubule-associated proteins, and the action of molecular motors. Ultimately, the challenge remains to understand how the collective behaviour of these nanometre-scale processes gives rise to a properly sized spindle on the micrometre scale. By systematically engineering the enzymatic activity of XMAP215, a processive microtubule polymerase, we show that Xenopus laevis spindle length increases linearly with microtubule growth velocity, whereas other parameters of spindle organization, such as microtubule density, lifetime and spindle shape, remain constant. We further show that mass balance can be used to link the global property of spindle size to individual microtubule dynamic parameters. We propose that spindle length is set by a balance of non-uniform nucleation and global microtubule disassembly in a liquid-crystal-like arrangement of microtubules. PMID:23974040

  19. NuSAP modulates the dynamics of kinetochore microtubules by attenuating MCAK depolymerisation activity

    PubMed Central

    Li, Chenyu; Zhang, Yajun; Yang, Qiaoyun; Ye, Fan; Sun, Stella Ying; Chen, Ee Sin; Liou, Yih-Cherng

    2016-01-01

    Nucleolar and spindle-associated protein (NuSAP) is a microtubule-associated protein that functions as a microtubule stabiliser. Depletion of NuSAP leads to severe mitotic defects, however the mechanism by which NuSAP regulates mitosis remains elusive. In this study, we identify the microtubule depolymeriser, mitotic centromere-associated kinesin (MCAK), as a novel binding partner of NuSAP. We show that NuSAP regulates the dynamics and depolymerisation activity of MCAK. Phosphorylation of MCAK by Aurora B kinase, a component of the chromosomal passenger complex, significantly enhances the interaction of NuSAP with MCAK and modulates the effects of NuSAP on the depolymerisation activity of MCAK. Our results reveal an underlying mechanism by which NuSAP controls kinetochore microtubule dynamics spatially and temporally by modulating the depolymerisation function of MCAK in an Aurora B kinase-dependent manner. Hence, this study provides new insights into the function of NuSAP in spindle formation during mitosis. PMID:26733216

  20. Tubulin cofactors and Arl2 are cage-like chaperones that regulate the soluble αβ-tubulin pool for microtubule dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Nithianantham, Stanley; Le, Sinh; Seto, Elbert; Jia, Weitao; Leary, Julie; Corbett, Kevin D; Moore, Jeffrey K; Al-Bassam, Jawdat

    2015-01-01

    Microtubule dynamics and polarity stem from the polymerization of αβ-tubulin heterodimers. Five conserved tubulin cofactors/chaperones and the Arl2 GTPase regulate α- and β-tubulin assembly into heterodimers and maintain the soluble tubulin pool in the cytoplasm, but their physical mechanisms are unknown. Here, we reconstitute a core tubulin chaperone consisting of tubulin cofactors TBCD, TBCE, and Arl2, and reveal a cage-like structure for regulating αβ-tubulin. Biochemical assays and electron microscopy structures of multiple intermediates show the sequential binding of αβ-tubulin dimer followed by tubulin cofactor TBCC onto this chaperone, forming a ternary complex in which Arl2 GTP hydrolysis is activated to alter αβ-tubulin conformation. A GTP-state locked Arl2 mutant inhibits ternary complex dissociation in vitro and causes severe defects in microtubule dynamics in vivo. Our studies suggest a revised paradigm for tubulin cofactors and Arl2 functions as a catalytic chaperone that regulates soluble αβ-tubulin assembly and maintenance to support microtubule dynamics. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.08811.001 PMID:26208336

  1. Tubulin cofactors and Arl2 are cage-like chaperones that regulate the soluble αβ-tubulin pool for microtubule dynamics.

    PubMed

    Nithianantham, Stanley; Le, Sinh; Seto, Elbert; Jia, Weitao; Leary, Julie; Corbett, Kevin D; Moore, Jeffrey K; Al-Bassam, Jawdat

    2015-01-01

    Microtubule dynamics and polarity stem from the polymerization of αβ-tubulin heterodimers. Five conserved tubulin cofactors/chaperones and the Arl2 GTPase regulate α- and β-tubulin assembly into heterodimers and maintain the soluble tubulin pool in the cytoplasm, but their physical mechanisms are unknown. Here, we reconstitute a core tubulin chaperone consisting of tubulin cofactors TBCD, TBCE, and Arl2, and reveal a cage-like structure for regulating αβ-tubulin. Biochemical assays and electron microscopy structures of multiple intermediates show the sequential binding of αβ-tubulin dimer followed by tubulin cofactor TBCC onto this chaperone, forming a ternary complex in which Arl2 GTP hydrolysis is activated to alter αβ-tubulin conformation. A GTP-state locked Arl2 mutant inhibits ternary complex dissociation in vitro and causes severe defects in microtubule dynamics in vivo. Our studies suggest a revised paradigm for tubulin cofactors and Arl2 functions as a catalytic chaperone that regulates soluble αβ-tubulin assembly and maintenance to support microtubule dynamics. PMID:26208336

  2. Microtubules regulate focal adhesion dynamics through MAP4K4.

    PubMed

    Yue, Jiping; Xie, Min; Gou, Xuewen; Lee, Philbert; Schneider, Michael D; Wu, Xiaoyang

    2014-12-01

    Disassembly of focal adhesions (FAs) allows cell retraction and integrin detachment from the extracellular matrix, processes critical for cell movement. Growth of microtubules (MTs) can promote FA turnover by serving as tracks to deliver proteins essential for FA disassembly. The molecular nature of this FA "disassembly factor," however, remains elusive. By quantitative proteomics, we identified mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase kinase 4 (MAP4K4) as an FA regulator that associates with MTs. Knockout of MAP4K4 stabilizes FAs and impairs cell migration. By exploring underlying mechanisms, we further show that MAP4K4 associates with ending binding 2 (EB2) and IQ motif and SEC7 domain-containing protein 1 (IQSEC1), a guanine nucleotide exchange factor specific for Arf6, whose activation promotes integrin internalization. Together, our findings provide critical insight into FA disassembly, suggesting that MTs can deliver MAP4K4 toward FAs through EB2, where MAP4K4 can, in turn, activate Arf6 via IQSEC1 and enhance FA dissolution. PMID:25490267

  3. Microtubules Regulate Focal Adhesion Dynamics through MAP4K4

    PubMed Central

    Yue, Jiping; Xie, Min; Gou, Xuewen; Lee, Philbert; Schneider, Michael D; Wu, Xiaoyang

    2014-01-01

    Disassembly of focal adhesions (FAs) allows cell retraction and integrin detachment from the ECM, processes critical for cell movement. Growth of MT (microtubule) can promote FA turnover by serving as tracks to deliver proteins essential for FA disassembly. The molecular nature of this FA “disassembly factor”, however, remains elusive. By quantitative proteomics, we identified MAP4K4 (mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase kinase 4) as a FA regulator that associates with MTs. Conditional knockout (cKO) of MAP4K4 in skin stabilizes FAs and impairs epidermal migration. By exploring underlying mechanisms, we further show that MAP4K4 associates with EB2, a MT binding protein, and IQSEC1, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) specific for Arf6, whose activation promotes integrin internalization. Together, our findings provide critical insights into FA disassembly, suggesting that MTs can deliver MAP4K4 toward FAs through EB2, where MAP4K4 can in turn activate Arf6 via IQSEC1 and enhance FA dissolution. PMID:25490267

  4. Spatio-temporal Dynamics and Mechanisms of Stress Granule Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Ohshima, Daisuke; Arimoto-Matsuzaki, Kyoko; Tomida, Taichiro; Takekawa, Mutsuhiro; Ichikawa, Kazuhisa

    2015-01-01

    Stress granules (SGs) are non-membranous cytoplasmic aggregates of mRNAs and related proteins, assembled in response to environmental stresses such as heat shock, hypoxia, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, chemicals (e.g. arsenite), and viral infections. SGs are hypothesized as a loci of mRNA triage and/or maintenance of proper translation capacity ratio to the pool of mRNAs. In brain ischemia, hippocampal CA3 neurons, which are resilient to ischemia, assemble SGs. In contrast, CA1 neurons, which are vulnerable to ischemia, do not assemble SGs. These results suggest a critical role SG plays in regards to cell fate decisions. Thus SG assembly along with its dynamics should determine the cell fate. However, the process that exactly determines the SG assembly dynamics is largely unknown. In this paper, analyses of experimental data and computer simulations were used to approach this problem. SGs were assembled as a result of applying arsenite to HeLa cells. The number of SGs increased after a short latent period, reached a maximum, then decreased during the application of arsenite. At the same time, the size of SGs grew larger and became localized at the perinuclear region. A minimal mathematical model was constructed, and stochastic simulations were run to test the modeling. Since SGs are discrete entities as there are only several tens of them in a cell, commonly used deterministic simulations could not be employed. The stochastic simulations replicated observed dynamics of SG assembly. In addition, these stochastic simulations predicted a gamma distribution relative to the size of SGs. This same distribution was also found in our experimental data suggesting the existence of multiple fusion steps in the SG assembly. Furthermore, we found that the initial steps in the SG assembly process and microtubules were critical to the dynamics. Thus our experiments and stochastic simulations presented a possible mechanism regulating SG assembly. PMID:26115353

  5. Pharmacological and genetic evidence for a role of rootlet and phycoplast microtubules in the positioning and assembly of cleavage furrows in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

    PubMed

    Ehler, L L; Dutcher, S K

    1998-01-01

    In Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, specialized cytoskeletal structures known as rootlet microtubules are present throughout interphase and mitosis. During cytokinesis, an array of microtubules termed the phycoplast is nucleated from rootlet microtubules and forms coincidentally with the cleavage furrow [Johnson and Porter, 1968: J. Cell Biol. 38:403-425; Holmes and Dutcher, 1989: J. Cell Sci. 94:273-285; Gaffel and el-Gammel, 1990: Protoplasma 156:139-148; Schibler and Huang, 1991: J. Cell Biol. 113:605-614]. We have obtained two independent lines of evidence that support the hypothesis that the rootlet and phycoplast microtubules play a direct role in cleavage furrow placement and assembly. First, the destabilization of spindle and phycoplast microtubules by pharmacological agents was accompanied by the aberrant distribution of actin and a failure of cytokinesis. Second, we characterized mutant strains that failed to complete cytokinesis properly. Actin and myosin were mislocalized to additional rootlet microtubules in the cyt2-1 strain, and this mislocalization was correlated with the presence of additional cleavage furrows. This evidence suggests that microtubules are necessary for the correct positioning and assembly of functional cleavage furrows in C. reinhardtii. PMID:9634216

  6. Human chromokinesins promote chromosome congression and spindle microtubule dynamics during mitosis

    PubMed Central

    Wandke, Cornelia; Barisic, Marin; Sigl, Reinhard; Rauch, Veronika; Wolf, Frank; Amaro, Ana C.; Tan, Chia H.; Pereira, Antonio J.; Kutay, Ulrike; Maiato, Helder; Meraldi, Patrick

    2012-01-01

    Chromokinesins are microtubule plus end–directed motor proteins that bind to chromosome arms. In Xenopus egg cell-free extracts, Xkid and Xklp1 are essential for bipolar spindle formation but the functions of the human homologues, hKID (KIF22) and KIF4A, are poorly understood. By using RNAi-mediated protein knockdown in human cells, we find that only co-depletion delayed progression through mitosis in a Mad2-dependent manner. Depletion of hKID caused abnormal chromosome arm orientation, delayed chromosome congression, and sensitized cells to nocodazole. Knockdown of KIF4A increased the number and length of microtubules, altered kinetochore oscillations, and decreased kinetochore microtubule flux. These changes were associated with failures in establishing a tight metaphase plate and an increase in anaphase lagging chromosomes. Co-depletion of both chromokinesins aggravated chromosome attachment failures, which led to mitotic arrest. Thus, hKID and KIF4A contribute independently to the rapid and correct attachment of chromosomes by controlling the positioning of chromosome arms and the dynamics of microtubules, respectively. PMID:22945934

  7. AKAP9, a Regulator of Microtubule Dynamics, Contributes to Blood-Testis Barrier Function.

    PubMed

    Venkatesh, Deepak; Mruk, Dolores; Herter, Jan M; Cullere, Xavier; Chojnacka, Katarzyna; Cheng, C Yan; Mayadas, Tanya N

    2016-02-01

    The blood-testis barrier (BTB), formed between adjacent Sertoli cells, undergoes extensive remodeling to facilitate the transport of preleptotene spermatocytes across the barrier from the basal to apical compartments of the seminiferous tubules for further development and maturation into spermatozoa. The actin cytoskeleton serves unique structural and supporting roles in this process, but little is known about the role of microtubules and their regulators during BTB restructuring. The large isoform of the cAMP-responsive scaffold protein AKAP9 regulates microtubule dynamics and nucleation at the Golgi. We found that conditional deletion of Akap9 in mice after the initial formation of the BTB at puberty leads to infertility. Akap9 deletion results in marked alterations in the organization of microtubules in Sertoli cells and a loss of barrier integrity despite a relatively intact, albeit more apically localized F-actin and BTB tight junctional proteins. These changes are accompanied by a loss of haploid spermatids due to impeded meiosis. The barrier, however, progressively reseals in older Akap9 null mice, which correlates with a reduction in germ cell apoptosis and a greater incidence of meiosis. However, spermiogenesis remains defective, suggesting additional roles for AKAP9 in this process. Together, our data suggest that AKAP9 and, by inference, the regulation of the microtubule network are critical for BTB function and subsequent germ cell development during spermatogenesis. PMID:26687990

  8. Human chromokinesins promote chromosome congression and spindle microtubule dynamics during mitosis.

    PubMed

    Wandke, Cornelia; Barisic, Marin; Sigl, Reinhard; Rauch, Veronika; Wolf, Frank; Amaro, Ana C; Tan, Chia H; Pereira, Antonio J; Kutay, Ulrike; Maiato, Helder; Meraldi, Patrick; Geley, Stephan

    2012-09-01

    Chromokinesins are microtubule plus end-directed motor proteins that bind to chromosome arms. In Xenopus egg cell-free extracts, Xkid and Xklp1 are essential for bipolar spindle formation but the functions of the human homologues, hKID (KIF22) and KIF4A, are poorly understood. By using RNAi-mediated protein knockdown in human cells, we find that only co-depletion delayed progression through mitosis in a Mad2-dependent manner. Depletion of hKID caused abnormal chromosome arm orientation, delayed chromosome congression, and sensitized cells to nocodazole. Knockdown of KIF4A increased the number and length of microtubules, altered kinetochore oscillations, and decreased kinetochore microtubule flux. These changes were associated with failures in establishing a tight metaphase plate and an increase in anaphase lagging chromosomes. Co-depletion of both chromokinesins aggravated chromosome attachment failures, which led to mitotic arrest. Thus, hKID and KIF4A contribute independently to the rapid and correct attachment of chromosomes by controlling the positioning of chromosome arms and the dynamics of microtubules, respectively. PMID:22945934

  9. Regulation of tubulin levels and microtubule assembly in Saccharomyces cerevisiae: consequences of altered tubulin gene copy number.

    PubMed Central

    Katz, W; Weinstein, B; Solomon, F

    1990-01-01

    Microtubule organization in the cytoplasm is in part a function of the number and length of the assembled polymers. The intracellular concentration of tubulin could specify those parameters. Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains constructed with moderately decreased or increased copy numbers of tubulin genes provide an opportunity to study the cellular response to a steady-state change in tubulin concentration. We found no evidence of a mechanism for adjusting tubulin concentrations upward from a deficit, nor did we find a need for such a mechanism: cells with no more than 50% of the wild-type tubulin level were normal with respect to a series of microtubule-dependent properties. Strains with increased copies of both alpha- and beta-tubulin genes, or of alpha-tubulin genes alone, apparently did down regulate their tubulin levels. As a result, they contained greater than normal concentrations of tubulin but much less than predicted from the increase in gene number. Some of this down regulation occurred at the level of protein. These strains were also phenotypically normal. Cells could contain excess alpha-tubulin protein without detectable consequences, but perturbations resulting in excess beta-tubulin genes may have affected microtubule-dependent functions. All of the observed regulation of levels of tubulin can be explained as a response to toxicity associated with excess tubulin proteins, especially if beta-tubulin is much more toxic than alpha-tubulin. Images PMID:2204811

  10. Interaction of CK1δ with γTuSC ensures proper microtubule assembly and spindle positioning

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Yutian; Moritz, Michelle; Han, Xuemei; Giddings, Thomas H.; Lyon, Andrew; Kollman, Justin; Winey, Mark; Yates, John; Agard, David A.; Drubin, David G.; Barnes, Georjana

    2015-01-01

    Casein kinase 1δ (CK1δ) family members associate with microtubule-organizing centers (MTOCs) from yeast to humans, but their mitotic roles and targets have yet to be identified. We show here that budding yeast CK1δ, Hrr25, is a γ-tubulin small complex (γTuSC) binding factor. Moreover, Hrr25's association with γTuSC depends on its kinase activity and its noncatalytic central domain. Loss of Hrr25 kinase activity resulted in assembly of unusually long cytoplasmic microtubules and defects in spindle positioning, consistent with roles in regulation of γTuSC-mediated microtubule nucleation and the Kar9 spindle-positioning pathway, respectively. Hrr25 directly phosphorylated γTuSC proteins in vivo and in vitro, and this phosphorylation promoted γTuSC integrity and activity. Because CK1δ and γTuSC are highly conserved and present at MTOCs in diverse eukaryotes, similar regulatory mechanisms are expected to apply generally in eukaryotes. PMID:25971801

  11. Hierarchical Bionanotubes Formed By the Self Assembly of Microtubules With Cationic Membranes Or Polypeptides

    SciTech Connect

    Raviv, U.; Needleman, D.J.; Ewert, K.K.; Safinya, C.R.

    2009-06-05

    At present there is a surge in interest in biophysical research aimed at elucidating collective interactions between cellular proteins and associated biomolecules leading to supramolecular structures, with the ultimate goal of relating structure to function. The nerve cell cytoskeleton provides a rich example of highly ordered bundles and networks of interacting neurofilaments, microtubules and filamentous actin, where the nature of the interactions, structures and structure-function correlations remain poorly understood. We present synchrotron X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy data, in reconstituted protein systems from the bovine central nervous system, which reveal unexpected structures not predicted by current electrostatic theories. By mixing preassembled microtubules with charged membranes or polypeptides we found hierarchical bionanotubes made of microtubules coated by lipid bilayers or polypeptides, which in turn are coated with a third layer of tubulin oligomers forming rings or spirals.

  12. Microtubule plus-end and minus-end capture at adherens junctions is involved in the assembly of apico-basal arrays in polarised epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Bellett, Gemma; Carter, Jane M; Keynton, Jennifer; Goldspink, Deborah; James, Colin; Moss, David K; Mogensen, Mette M

    2009-10-01

    Apico-basal polarisation of epithelial cells involves a dramatic reorganisation of the microtubule cytoskeleton. The classic radial array of microtubules focused on a centrally located centrosome typical of many animal cells is lost or greatly reduced and a non-centrosomal apico-basal array develops. The molecules and mechanisms responsible for the assembly and positioning of these non-centrosomal microtubules have not been fully elucidated. Using a Nocodazole induced regrowth assay in invitro culture (MDCK) and in situ epithelial (cochlear Kolliker's) cell models we establish that the apico-basal array originates from the centrosome and that the non-centrosomal microtubule minus-end anchoring sites do not contribute significantly to their nucleation. Confocal and electron microscopy revealed that an extended radial array assembles with microtubule plus-ends targeting cadheren sites at adherens junctions and EB1 and CLIP-170 co-localising with beta-catenin and dynein clusters at the junction sites. The extended radial array is likely to be a vital intermediate step in the assembly process with cortical anchored dynein providing the mechanical force required for microtubule release, translocation and capture. Ultrastructural analyses of the apico-basal arrays in fully polarised MDCK and Kolliker's cells revealed microtubule minus-end association with the most apical adherens junction (Zonula adherens). We propose that a release and capture model involving both microtubule plus- and minus-end capture at adherens junctions is responsible for the generation of non-centrosomal apico-basal arrays in most centrosome containing polarised epithelial cells. PMID:19479825

  13. Kinesin-5 is a microtubule polymerase

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yalei; Hancock, William O

    2015-01-01

    Kinesin-5 slides antiparallel microtubules during spindle assembly, and regulates the branching of growing axons. Besides the mechanical activities enabled by its tetrameric configuration, the specific motor properties of kinesin-5 that underlie its cellular function remain unclear. Here by engineering a stable kinesin-5 dimer and reconstituting microtubule dynamics in vitro, we demonstrate that kinesin-5 promotes microtubule polymerization by increasing the growth rate and decreasing the catastrophe frequency. Strikingly, microtubules growing in the presence of kinesin-5 have curved plus ends, suggesting that the motor stabilizes growing protofilaments. Single-molecule fluorescence experiments reveal that kinesin-5 remains bound to the plus ends of static microtubules for 7 s, and tracks growing microtubule plus ends in a manner dependent on its processivity. We propose that kinesin-5 pauses at microtubule plus ends and enhances polymerization by stabilizing longitudinal tubulin–tubulin interactions, and that these activities underlie the ability kinesin-5 to slide and stabilize microtubule bundles in cells. PMID:26437877

  14. ADP ribosylation factor like 2 (Arl2) protein influences microtubule dynamics in breast cancer cells

    SciTech Connect

    Beghin, Anne . E-mail: anne.beghin@recherche.univ-lyon1.fr; Honore, Stephane; Messana, Celine; Matera, Eva-Laure; Aim, Jennifer; Burlinchon, Sandrine; Braguer, Diane; Dumontet, Charles

    2007-02-01

    ADP ribosylation factor like 2 (Arl2) protein is involved in the folding of tubulin peptides. Variants of the human adenocarcinoma line MCF7 cells with increased or reduced content of Arl2 protein were produced and characterized. Western blot analysis performed after separation of the different fractions of tubulins showed that the content in polymerizable soluble heterodimers was significantly increased in cells with the highest Arl2 expression level (MA+) and reduced in cells with the lowest Arl2 expression level (MA-) in comparison to control cells (MP). Microtubule dynamic instability, measured after microinjection of rhodamine-labelled tubulin in living cells, was significantly enhanced in MA+ cells and reduced in MA- cells. These alterations involved modifications of the microtubule growth and shortening rates, duration of attenuation phases, percentage of time spent in each phase (growth, shortening and attenuation) and catastrophe frequency. We also observed modifications in the expression level of the tumor suppressor protein phosphatase 2Ac, which has been shown to form a complex with Arl2. Finally, cell cycle progression was modified in these cells, particularly in regard to duration of telophase. In summary, alterations in Arl2 protein content were found to be associated with modifications in tubulin pools, microtubule dynamics as well as cell cycle progression.

  15. Mechanistic Origin of Microtubule Dynamic Instability and Its Modulation by EB Proteins.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Rui; Alushin, Gregory M; Brown, Alan; Nogales, Eva

    2015-08-13

    Microtubule (MT) dynamic instability is driven by GTP hydrolysis and regulated by microtubule-associated proteins, including the plus-end tracking end-binding protein (EB) family. We report six cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structures of MTs, at 3.5 Å or better resolution, bound to GMPCPP, GTPγS, or GDP, either decorated with kinesin motor domain after polymerization or copolymerized with EB3. Subtle changes around the E-site nucleotide during hydrolysis trigger conformational changes in α-tubulin around an "anchor point," leading to global lattice rearrangements and strain generation. Unlike the extended lattice of the GMPCPP-MT, the EB3-bound GTPγS-MT has a compacted lattice that differs in lattice twist from that of the also compacted GDP-MT. These results and the observation that EB3 promotes rapid hydrolysis of GMPCPP suggest that EB proteins modulate structural transitions at growing MT ends by recognizing and promoting an intermediate state generated during GTP hydrolysis. Our findings explain both EBs end-tracking behavior and their effect on microtubule dynamics. PMID:26234155

  16. The Kinesin KIF1C and Microtubule Plus Ends Regulate Podosome Dynamics in Macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Kopp, Petra; Lammers, Reiner; Aepfelbacher, Martin; Woehlke, Günther; Rudel, Thomas; Machuy, Nikolaus; Steffen, Walter

    2006-01-01

    Microtubules are important for the turnover of podosomes, dynamic, actin-rich adhesions implicated in migration and invasion of monocytic cells. The molecular basis for this functional dependency, however, remained unclear. Here, we show that contact by microtubule plus ends critically influences the cellular fate of podosomes in primary human macrophages. In particular, we identify the kinesin KIF1C, a member of the Kinesin-3 family, as a plus-end–enriched motor that targets regions of podosome turnover. Expression of mutation constructs or small interfering RNA-/short hairpin RNA-based depletion of KIF1C resulted in decreased podosome dynamics and ultimately in podosome deficiency. Importantly, protein interaction studies showed that KIF1C binds to nonmuscle myosin IIA via its PTPD-binding domain, thus providing an interface between the actin and tubulin cytoskeletons, which may facilitate the subcellular targeting of podosomes by microtubules. This is the first report to implicate a kinesin in podosome regulation and also the first to describe a function for KIF1C in human cells. PMID:16554367

  17. Dynamics of assembly production flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ezaki, Takahiro; Yanagisawa, Daichi; Nishinari, Katsuhiro

    2015-06-01

    Despite recent developments in management theory, maintaining a manufacturing schedule remains difficult because of production delays and fluctuations in demand and supply of materials. The response of manufacturing systems to such disruptions to dynamic behavior has been rarely studied. To capture these responses, we investigate a process that models the assembly of parts into end products. The complete assembly process is represented by a directed tree, where the smallest parts are injected at leaves and the end products are removed at the root. A discrete assembly process, represented by a node on the network, integrates parts, which are then sent to the next downstream node as a single part. The model exhibits some intriguing phenomena, including overstock cascade, phase transition in terms of demand and supply fluctuations, nonmonotonic distribution of stockout in the network, and the formation of a stockout path and stockout chains. Surprisingly, these rich phenomena result from only the nature of distributed assembly processes. From a physical perspective, these phenomena provide insight into delay dynamics and inventory distributions in large-scale manufacturing systems.

  18. Enhanced dynamic instability of microtubules in a ROS free inert environment.

    PubMed

    Islam, Md Sirajul; Kabir, Arif Md Rashedul; Inoue, Daisuke; Sada, Kazuki; Kakugo, Akira

    2016-04-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS), one of the regulators in various biological processes, have recently been suspected to modulate microtubule (MT) dynamics in cells. However due to complicated cellular environment and unavailability of any in vitro investigation, no detail is understood yet. Here, by performing simple in vitro investigations, we have unveiled the effect of ROS on MT dynamics. By studying dynamic instability of MTs in a ROS free environment and comparing with that in the presence of ROS, we disclosed that MTs showed enhanced dynamics in the ROS free environment. All the parameters that define dynamic instability of MTs e.g., growth and shrinkage rates, rescue and catastrophe frequencies were significantly affected by the presence of ROS. This work clearly reveals the role of ROS in modulating MT dynamics in vitro, and would be a great help in understanding the role of ROS in regulation of MT dynamics in cells. PMID:26774598

  19. CYLD Regulates Noscapine Activity in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia via a Microtubule-Dependent Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Yunfan; Ran, Jie; Sun, Lei; Sun, Xiaodong; Luo, Youguang; Yan, Bing; Tala; Liu, Min; Li, Dengwen; Zhang, Lei; Bao, Gang; Zhou, Jun

    2015-01-01

    Noscapine is an orally administrable drug used worldwide for cough suppression and has recently been demonstrated to disrupt microtubule dynamics and possess anticancer activity. However, the molecular mechanisms regulating noscapine activity remain poorly defined. Here we demonstrate that cylindromatosis (CYLD), a microtubule-associated tumor suppressor protein, modulates the activity of noscapine both in cell lines and in primary cells of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Flow cytometry and immunofluorescence microscopy reveal that CYLD increases the ability of noscapine to induce mitotic arrest and apoptosis. Examination of cellular microtubules as well as in vitro assembled microtubules shows that CYLD enhances the effect of noscapine on microtubule polymerization. Microtubule cosedimentation and fluorescence titration assays further reveal that CYLD interacts with microtubule outer surface and promotes noscapine binding to microtubules. These findings thus demonstrate CYLD as a critical regulator of noscapine activity and have important implications for ALL treatment. PMID:25897332

  20. Microtubule doublets are double-track railways for intraflagellar transport trains.

    PubMed

    Stepanek, Ludek; Pigino, Gaia

    2016-05-01

    The cilium is a large macromolecular machine that is vital for motility, signaling, and sensing in most eukaryotic cells. Its conserved core structure, the axoneme, contains nine microtubule doublets, each comprising a full A-microtubule and an incomplete B-microtubule. However, thus far, the function of this doublet geometry has not been understood. We developed a time-resolved correlative fluorescence and three-dimensional electron microscopy approach to investigate the dynamics of intraflagellar transport (IFT) trains, which carry ciliary building blocks along microtubules during the assembly and disassembly of the cilium. Using this method, we showed that each microtubule doublet is used as a bidirectional double-track railway: Anterograde IFT trains move along B-microtubules, and retrograde trains move along A-microtubules. Thus, the microtubule doublet geometry provides direction-specific rails to coordinate bidirectional transport of ciliary components. PMID:27151870

  1. CYLD Regulates Noscapine Activity in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia via a Microtubule-Dependent Mechanism.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yunfan; Ran, Jie; Sun, Lei; Sun, Xiaodong; Luo, Youguang; Yan, Bing; Tala; Liu, Min; Li, Dengwen; Zhang, Lei; Bao, Gang; Zhou, Jun

    2015-01-01

    Noscapine is an orally administrable drug used worldwide for cough suppression and has recently been demonstrated to disrupt microtubule dynamics and possess anticancer activity. However, the molecular mechanisms regulating noscapine activity remain poorly defined. Here we demonstrate that cylindromatosis (CYLD), a microtubule-associated tumor suppressor protein, modulates the activity of noscapine both in cell lines and in primary cells of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Flow cytometry and immunofluorescence microscopy reveal that CYLD increases the ability of noscapine to induce mitotic arrest and apoptosis. Examination of cellular microtubules as well as in vitro assembled microtubules shows that CYLD enhances the effect of noscapine on microtubule polymerization. Microtubule cosedimentation and fluorescence titration assays further reveal that CYLD interacts with microtubule outer surface and promotes noscapine binding to microtubules. These findings thus demonstrate CYLD as a critical regulator of noscapine activity and have important implications for ALL treatment. PMID:25897332

  2. Mechanism of dynamic reorientation of cortical microtubules due to mechanical stress.

    PubMed

    Muratov, Alexander; Baulin, Vladimir A

    2015-12-01

    Directional growth caused by gravitropism and corresponding bending of plant cells has been explored since 19th century, however, many aspects of mechanisms underlying the perception of gravity at the molecular level are still not well known. Perception of gravity in root and shoot gravitropisms is usually attributed to gravisensitive cells, called statocytes, which exploit sedimentation of macroscopic and heavy organelles, amyloplasts, to sense the direction of gravity. Gravity stimulus is then transduced into distal elongation zone, which is several mm far from statocytes, where it causes stretching. It is suggested that gravity stimulus is conveyed by gradients in auxin flux. We propose a theoretical model that may explain how concentration gradients and/or stretching may indirectly affect the global orientation of cortical microtubules, attached to the cell membrane and induce their dynamic reorientation perpendicular to the gradients. In turn, oriented microtubule arrays direct the growth and orientation of cellulose microfibrils, forming part of the cell external skeleton and determine the shape of the cell. Reorientation of microtubules is also observed in reaction to light in phototropism and mechanical bending, thus suggesting universality of the proposed mechanism. PMID:26422460

  3. A model for the regulatory network controlling the dynamics of kinetochore microtubule plus-ends and poleward flux in metaphase

    PubMed Central

    Fernandez, Nicolas; Chang, Qiang; Buster, Daniel W.; Sharp, David J.; Ma, Ao

    2009-01-01

    Tight regulation of kinetochore microtubule dynamics is required to generate the appropriate position and movement of chromosomes on the mitotic spindle. A widely studied but mysterious aspect of this regulation occurs during metaphase when polymerization of kinetochore microtubule plus-ends is balanced by depolymerization at their minus-ends. Thus, kinetochore microtubules maintain a constant net length, allowing chromosomes to persist at the spindle equator, but consist of tubulin subunits that continually flux toward spindle poles. Here, we construct a feasible network of regulatory proteins for controlling kinetochore microtubule plus-end dynamics, which was combined with a Monte Carlo algorithm to simulate metaphase tubulin flux. We also test the network model by combining it with a force-balancing model explicitly taking force generators into account. Our data reveal how relatively simple interrelationships among proteins that stimulate microtubule plus-end polymerization, depolymerization, and dynamicity can induce robust flux while accurately predicting apparently contradictory results of knockdown experiments. The model also provides a simple and robust physical mechanism through which the regulatory networks at kinetochore microtubule plus- and minus-ends could communicate. PMID:19416899

  4. NOCA-1 functions with γ-tubulin and in parallel to Patronin to assemble non-centrosomal microtubule arrays in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Shaohe; Wu, Di; Quintin, Sophie; Green, Rebecca A; Cheerambathur, Dhanya K; Ochoa, Stacy D; Desai, Arshad; Oegema, Karen

    2015-01-01

    Non-centrosomal microtubule arrays assemble in differentiated tissues to perform mechanical and transport-based functions. In this study, we identify Caenorhabditis elegans NOCA-1 as a protein with homology to vertebrate ninein. NOCA-1 contributes to the assembly of non-centrosomal microtubule arrays in multiple tissues. In the larval epidermis, NOCA-1 functions redundantly with the minus end protection factor Patronin/PTRN-1 to assemble a circumferential microtubule array essential for worm growth and morphogenesis. Controlled degradation of a γ-tubulin complex subunit in this tissue revealed that γ-tubulin acts with NOCA-1 in parallel to Patronin/PTRN-1. In the germline, NOCA-1 and γ-tubulin co-localize at the cell surface, and inhibiting either leads to a microtubule assembly defect. γ-tubulin targets independently of NOCA-1, but NOCA-1 targeting requires γ-tubulin when a non-essential putatively palmitoylated cysteine is mutated. These results show that NOCA-1 acts with γ-tubulin to assemble non-centrosomal arrays in multiple tissues and highlight functional overlap between the ninein and Patronin protein families. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.08649.001 PMID:26371552

  5. Distinct roles of doublecortin modulating the microtubule cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Moores, Carolyn A; Perderiset, Mylène; Kappeler, Caroline; Kain, Susan; Drummond, Douglas; Perkins, Stephen J; Chelly, Jamel; Cross, Rob; Houdusse, Anne; Francis, Fiona

    2006-01-01

    Doublecortin is a neuronal microtubule-stabilising protein, mutations of which cause mental retardation and epilepsy in humans. How doublecortin influences microtubule dynamics, and thereby brain development, is unclear. We show here by video microscopy that purified doublecortin has no effect on the growth rate of microtubules. However, it is a potent anti-catastrophe factor that stabilises microtubules by linking adjacent protofilaments and counteracting their outward bending in depolymerising microtubules. We show that doublecortin-stabilised microtubules are substrates for kinesin translocase motors and for depolymerase kinesins. In addition, doublecortin does not itself oligomerise and does not bind to tubulin heterodimers but does nucleate microtubules. In cells, doublecortin is enriched at the distal ends of neuronal processes and our data raise the possibility that the function of doublecortin in neurons is to drive assembly and stabilisation of non-centrosomal microtubules in these doublecortin-enriched distal zones. These distinct properties combine to give doublecortin a unique function in microtubule regulation, a role that cannot be compensated for by other microtubule-stabilising proteins and nucleating factors. PMID:16957770

  6. Zwint-1 is required for spindle assembly checkpoint function and kinetochore-microtubule attachment during oocyte meiosis

    PubMed Central

    Woo Seo, Dong; Yeop You, Seung; Chung, Woo-Jae; Cho, Dong-Hyung; Kim, Jae-Sung; Su Oh, Jeong

    2015-01-01

    The key step for faithful chromosome segregation during meiosis is kinetochore assembly. Defects in this process result in aneuploidy, leading to miscarriages, infertility and various birth defects. However, the roles of kinetochores in homologous chromosome segregation during meiosis are ill-defined. Here we found that Zwint-1 is required for homologous chromosome segregation during meiosis. Knockdown of Zwint-1 accelerated the first meiosis by abrogating the kinetochore recruitment of Mad2, leading to chromosome misalignment and a high incidence of aneuploidy. Although Zwint-1 knockdown did not affect Aurora C kinase activity, the meiotic defects following Zwint-1 knockdown were similar to those observed with ZM447439 treatment. Importantly, the chromosome misalignment following Aurora C kinase inhibition was not restored after removing the inhibitor in Zwint-1-knockdown oocytes, whereas the defect was rescued after the inhibitor washout in the control oocytes. These results suggest that Aurora C kinase-mediated correction of erroneous kinetochore-microtubule attachment is primarily regulated by Zwint-1. Our results provide the first evidence that Zwint-1 is required to correct erroneous kinetochore-microtubule attachment and regulate spindle checkpoint function during meiosis. PMID:26486467

  7. Regulation of Microtubule Dynamics in Axon Regeneration: Insights from C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Ngang Heok; Chisholm, Andrew D.

    2016-01-01

    The capacity of an axon to regenerate is regulated by its external environment and by cell-intrinsic factors. Studies in a variety of organisms suggest that alterations in axonal microtubule (MT) dynamics have potent effects on axon regeneration. We review recent findings on the regulation of MT dynamics during axon regeneration, focusing on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. In C. elegans the dual leucine zipper kinase (DLK) promotes axon regeneration, whereas the exchange factor for Arf6 (EFA-6) inhibits axon regeneration. Both DLK and EFA-6 respond to injury and control axon regeneration in part via MT dynamics. How the DLK and EFA-6 pathways are related is a topic of active investigation, as is the mechanism by which EFA-6 responds to axonal injury. We evaluate potential candidates, such as the MT affinity-regulating kinase PAR-1/MARK, in regulation of EFA-6 and axonal MT dynamics in regeneration. PMID:27350865

  8. Experimental virus evolution reveals a role of plant microtubule dynamics and TORTIFOLIA1/SPIRAL2 in RNA trafficking.

    PubMed

    Peña, Eduardo José; Ferriol, Inmaculada; Sambade, Adrián; Buschmann, Henrik; Niehl, Annette; Elena, Santiago F; Rubio, Luis; Heinlein, Manfred

    2014-01-01

    The cytoskeleton is a dynamic network composed of filamentous polymers and regulatory proteins that provide a flexible structural scaffold to the cell and plays a fundamental role in developmental processes. Mutations that alter the spatial orientation of the cortical microtubule (MT) array of plants are known to cause important changes in the pattern of cell wall synthesis and developmental phenotypes; however, the consequences of such alterations on other MT-network-associated functions in the cytoplasm are not known. In vivo observations suggested a role of cortical MTs in the formation and movement of Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) RNA complexes along the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Thus, to probe the significance of dynamic MT behavior in the coordination of MT-network-associated functions related to TMV infection and, thus, in the formation and transport of RNA complexes in the cytoplasm, we performed an evolution experiment with TMV in Arabidopsis thaliana tor1/spr2 and tor2 mutants with specific defects in MT dynamics and asked whether TMV is sensitive to these changes. We show that the altered cytoskeleton induced genetic changes in TMV that were correlated with efficient spread of infection in the mutant hosts. These observations demonstrate a role of dynamic MT rearrangements and of the MT-associated protein TORTIFOLIA1/SPIRAL2 in cellular functions related to virus spread and indicate that MT dynamics and MT-associated proteins represent constraints for virus evolution and adaptation. The results highlight the importance of the dynamic plasticity of the MT network in directing cytoplasmic functions in macromolecular assembly and trafficking and illustrate the value of experimental virus evolution for addressing the cellular functions of dynamic, long-range order systems in multicellular organisms. PMID:25133612

  9. Molecular and Mechanical Causes of Microtubule Catastrophe and Aging.

    PubMed

    Zakharov, Pavel; Gudimchuk, Nikita; Voevodin, Vladimir; Tikhonravov, Alexander; Ataullakhanov, Fazoil I; Grishchuk, Ekaterina L

    2015-12-15

    Tubulin polymers, microtubules, can switch abruptly from the assembly to shortening. These infrequent transitions, termed "catastrophes", affect numerous cellular processes but the underlying mechanisms are elusive. We approached this complex stochastic system using advanced coarse-grained molecular dynamics modeling of tubulin-tubulin interactions. Unlike in previous simplified models of dynamic microtubules, the catastrophes in this model arise owing to fluctuations in the composition and conformation of a growing microtubule tip, most notably in the number of protofilament curls. In our model, dynamic evolution of the stochastic microtubule tip configurations over a long timescale, known as the system's "aging", gives rise to the nonexponential distribution of microtubule lifetimes, consistent with experiment. We show that aging takes place in the absence of visible changes in the microtubule wall or tip, as this complex molecular-mechanical system evolves slowly and asymptotically toward the steady-state level of the catastrophe-promoting configurations. This new, to our knowledge, theoretical basis will assist detailed mechanistic investigations of the mechanisms of action of different microtubule-binding proteins and drugs, thereby enabling accurate control over the microtubule dynamics to treat various pathologies. PMID:26682815

  10. The linear and rotational motions of the fission yeast nucleus are governed by the stochastic dynamics of spatially distributed microtubules.

    PubMed

    Hui, Tsz Hin; Zheng, Fan; Lin, Yuan; Fu, Chuanhai

    2016-05-01

    Dynamic nuclei are involved in a wide variety of fundamental biological processes including cell migration, cell division and fertilization. Here, we develop a mathematical model, in combination with live-cell imaging at high temporal resolution, to quantitatively elucidate how the linear and rotational motions of the nucleus are governed by the stochastic dynamics of the microtubule cytoskeleton. Our simulation and experimental results demonstrate that microtubule rescue and catastrophe frequencies are the decisive factors in regulating the nuclear movement. Lower rescue and catastrophe frequencies can lead to significantly larger angular and translational oscillations of the nucleus. In addition, our model also suggests that the stochastic dynamics of individual spatially distributed microtubules works collectively as a restoring force to maintain nuclear centering and hence ensures symmetric cell division, in excellent agreement with direct experimental observations. PMID:26921917

  11. Dynamic model of the force driving kinesin to move along microtubule-Simulation with a model system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chou, Y. C.; Hsiao, Yi-Feng; To, Kiwing

    2015-09-01

    A dynamic model for the motility of kinesin, including stochastic-force generation and step formation is proposed. The force driving the motion of kinesin motor is generated by the impulse from the collision between the randomly moving long-chain stalk and the ratchet-shaped outer surface of microtubule. Most of the dynamical and statistical features of the motility of kinesin are reproduced in a simulation system, with (a) ratchet structures similar to the outer surface of microtubule, (b) a bead chain connected to two heads, similarly to the stalk of the real kinesin motor, and (c) the interaction between the heads of the simulated kinesin and microtubule. We also propose an experiment to discriminate between the conventional hand-over-hand model and the dynamic model.

  12. γ-Tubulin Ring Complexes and EB1 play antagonistic roles in microtubule dynamics and spindle positioning

    PubMed Central

    Bouissou, Anaїs; Vérollet, Christel; de Forges, Hélène; Haren, Laurence; Bellaїche, Yohanns; Perez, Franck; Merdes, Andreas; Raynaud-Messina, Brigitte

    2014-01-01

    γ-Tubulin is critical for microtubule (MT) assembly and organization. In metazoa, this protein acts in multiprotein complexes called γ-Tubulin Ring Complexes (γ-TuRCs). While the subunits that constitute γ-Tubulin Small Complexes (γ-TuSCs), the core of the MT nucleation machinery, are essential, mutation of γ-TuRC-specific proteins in Drosophila causes sterility and morphological abnormalities via hitherto unidentified mechanisms. Here, we demonstrate a role of γ-TuRCs in controlling spindle orientation independent of MT nucleation activity, both in cultured cells and in vivo, and examine a potential function for γ-TuRCs on astral MTs. γ-TuRCs locate along the length of astral MTs, and depletion of γ-TuRC-specific proteins increases MT dynamics and causes the plus-end tracking protein EB1 to redistribute along MTs. Moreover, suppression of MT dynamics through drug treatment or EB1 down-regulation rescues spindle orientation defects induced by γ-TuRC depletion. Therefore, we propose a role for γ-TuRCs in regulating spindle positioning by controlling the stability of astral MTs. PMID:24421324

  13. Microtubule teardrop patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okeyoshi, Kosuke; Kawamura, Ryuzo; Yoshida, Ryo; Osada, Yoshihito

    2015-03-01

    Several strategies for controlling microtubule patterns are developed because of the rigidity determined from the molecular structure and the geometrical structure. In contrast to the patterns in co-operation with motor proteins or associated proteins, microtubules have a huge potential for patterns via their intrinsic flexural rigidity. We discover that a microtubule teardrop pattern emerges via self-assembly under hydrodynamic flow from the parallel bundles without motor proteins. In the growth process, the bundles ultimately bend according to the critical bending curvature. Such protein pattern formation utilizing the intrinsic flexural rigidity will provide broad understandings of self-assembly of rigid rods, not only in biomolecules, but also in supramolecules.

  14. Bundling, sliding, and pulling microtubules in cells and in silico

    PubMed Central

    Howard, Jonathon; Tolić-Nørrelykke, Iva M.

    2007-01-01

    Microtubules and other proteins self-organize into complex dynamic structures such as the mitotic spindle, which separates the chromosomes during cell division. Much is known about the individual molecular players involved in assembly and positioning of the mitotic spindle, but how they act together to generate the often unexpected behavior of the whole microtubule system is not understood. Two recent papers use a combination of experimental (imaging) and theoretical (computer simulation) methods to explore the formation of bipolar linear microtubule arrays in fission yeast and the oscillatory movement of the mitotic spindle in the nematode worm. In the simulation approach, the rules for the interactions of the components (microtubules and microtubule-associated proteins) are specified and the evolution of the system is followed, with the aim of identifying the minimal set of components that can mimic the real system. The work on fission yeast concludes that bipolar microtubule structures can arise from self-organization of microtubules through nucleators, bundlers, and sliders, without a requirement for a special microtubule-organizing center. The work on the worm embryo suggests that both the positive feedback that drives oscillations and the centering force that limits their amplitude may arise from microtubule pulling forces. The systems approach exemplified by these papers should stimulate new experiments aimed at discovering the principles of cellular organization. PMID:19404456

  15. Site-specific phosphorylation and microtubule dynamics control Pyrin inflammasome activation.

    PubMed

    Gao, Wenqing; Yang, Jieling; Liu, Wang; Wang, Yupeng; Shao, Feng

    2016-08-16

    Pyrin, encoded by the MEFV gene, is best known for its gain-of-function mutations causing familial Mediterranean fever (FMF), an autoinflammatory disease. Pyrin forms a caspase-1-activating inflammasome in response to inactivating modifications of Rho GTPases by various bacterial toxins or effectors. Pyrin-mediated innate immunity is unique in that it senses bacterial virulence rather than microbial molecules, but its mechanism of activation is unknown. Here we show that Pyrin was phosphorylated in bone marrow-derived macrophages and dendritic cells. We identified Ser-205 and Ser-241 in mouse Pyrin whose phosphorylation resulted in inhibitory binding by cellular 14-3-3 proteins. The two serines underwent dephosphorylation upon toxin stimulation or bacterial infection, triggering 14-3-3 dissociation, which correlated with Pyrin inflammasome activation. We developed antibodies specific for phosphorylated Ser-205 and Ser-241, which confirmed the stimuli-induced dephosphorylation of endogenous Pyrin. Mutational analyses indicated that both phosphorylation and signal-induced dephosphorylation of Ser-205/241 are important for Pyrin activation. Moreover, microtubule drugs, including colchicine, commonly used to treat FMF, effectively blocked activation of the Pyrin inflammasome. These drugs did not affect Pyrin dephosphorylation and 14-3-3 dissociation but inhibited Pyrin-mediated apoptosis-associated Speck-like protein containing CARD (ASC) aggregation. Our study reveals that site-specific (de)phosphorylation and microtubule dynamics critically control Pyrin inflammasome activation, illustrating a fine and complex mechanism in cytosolic immunity. PMID:27482109

  16. Human TUBB3 mutations perturb microtubule dynamics, kinesin interactions, and axon guidance

    PubMed Central

    Tischfield, Max A.; Baris, Hagit N.; Wu, Chen; Rudolph, Guenther; Van Maldergem, Lionel; He, Wei; Chan, Wai-Man; Andrews, Caroline; Demer, Joseph L.; Robertson, Richard L.; Mackey, David A.; Ruddle, Jonathan B.; Bird, Thomas D.; Gottlob, Irene; Pieh, Christina; Traboulsi, Elias I.; Pomeroy, Scott L.; Hunter, David G.; Soul, Janet S.; Newlin, Anna; Sabol, Louise J.; Doherty, Edward J.; de Uzcátegui, Clara E.; de Uzcátegui, Nicolas; Collins, Mary Louise Z.; Sener, Emin C.; Wabbels, Bettina; Hellebrand, Heide; Meitinger, Thomas; de Berardinis, Teresa; Magli, Adriano; Schiavi, Costantino; Pastore-Trossello, Marco; Koc, Feray; Wong, Agnes M.; Levin, Alex V.; Geraghty, Michael T.; Descartes, Maria; Flaherty, Maree; Jamieson, Robyn V.; Møller, H. U.; Meuthen, Ingo; Callen, David F.; Kerwin, Janet; Lindsay, Susan; Meindl, Alfons; Gupta, Mohan L.; Pellman, David; Engle, Elizabeth C.

    2011-01-01

    We report that eight heterozygous missense mutations in TUBB3, encoding the neuron-specific β-tubulin isotype III, result in a spectrum of human nervous system disorders we now call the TUBB3 syndromes. Each mutation causes the ocular motility disorder CFEOM3, whereas some also result in intellectual and behavioral impairments, facial paralysis, and/or later-onset axonal sensorimotor polyneuropathy. Neuroimaging reveals a spectrum of abnormalities including hypoplasia of oculomotor nerves, and dysgenesis of the corpus callosum, anterior commissure, and corticospinal tracts. A knock-in disease mouse model reveals axon guidance defects without evidence of cortical cell migration abnormalities. We show the disease-associated mutations can impair tubulin heterodimer formation in vitro, although folded mutant heterodimers can still polymerize into microtubules. Modeling each mutation in yeast tubulin demonstrates that all alter dynamic instability whereas a subset disrupts the interaction of microtubules with kinesin motors. These findings demonstrate normal TUBB3 is required for axon guidance and maintenance in mammals. PMID:20074521

  17. The complex dynamic network of microtubule and microfilament cytasters of the leech zygote.

    PubMed

    Cantillana, V; Urrutia, M; Ubilla, A; Fernández, J

    2000-12-01

    The organization of the cytoskeleton in the early first interphase zygote and its involvement in organelle redistribution were studied in the glossiphoniid leech Theromyzon trizonare by confocal and electron microscopy, immunofluorescence, and time-lapse video imaging after microinjection of labeled tubulin and/or actin and loading with a mitotracker. The cytoskeleton consists of an inner or endoplasmic and an outer or ectoplasmic domain. The inner domain consists of a monaster whose fibers retract from the zygote periphery by the end of the early first interphase. The outer domain is built upon a network of microtubules and microfilaments cytasters. Short pulses of microinjected labeled actin or tubulin and Taxol treatment demonstrate that cytasters are centers of microtubule and microfilament nucleation. Immunostaining with anti-centrophilin, anti-BX-63, and anti-AH-6 indicates that the network of cytasters includes centrosomal antigens. Cytasters move in an orderly fashion at speeds of 0.5-2 micrometer/min, in an energy-dependent process retarded and finally blocked by the ATP analogue AMP-PNP and high concentrations of Taxol. Colliding cytasters fuse and form larger cytoskeletal nucleation centers. The leech zygote is a highly compartmentalized cell whose cytasters function as articulated components of a very dynamic cytoskeletal system engaged in bulk transportation of organelles during ooplasmic segregation. PMID:11087633

  18. Dissecting EB1-microtubule interactions from every direction: using single-molecule visualization and static and dynamic binding measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopez, Benjamin

    2015-03-01

    EB1 is an important microtubule associating protein (MAP) that acts as a master coordinator of protein activity at the growing plus-end of the microtubule. We can recapitulate the plus-end binding behavior of EB1 along the entire length of a static microtubule using microtubules polymerized in the presence of the nonhydrolyzable GTP analogs GMPCPP and GTP γS instead of GTP. Through the use of single-molecule TIRF imaging we find that EB1 is highly dynamic (with a sub-second characteristic binding lifetime) and continuously diffusive while bound to the microtubule. We measure the diffusion coefficient, D, through linear fitting to mean-squared displacement of individually labeled proteins, and the binding lifetime, τ, by fitting a single exponential decay to the probability distribution of trajectory lifetimes. In agreement with measurements of other diffusive MAPs, we find that D increases and τ decreases with increasing ionic strength. We also find that D is sensitive to the choice of GTP analog: EB1 proteins bound to GTP γS polymerized microtubules have a D half of that found with GMPCPP polymerized microtubules. To compare these single-molecule measurements to the bulk binding behavior of EB1, we use TIRF imaging to measure the intensity of microtubules coated with EB1-GFP as a function of EB1 concentration. We find that EB1 binding is cooperative and both the quantity of EB1 bound and the dissociation constant are sensitive to GTP analog and ionic concentration. The correlation between binding affinity and D and the cooperative nature of EB1-microtubule binding leads to a decrease in D with increasing EB1 concentration. Interestingly, we also find an increase in τ at high EB1 concentrations, consistent with attractive EB1-microtubule interactions driving the cooperativity. To further understand the nature of the cooperativity we estimate the interaction energy by measuring the association and dissociation rates (kon and koff respectively) at different

  19. Patronin/Shot Cortical Foci Assemble the Noncentrosomal Microtubule Array that Specifies the Drosophila Anterior-Posterior Axis.

    PubMed

    Nashchekin, Dmitry; Fernandes, Artur Ribeiro; St Johnston, Daniel

    2016-07-11

    Noncentrosomal microtubules play an important role in polarizing differentiated cells, but little is known about how these microtubules are organized. Here we identify the spectraplakin, Short stop (Shot), as the cortical anchor for noncentrosomal microtubule organizing centers (ncMTOCs) in the Drosophila oocyte. Shot interacts with the cortex through its actin-binding domain and recruits the microtubule minus-end-binding protein, Patronin, to form cortical ncMTOCs. Shot/Patronin foci do not co-localize with γ-tubulin, suggesting that they do not nucleate new microtubules. Instead, they capture and stabilize existing microtubule minus ends, which then template new microtubule growth. Shot/Patronin foci are excluded from the oocyte posterior by the Par-1 polarity kinase to generate the polarized microtubule network that localizes axis determinants. Both proteins also accumulate apically in epithelial cells, where they are required for the formation of apical-basal microtubule arrays. Thus, Shot/Patronin ncMTOCs may provide a general mechanism for organizing noncentrosomal microtubules in differentiated cells. PMID:27404359

  20. DNA synthesis and microtubule assembly-related events in fertilized Paracentrotus lividus eggs: reversible inhibition by 10 mM procaine.

    PubMed

    Raymond, M N; Foucault, G; Coffe, G; Pudles, J

    1986-04-01

    This report describes the effects of 10 mM procaine on microtubule assembly and on DNA synthesis, as followed by [3H]colchicine binding assays and [3H]thymidine incorporation respectively, in fertilized Paracentrotus lividus eggs. In the absence of microtubule assembly inhibitors, about 25% of the total egg tubulin is submitted to two cycles of polymerization prior to the first cell division, this polymerization process precedes DNA synthesis. If the zygotes are treated with 10 mM procaine in the course of the cell cycle, tubulin polymerization is inhibited or microtubules are disassembled. DNA synthesis is inhibited when procaine treatment is performed 10 min, before the initiation of the S-period. However, when the drug is applied in the course of this synthetic period, the process is normally accomplished, but the next S-period becomes inhibited. Moreover, procaine treatment increases the cytoplasmic pH of the fertilized eggs by about 0.6 to 0.8 pH units. This pH increase precedes microtubule disassembly and inhibition of DNA synthesis. Washing out the drug induces a decrease of the intracellular pH which returns to about the same value as that of the fertilized egg controls. This pH change is then followed by the reinitiation of microtubule assembly, DNA synthesis and cell division. Our results show that the inhibition of both tubulin polymerization and DNA synthesis in fertilized eggs treated with 10 mM procaine, appears to be related to the drug-induced increase in cytoplasmic pH. PMID:3709552

  1. Dual effect of procaine in sea urchin eggs. Inducer and inhibitor of microtubule assembly.

    PubMed

    Coffe, G; Foucault, G; Raymond, M N; Pudles, J

    1985-01-01

    An increase in the amount of cytoplasmic filamentous structures (cytoplasmic matrix and aster) which were recovered after hexylene glycol/Triton X-100 treatment of sea urchin eggs (Paracentrotus lividus) activated by 0.2-2.5 mM procaine was observed. At higher activator concentrations, an opposite effect was observed and formation of these cytoplasmic structures was inhibited in the presence of 10 mM procaine. This inhibitory effect was reversed by diluting the drug in the incubation medium. DNase I inhibition assays on egg homogenates which were performed at different time points of the activation process, show that the same amount of actin was induced to polymerize in eggs activated either by 2.5 or 10 mM procaine. However, colchicine-binding assays on the 100 000 g particulate fractions of these homogenates show that in eggs activated by 10 mM procaine, in contrast to those activated by 2.5 mM, tubulin polymerization was inhibited and microtubules were disassembled. These results show that the dual effect of procaine in the organization of the egg cytoskeleton appears to be related to its effect on the state of tubulin. PMID:4038386

  2. Dynamic Pathways for Viral Capsid Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Hagan, Michael F.; Chandler, David

    2006-01-01

    We develop a class of models with which we simulate the assembly of particles into T1 capsidlike objects using Newtonian dynamics. By simulating assembly for many different values of system parameters, we vary the forces that drive assembly. For some ranges of parameters, assembly is facile; for others, assembly is dynamically frustrated by kinetic traps corresponding to malformed or incompletely formed capsids. Our simulations sample many independent trajectories at various capsomer concentrations, allowing for statistically meaningful conclusions. Depending on subunit (i.e., capsomer) geometries, successful assembly proceeds by several mechanisms involving binding of intermediates of various sizes. We discuss the relationship between these mechanisms and experimental evaluations of capsid assembly processes. PMID:16565055

  3. Dynamic pathways for viral capsid assembly

    SciTech Connect

    Hagan, Michael F.; Chandler, David

    2006-02-09

    We develop a class of models with which we simulate the assembly of particles into T1 capsid-like objects using Newtonian dynamics. By simulating assembly for many different values of system parameters, we vary the forces that drive assembly. For some ranges of parameters, assembly is facile, while for others, assembly is dynamically frustrated by kinetic traps corresponding to malformed or incompletely formed capsids. Our simulations sample many independent trajectories at various capsomer concentrations, allowing for statistically meaningful conclusions. Depending on subunit (i.e., capsomer) geometries, successful assembly proceeds by several mechanisms involving binding of intermediates of various sizes. We discuss the relationship between these mechanisms and experimental evaluations of capsid assembly processes.

  4. An agent-based model contrasts opposite effects of dynamic and stable microtubules on cleavage furrow positioning

    PubMed Central

    Odell, Garrett M.; Foe, Victoria E.

    2008-01-01

    From experiments by Foe and von Dassow (Foe, V.E., and G. von Dassow. 2008. J. Cell Biol. 183:457–470) and others, we infer a molecular mechanism for positioning the cleavage furrow during cytokinesis. Computer simulations reveal how this mechanism depends on quantitative motor-behavior details and explore how robustly this mechanism succeeds across a range of cell sizes. The mechanism involves the MKLP1 (kinesin-6) component of centralspindlin binding to and walking along microtubules to stimulate cortical contractility where the centralspindlin complex concentrates. The majority of astral microtubules are dynamically unstable. They bind most MKLP1 and suppress cortical Rho/myosin II activation because the tips of unstable microtubules usually depolymerize before MKLP1s reach the cortex. A subset of astral microtubules stabilizes during anaphase, becoming effective rails along which MKLP1 can actually reach the cortex. Because stabilized microtubules aim statistically at the equatorial spindle midplane, that is where centralspindlin accumulates to stimulate furrow formation. PMID:18955556

  5. Complementary activities of TPX2 and chTOG constitute an efficient importin-regulated microtubule nucleation module

    PubMed Central

    Roostalu, Johanna; Cade, Nicholas I.; Surrey, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Spindle assembly and function require precise control of microtubule nucleation and dynamics. The chromatin-driven spindle assembly pathway exerts such control locally in the vicinity of chromosomes. One of the key targets of this pathway is TPX2. The molecular mechanism of how TPX2 stimulates microtubule nucleation is not understood. Using microscopy-based dynamic in vitro reconstitution assays with purified proteins, we find that human TPX2 directly stabilises growing microtubule ends and stimulates microtubule nucleation by stabilising early microtubule nucleation intermediates. Human microtubule polymerase chTOG (XMAP215/Msps/Stu2p/Dis1/Alp14 homolog) only weakly promotes nucleation, but acts synergistically with TPX2. Hence, a combination of distinct and complementary activities is sufficient for efficient microtubule formation in vitro. Importins control the efficiency of the microtubule nucleation by selectively blocking TPX2’s interaction with microtubule nucleation intermediates. This in vitro reconstitution reveals the molecular mechanism of regulated microtubule formation by a minimal nucleation module essential for chromatin-dependent microtubule nucleation in cells. PMID:26414402

  6. Kinetics of microtubule catastrophe assessed by probabilistic analysis.

    PubMed

    Odde, D J; Cassimeris, L; Buettner, H M

    1995-09-01

    Microtubules are cytoskeletal filaments whose self-assembly occurs by abrupt switching between states of roughly constant growth and shrinkage, a process known as dynamic instability. Understanding the mechanism of dynamic instability offers potential for controlling microtubule-dependent cellular processes such as nerve growth and mitosis. The growth to shrinkage transitions (catastrophes) and the reverse transitions (rescues) that characterize microtubule dynamic instability have been assumed to be random events with first-order kinetics. By direct observation of individual microtubules in vitro and probabilistic analysis of their distribution of growth times, we found that while the slower growing and biologically inactive (minus) ends obeyed first-order catastrophe kinetics, the faster growing and biologically active (plus) ends did not. The non-first-order kinetics at plus ends imply that growing microtubule plus ends have an effective frequency of catastrophe that depends on how long the microtubules have been growing. This frequency is low initially but then rises asymptotically to a limiting value. Our results also suggest that an additional parameter, beyond the four parameters typically used to describe dynamic instability, is needed to account for the observed behavior and that changing this parameter can significantly affect the distribution of microtubule lengths at steady state. PMID:8519980

  7. Kinetics of microtubule catastrophe assessed by probabilistic analysis.

    PubMed Central

    Odde, D J; Cassimeris, L; Buettner, H M

    1995-01-01

    Microtubules are cytoskeletal filaments whose self-assembly occurs by abrupt switching between states of roughly constant growth and shrinkage, a process known as dynamic instability. Understanding the mechanism of dynamic instability offers potential for controlling microtubule-dependent cellular processes such as nerve growth and mitosis. The growth to shrinkage transitions (catastrophes) and the reverse transitions (rescues) that characterize microtubule dynamic instability have been assumed to be random events with first-order kinetics. By direct observation of individual microtubules in vitro and probabilistic analysis of their distribution of growth times, we found that while the slower growing and biologically inactive (minus) ends obeyed first-order catastrophe kinetics, the faster growing and biologically active (plus) ends did not. The non-first-order kinetics at plus ends imply that growing microtubule plus ends have an effective frequency of catastrophe that depends on how long the microtubules have been growing. This frequency is low initially but then rises asymptotically to a limiting value. Our results also suggest that an additional parameter, beyond the four parameters typically used to describe dynamic instability, is needed to account for the observed behavior and that changing this parameter can significantly affect the distribution of microtubule lengths at steady state. Images FIGURE 1 PMID:8519980

  8. Single-molecule tracking of tau reveals fast kiss-and-hop interaction with microtubules in living neurons

    PubMed Central

    Janning, Dennis; Igaev, Maxim; Sündermann, Frederik; Brühmann, Jörg; Beutel, Oliver; Heinisch, Jürgen J.; Bakota, Lidia; Piehler, Jacob; Junge, Wolfgang; Brandt, Roland

    2014-01-01

    The microtubule-associated phosphoprotein tau regulates microtubule dynamics and is involved in neurodegenerative diseases collectively called tauopathies. It is generally believed that the vast majority of tau molecules decorate axonal microtubules, thereby stabilizing them. However, it is an open question how tau can regulate microtubule dynamics without impeding microtubule-dependent transport and how tau is also available for interactions other than those with microtubules. Here we address this apparent paradox by fast single-molecule tracking of tau in living neurons and Monte Carlo simulations of tau dynamics. We find that tau dwells on a single microtubule for an unexpectedly short time of ∼40 ms before it hops to the next. This dwell time is 100-fold shorter than previously reported by ensemble measurements. Furthermore, we observed by quantitative imaging using fluorescence decay after photoactivation recordings of photoactivatable GFP–tagged tubulin that, despite this rapid dynamics, tau is capable of regulating the tubulin–microtubule balance. This indicates that tau's dwell time on microtubules is sufficiently long to influence the lifetime of a tubulin subunit in a GTP cap. Our data imply a novel kiss-and-hop mechanism by which tau promotes neuronal microtubule assembly. The rapid kiss-and-hop interaction explains why tau, although binding to microtubules, does not interfere with axonal transport. PMID:25165145

  9. Using plusTipTracker software to measure microtubule dynamics in Xenopus laevis growth cones.

    PubMed

    Stout, Alina; D'Amico, Salvatore; Enzenbacher, Tiffany; Ebbert, Patrick; Lowery, Laura Anne

    2014-01-01

    Microtubule (MT) plus-end-tracking proteins (+TIPs) localize to the growing plus-ends of MTs and regulate MT dynamics(1,2). One of the most well-known and widely-utilized +TIPs for analyzing MT dynamics is the End-Binding protein, EB1, which binds all growing MT plus-ends, and thus, is a marker for MT polymerization(1). Many studies of EB1 behavior within growth cones have used time-consuming and biased computer-assisted, hand-tracking methods to analyze individual MTs(1-3). Our approach is to quantify global parameters of MT dynamics using the software package, plusTipTracker(4), following the acquisition of high-resolution, live images of tagged EB1 in cultured embryonic growth cones(5). This software is a MATLAB-based, open-source, user-friendly package that combines automated detection, tracking, visualization, and analysis for movies of fluorescently-labeled +TIPs. Here, we present the protocol for using plusTipTracker for the analysis of fluorescently-labeled +TIP comets in cultured Xenopus laevis growth cones. However, this software can also be used to characterize MT dynamics in various cell types(6-8). PMID:25225829

  10. Using plusTipTracker software to measure microtubule dynamics in Xenopus laevis growth cones

    PubMed Central

    Stout, Alina; D’Amico, Salvatore; Enzenbacher, Tiffany; Ebbert, Patrick; Lowery, Laura Anne

    2014-01-01

    Microtubule (MT) plus-end-tracking proteins (+TIPs) localize to the growing plus-ends of MTs and regulate MT dynamics1,2. One of the most well-known and widely-utilized +TIPs for analyzing MT dynamics is the End-Binding protein, EB1, which binds all growing MT plus-ends, and thus, is a marker for MT polymerization1. Many studies of EB1 behavior within growth cones have used time-consuming and biased computer-assisted, hand-tracking methods to analyze individual MTs1-3. Our approach is to quantify global parameters of MT dynamics using the software package, plusTipTracker4, following the acquisition of high-resolution, live images of tagged EB1 in cultured embryonic growth cones5. This software is a Matlab-based, open-source, user-friendly package that combines automated detection, tracking, visualization, and analysis for movies of fluorescently-labeled +TIPs. Here, we present the protocol for using plusTipTracker for the analysis of fluorescently-labeled +TIP comets in cultured Xenopus laevis growth cones. However, this software can also be used to characterize MT dynamics in various cell types6-8. PMID:25225829

  11. Supramolecular assembly of biological molecules purified from bovine nerve cells: from microtubule bundles and necklaces to neurofilament networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Needleman, Daniel J.; Jones, Jayna B.; Raviv, Uri; Ojeda-Lopez, Miguel A.; Miller, H. P.; Li, Y.; Wilson, L.; Safinya, C. R.

    2005-11-01

    With the completion of the human genome project, the biosciences community is beginning the daunting task of understanding the structures and functions of a large number of interacting biological macromolecules. Examples include the interacting molecules involved in the process of DNA condensation during the cell cycle, and in the formation of bundles and networks of filamentous actin proteins in cell attachment, motility and cytokinesis. In this proceedings paper we present examples of supramolecular assembly based on proteins derived from the vertebrate nerve cell cytoskeleton. The axonal cytoskeleton in vertebrate neurons provides a rich example of bundles and networks of neurofilaments, microtubules (MTs) and filamentous actin, where the nature of the interactions, structures, and structure-function correlations remains poorly understood. We describe synchrotron x-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, and optical imaging data, in reconstituted protein systems purified from bovine central nervous system, which reveal unexpected structures not predicted by current electrostatic theories of polyelectrolyte bundling, including three-dimensional MT bundles and two-dimensional MT necklaces.

  12. Micropatterning microtubules.

    PubMed

    Portran, Didier

    2014-01-01

    The following protocol describes a method to control the orientation and polarity of polymerizing microtubules (MTs). Reconstitution of specific geometries of dynamic MT networks is achieved using a ultraviolet (UV) micropatterning technique in combination with stabilized MT microseeds. The process is described in three main parts. First, the surface is passivated to avoid the non-specific absorption of proteins, using different polyethylene glycol (PEG)-based surface treatment. Second, specific adhesive surfaces (the micropatterns) are imprinted through a photomask using deep UVs. Lastly, MT microseeds are adhered to the micropatterns followed by MT polymerization. PMID:24484656

  13. Activated ADF/cofilin sequesters phosphorylated microtubule-associated-protein during the assembly of Alzheimer-like neuritic cytoskeletal striations

    PubMed Central

    Whiteman, Ineka T.; Gervasio, Othon L.; Cullen, Karen M.; Guillemin, Gilles J.; Jeong, Erica V.; Witting, Paul K.; Antao, Shane T.; Minamide, Laurie S.; Bamburg, James R.; Goldsbury, Claire

    2009-01-01

    In Alzheimer disease (AD), rod-like cofilin aggregates (cofilin-actin rods) and thread-like inclusions containing phosphorylated microtubule-associated protein (pMAP) tau form in the brain (neuropil threads) and the extent of their presence correlates with cognitive decline and disease progression. The assembly mechanism of these respective pathological lesions and the relationship between them is poorly understood, yet vital to understanding the causes of sporadic AD. We demonstrate that during mitochondrial inhibition, activated actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin assemble into rods along processes of cultured primary neurons that recruit pMAP/tau and mimic neuropil threads. Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) analysis revealed co-localization of cofilin-GFP and pMAP in rods, suggesting their close proximity within a cytoskeletal inclusion complex. The relationship between pMAP and cofilin-actin rods was further investigated using actin-modifying drugs and siRNA knockdown of ADF/cofilin in primary neurons. The results suggest that activation of ADF/cofilin and generation of cofilin-actin rods is required for the subsequent recruitment of pMAP into the inclusions. Additionally we were able to induce the formation of pMAP-positive ADF/cofilin rods by exposing cells to exogenous Aβ peptides. These results reveal a common pathway for pMAP and cofilin accumulation in neuronal processes. The requirement of activated ADF/cofilin for the sequestration of pMAP suggests that neuropil thread structures in the AD brain may be initiated by elevated cofilin activation and F-actin bundling that can be caused by oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction or Aβ peptides, all suspected initiators of synaptic loss and neurodegeneration in AD. PMID:19828813

  14. Formin-Dependent Synaptic Growth; Evidence that Dlar Signals via Diaphanous to Modulate Synaptic Actin and Dynamic Pioneer Microtubules

    PubMed Central

    Pawson, Catherine; Eaton, Benjamin A.; Davis, Graeme W.

    2008-01-01

    The diaphanous gene is the founding member of a family of Diaphanous Related Formin proteins (DRF). We identified diaphanous in a screen for genes that are necessary for the normal growth and stabilization of the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Here we demonstrate that diaphanous mutations perturb synaptic growth at the NMJ. Diaphanous protein is present both pre- and postsynaptically. However, genetic rescue experiments in combination with additional genetic interaction experiments support the conclusion that dia is necessary presynaptically for normal NMJ growth. We then document defects in both the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons in dia mutant nerve terminals. In so doing, we define and characterize a population of dynamic pioneer microtubules within the NMJ that are distinct from the bundled core of microtubules identified by the MAP1b-like protein Futsch. Defects in both synaptic actin and dynamic pioneer MTs are correlated with impaired synaptic growth in dia mutants. Finally, we present genetic evidence that Dia functions downstream of the presynaptic receptor tyrosine phosphatase Dlar and the Rho-type GEF trio to control NMJ growth. Based upon the established function of DRFs as Rho-GTPase dependent regulators of the cell cytoskeleton, we propose a model in which Diaphanous links receptor tyrosine phosphatase signaling at the plasma membrane to growth-dependent modulation of the synaptic actin and microtubule cytoskeletons. PMID:18971454

  15. Dynamic formation of a microchannel array enabling kinesin-driven microtubule transport between separate compartments on a chip.

    PubMed

    Fujimoto, Kazuya; Nagai, Moeto; Shintaku, Hirofumi; Kotera, Hidetoshi; Yokokawa, Ryuji

    2015-05-01

    Microtubules driven by kinesin motors have been utilised as "molecular shuttles" in microfluidic environments with potential applications in autonomous nanoscale manipulations such as capturing, separating, and/or concentrating biomolecules. However, the conventional flow cell-based assay has difficulty in separating bound target molecules from free ones even with buffer flushing because molecular manipulations by molecular shuttles take place on a glass surface and molecular binding occurs stochastically; this makes it difficult to determine whether molecules are carried by molecular shuttles or by diffusion. To address this issue, we developed a microtubule-based transport system between two compartments connected by a single-micrometre-scale channel array that forms dynamically via pneumatic actuation of a polydimethylsiloxane membrane. The device comprises three layers-a control channel layer (top), a microfluidic channel layer (middle), and a channel array layer (bottom)-that enable selective injection of assay solutions into a target compartment and dynamic formation of the microchannel array. The pneumatic channel also serves as a nitrogen supply path to the assay area, which reduces photobleaching of fluorescently labelled microtubules and deactivation of kinesin by oxygen radicals. The channel array suppresses cross-contamination of molecules caused by diffusion or pressure-driven flow between compartments, facilitating unidirectional transport of molecular shuttles from one compartment to another. The method demonstrates, for the first time, efficient and unidirectional microtubule transport by eliminating diffusion of target molecules on a chip and thus may constitute one of the key aspects of motor-driven nanosystems. PMID:25805147

  16. Using Photobleaching to Measure Spindle Microtubule Dynamics in Primary Cultures of Dividing Drosophila Meiotic Spermatocytes.

    PubMed

    Savoian, Matthew S

    2015-07-01

    In dividing animal cells, a microtubule (MT)-based bipolar spindle governs chromosome movement. Current models propose that the spindle facilitates and/or generates translocating forces by regionally depolymerizing the kinetochore fibers (k-fibers) that bind each chromosome. It is unclear how conserved these sites and the resultant chromosome-moving mechanisms are between different dividing cell types because of the technical challenges of quantitatively studying MTs in many specimens. In particular, our knowledge of MT kinetics during the sperm-producing male meiotic divisions remains in its infancy. In this study, I use an easy-to-implement photobleaching-based assay for measuring spindle MT dynamics in primary cultures of meiotic spermatocytes isolated from the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. By use of standard scanning confocal microscopy features, fiducial marks were photobleached on fluorescent protein (FP)-tagged MTs. These were followed by time-lapse imaging during different division stages, and their displacement rates were calculated using public domain software. I find that k-fibers continually shorten at their poles during metaphase and anaphase A through the process of MT flux. Anaphase chromosome movement is complemented by Pac-Man, the shortening of the k-fiber at its chromosomal interface. Thus, Drosophila spermatocytes share the sites of spindle dynamism and mechanisms of chromosome movement with mitotic cells. The data reveal the applicability of the photobleaching assay for measuring MT dynamics in primary cultures. This approach can be readily applied to other systems. PMID:25802491

  17. Using Photobleaching to Measure Spindle Microtubule Dynamics in Primary Cultures of Dividing Drosophila Meiotic Spermatocytes

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    In dividing animal cells, a microtubule (MT)-based bipolar spindle governs chromosome movement. Current models propose that the spindle facilitates and/or generates translocating forces by regionally depolymerizing the kinetochore fibers (k-fibers) that bind each chromosome. It is unclear how conserved these sites and the resultant chromosome-moving mechanisms are between different dividing cell types because of the technical challenges of quantitatively studying MTs in many specimens. In particular, our knowledge of MT kinetics during the sperm-producing male meiotic divisions remains in its infancy. In this study, I use an easy-to-implement photobleaching-based assay for measuring spindle MT dynamics in primary cultures of meiotic spermatocytes isolated from the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. By use of standard scanning confocal microscopy features, fiducial marks were photobleached on fluorescent protein (FP)-tagged MTs. These were followed by time-lapse imaging during different division stages, and their displacement rates were calculated using public domain software. I find that k-fibers continually shorten at their poles during metaphase and anaphase A through the process of MT flux. Anaphase chromosome movement is complemented by Pac-Man, the shortening of the k-fiber at its chromosomal interface. Thus, Drosophila spermatocytes share the sites of spindle dynamism and mechanisms of chromosome movement with mitotic cells. The data reveal the applicability of the photobleaching assay for measuring MT dynamics in primary cultures. This approach can be readily applied to other systems. PMID:25802491

  18. Atomic water channel controlling remarkable properties of a single brain microtubule: correlating single protein to its supramolecular assembly.

    PubMed

    Sahu, Satyajit; Ghosh, Subrata; Ghosh, Batu; Aswani, Krishna; Hirata, Kazuto; Fujita, Daisuke; Bandyopadhyay, Anirban

    2013-09-15

    Microtubule nanotubes are found in every living eukaryotic cells; these are formed by reversible polymerization of the tubulin protein, and their hollow fibers are filled with uniquely arranged water molecules. Here we measure single tubulin molecule and single brain-neuron extracted microtubule nanowire with and without water channel inside to unravel their unique electronic and optical properties for the first time. We demonstrate that the energy levels of a single tubulin protein and single microtubule made of 40,000 tubulin dimers are identical unlike conventional materials. Moreover, the transmitted ac power and the transient fluorescence decay (single photon count) are independent of the microtubule length. Even more remarkable is the fact that the microtubule nanowire is more conducting than a single protein molecule that constitutes the nanowire. Microtubule's vibrational peaks condense to a single mode that controls the emergence of size independent electronic/optical properties, and automated noise alleviation, which disappear when the atomic water core is released from the inner cylinder. We have carried out several tricky state-of-the-art experiments and identified the electromagnetic resonance peaks of single microtubule reliably. The resonant vibrations established that the condensation of energy levels and periodic oscillation of unique energy fringes on the microtubule surface, emerge as the atomic water core resonantly integrates all proteins around it such that the nanotube irrespective of its size functions like a single protein molecule. Thus, a monomolecular water channel residing inside the protein-cylinder displays an unprecedented control in governing the tantalizing electronic and optical properties of microtubule. PMID:23567633

  19. Mean-field study of the role of lateral cracks in microtubule dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Margolin, Gennady; Goodson, Holly V.; Alber, Mark S.

    2011-04-01

    A link between dimer-scale processes and microtubule (MT) dynamics at macroscale is studied by comparing simulations obtained using computational dimer-scale model with its mean-field approximation. The novelty of the mean-field model (MFM) is in its explicit representation of inter-protofilament cracks, as well as in the direct incorporation of the dimer-level kinetics. Due to inclusion of both longitudinal and lateral dimer interactions, the MFM is two dimensional, in contrast to previous theoretical models of MTs. It is the first analytical model that predicts and quantifies crucial features of MT dynamics such as (i) existence of a minimal soluble tubulin concentration needed for the polymerization (with concentration represented as a function of model parameters), (ii) existence of steady-state growth and shortening phases (given with their respective velocities), and (iii) existence of an unstable pause state near zero velocity. In addition, the size of the GTP cap of a growing MT is estimated. Theoretical predictions are shown to be in good agreement with the numerical simulations.

  20. p120-catenin regulates microtubule dynamics and cell migration in a cadherin-independent manner.

    PubMed

    Ichii, Tetsuo; Takeichi, Masatoshi

    2007-07-01

    p120-catenin (p120) has been shown to be essential for cadherin stability. Here, we show that p120 is capable of regulating microtubule (MT) dynamics in a cadherin-independent manner. When p120 was depleted in cadherin-deficient Neuro-2a (N2a) cells, MT stability was reduced, as assessed by the nocodazole sensitivity of MTs. On the contrary, over-expression of p120 caused MTs to become resistant to nocodazole. Time-lapse recording of GFP-tagged EB1, a protein which binds the growing plus-ends of MTs, introduced into these cells demonstrated that the plus ends underwent more frequent catastrophe in p120-depleted cells. In addition, p120 knockdown up-regulated the motility of isolated cells, whereas it down-regulated the directional migration of cells from wound edges; and these migratory behaviors of cells were mimicked by nocodazole-induced MT depolymerization. These results suggest that p120 has the ability to regulate MT dynamics and that this activity, in turn, affects cell motility independently of the cadherin adhesion system. PMID:17584295

  1. CLASP2 interacts with p120-catenin and governs microtubule dynamics at adherens junctions

    PubMed Central

    Shahbazi, Marta N.; Megias, Diego; Epifano, Carolina; Akhmanova, Anna; Gundersen, Gregg G.; Fuchs, Elaine

    2013-01-01

    Classical cadherins and their connections with microtubules (MTs) are emerging as important determinants of cell adhesion. However, the functional relevance of such interactions and the molecular players that contribute to tissue architecture are still emerging. In this paper, we report that the MT plus end–binding protein CLASP2 localizes to adherens junctions (AJs) via direct interaction with p120-catenin (p120) in primary basal mouse keratinocytes. Reductions in the levels of p120 or CLASP2 decreased the localization of the other protein to cell–cell contacts and altered AJ dynamics and stability. These features were accompanied by decreased MT density and altered MT dynamics at intercellular junction sites. Interestingly, CLASP2 was enriched at the cortex of basal progenitor keratinocytes, in close localization to p120. Our findings suggest the existence of a new mechanism of MT targeting to AJs with potential functional implications in the maintenance of proper cell–cell adhesion in epidermal stem cells. PMID:24368809

  2. CLASP2 interacts with p120-catenin and governs microtubule dynamics at adherens junctions.

    PubMed

    Shahbazi, Marta N; Megias, Diego; Epifano, Carolina; Akhmanova, Anna; Gundersen, Gregg G; Fuchs, Elaine; Perez-Moreno, Mirna

    2013-12-23

    Classical cadherins and their connections with microtubules (MTs) are emerging as important determinants of cell adhesion. However, the functional relevance of such interactions and the molecular players that contribute to tissue architecture are still emerging. In this paper, we report that the MT plus end-binding protein CLASP2 localizes to adherens junctions (AJs) via direct interaction with p120-catenin (p120) in primary basal mouse keratinocytes. Reductions in the levels of p120 or CLASP2 decreased the localization of the other protein to cell-cell contacts and altered AJ dynamics and stability. These features were accompanied by decreased MT density and altered MT dynamics at intercellular junction sites. Interestingly, CLASP2 was enriched at the cortex of basal progenitor keratinocytes, in close localization to p120. Our findings suggest the existence of a new mechanism of MT targeting to AJs with potential functional implications in the maintenance of proper cell-cell adhesion in epidermal stem cells. PMID:24368809

  3. Quantitative image analysis identifies pVHL as a key regulator of microtubule dynamic instability.

    PubMed

    Thoma, Claudio R; Matov, Alexandre; Gutbrodt, Katrin L; Hoerner, Christian R; Smole, Zlatko; Krek, Wilhelm; Danuser, Gaudenz

    2010-09-20

    Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor gene mutations predispose carriers to kidney cancer. The protein pVHL has been shown to interact with microtubules (MTs), which is critical to cilia maintenance and mitotic spindle orientation. However, the function for pVHL in the regulation of MT dynamics is unknown. We tracked MT growth via the plus end marker EB3 (end-binding protein 3)-GFP and inferred additional parameters of MT dynamics indirectly by spatiotemporal grouping of growth tracks from live cell imaging. Our data establish pVHL as a near-optimal MT-stabilizing protein: it attenuates tubulin turnover, both during MT growth and shrinkage, inhibits catastrophe, and enhances rescue frequencies. These functions are mediated, in part, by inhibition of tubulin guanosine triphosphatase activity in vitro and at MT plus ends and along the MT lattice in vivo. Mutants connected to the VHL cancer syndrome are differentially compromised in these activities. Thus, single cell-level analysis of pVHL MT regulatory function allows new predictions for genotype to phenotype associations that deviate from the coarser clinically defined mutant classifications. PMID:20855504

  4. Fission yeast MOZART1/Mzt1 is an essential γ-tubulin complex component required for complex recruitment to the microtubule organizing center, but not its assembly

    PubMed Central

    Masuda, Hirohisa; Mori, Risa; Yukawa, Masashi; Toda, Takashi

    2013-01-01

    γ-Tubulin plays a universal role in microtubule nucleation from microtubule organizing centers (MTOCs) such as the animal centrosome and fungal spindle pole body (SPB). γ-Tubulin functions as a multiprotein complex called the γ-tubulin complex (γ-TuC), consisting of GCP1–6 (GCP1 is γ-tubulin). In fungi and flies, it has been shown that GCP1–3 are core components, as they are indispensable for γ-TuC complex assembly and cell division, whereas the other three GCPs are not. Recently a novel conserved component, MOZART1, was identified in humans and plants, but its precise functions remain to be determined. In this paper, we characterize the fission yeast homologue Mzt1, showing that it is essential for cell viability. Mzt1 is present in approximately equal stoichiometry with Alp4/GCP2 and localizes to all the MTOCs, including the SPB and interphase and equatorial MTOCs. Temperature-sensitive mzt1 mutants display varying degrees of compromised microtubule organization, exhibiting multiple defects during both interphase and mitosis. Mzt1 is required for γ-TuC recruitment, but not sufficient to localize to the SPB, which depends on γ-TuC integrity. Intriguingly, the core γ-TuC assembles in the absence of Mzt1. Mzt1 therefore plays a unique role within the γ-TuC components in attachment of this complex to the major MTOC site. PMID:23885124

  5. Mutations in a β-Tubulin Disrupt Spindle Orientation and Microtubule Dynamics in the Early Caenorhabditis elegans EmbryoV⃞

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Amanda J.; Hunter, Craig P.

    2003-01-01

    The early Caenorhabditis elegans embryo contains abundant transcripts for two α- and two β-tubulins, raising the question of whether each isoform performs specialized functions or simply contributes to total tubulin levels. Our identification of two recessive, complementing alleles of a β-tubulin that disrupt nuclear-centrosome centration and rotation in the early embryo originally suggested that this tubulin, tbb-2, has specialized functions. However, embryos from tbb-2 deletion worms do not have defects in nuclear-centrosome centration and rotation suggesting that the complementing alleles are not null mutations. Both complementing alleles have distinct effects on microtubule dynamics and show allele-specific interactions with the two embryonically expressed α-tubulins: One of the alleles causes microtubules to be cold stable and resistant to the microtubule-depolymerizing drug benomyl, whereas the other causes cell cycle-specific defects in microtubule polymerization. Gene-specific RNA interference targeting all four embryonically expressed tubulin genes singly and in all double combinations showed that the tubulin isoforms in the early embryo are largely functionally redundant with the exception of tbb-2. tbb-2 is required for centrosome stabilization during anaphase of the first cell division, suggesting that tbb-2 may be specialized for interactions with the cell cortex. PMID:12937270

  6. Glutamylation on α-Tubulin Is Not Essential but Affects the Assembly and Functions of a Subset of Microtubules in Tetrahymena thermophila▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Wloga, Dorota; Rogowski, Krzysztof; Sharma, Neeraj; Van Dijk, Juliette; Janke, Carsten; Eddé, Bernard; Bré, Marie-Hélène; Levilliers, Nicolette; Redeker, Virginie; Duan, Jianming; Gorovsky, Martin A.; Jerka-Dziadosz, Maria; Gaertig, Jacek

    2008-01-01

    Tubulin undergoes glutamylation, a conserved posttranslational modification of poorly understood function. We show here that in the ciliate Tetrahymena, most of the microtubule arrays contain glutamylated tubulin. However, the length of the polyglutamyl side chain is spatially regulated, with the longest side chains present on ciliary and basal body microtubules. We focused our efforts on the function of glutamylation on the α-tubulin subunit. By site-directed mutagenesis, we show that all six glutamates of the C-terminal tail domain of α-tubulin that provide potential sites for glutamylation are not essential but are needed for normal rates of cell multiplication and cilium-based functions (phagocytosis and cell motility). By comparative phylogeny and biochemical assays, we identify two conserved tubulin tyrosine ligase (TTL) domain proteins, Ttll1p and Ttll9p, as α-tubulin-preferring glutamyl ligase enzymes. In an in vitro microtubule glutamylation assay, Ttll1p showed a chain-initiating activity while Ttll9p had primarily a chain-elongating activity. GFP-Ttll1p localized mainly to basal bodies, while GFP-Ttll9p localized to cilia. Disruption of the TTLL1 and TTLL9 genes decreased the rates of cell multiplication and phagocytosis. Cells lacking both genes had fewer cortical microtubules and showed defects in the maturation of basal bodies. We conclude that glutamylation on α-tubulin is not essential but is required for efficiency of assembly and function of a subset of microtubule-based organelles. Furthermore, the spatial restriction of modifying enzymes appears to be a major mechanism that drives differential glutamylation at the subcellular level. PMID:18586949

  7. Dynamic Models for Templated Viral Capsid Assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hagan, Michael

    2008-03-01

    The replication of many viruses with single-stranded genomes requires the simultaneous assembly of an ordered protein shell, or capsid, and encapsidation of the genome. In this talk, I will present coarse-grained computational and theoretical models that describe the assembly of viral capsid proteins around interior cores, such as polymers and rigid spheres. These models are motivated by two recently developed experimental model systems in which viral proteins dynamically encapsidate inorganic nanoparticles and polyelectrolytes. Model predictions suggest that some forms of cooperative interactions between subunits and cores can dramatically enhance rates and robustness of assembly, as compared to the spontaneous assembly of subunits into empty capsids. For large core-subunit interactions, subunits adsorb onto a core en masse in a disordered manner, and then undergo a cooperative rearrangement into an ordered capsid structure. These assembly pathways are unlike any seen for empty capsids formation. While model predictions suggest that cooperative interactions between disparate assembling components can overcome some limitations of spontaneous assembly, the complexity of multicomponent assembly introduces new forms of kinetic traps that can frustrate assembly, and hence introduces new limitations. These findings have implications for a mechanism in which viruses use interactions between proteins and genomic molecules to promote and control assembly, and thereby control the replication process.

  8. Morlin, an inhibitor of cortical microtubule dynamics and cellulose synthase movement

    PubMed Central

    DeBolt, Seth; Gutierrez, Ryan; Ehrhardt, David W.; Melo, Carlos V.; Ross, Loretta; Cutler, Sean R.; Somerville, Christopher; Bonetta, Dario

    2007-01-01

    Morlin (7-ethoxy-4-methyl chromen-2-one) was discovered in a screen of 20,000 compounds for small molecules that cause altered cell morphology resulting in swollen root phenotype in Arabidopsis. Live-cell imaging of fluorescently labeled cellulose synthase (CESA) and microtubules showed that morlin acts on the cortical microtubules and alters the movement of CESA. Morlin caused a novel syndrome of cytoskeletal defects, characterized by cortical array reorientation and compromised rates of both microtubule elongation and shrinking. Formation of shorter and more bundled microtubules and detachment from the cell membrane resulted when GFP::MAP4-MBP was used to visualize microtubules during morlin treatment. Cytoskeletal effects were accompanied by a reduction in the velocity and redistribution of CESA complexes labeled with YFP::CESA6 at the cell cortex. Morlin caused no inhibition of mouse myoblast, bacterial or fungal cell proliferation at concentrations that inhibit plant cell growth. By contrast, morlin stimulated microtubule disassembly in cultured hippocampal neurons but had no significant effect on cell viability. Thus, morlin appears to be a useful new probe of the mechanisms that regulate microtubule cortical array organization and its functional interaction with CESA. PMID:17389408

  9. Fatostatin Inhibits Cancer Cell Proliferation by Affecting Mitotic Microtubule Spindle Assembly and Cell Division.

    PubMed

    Gholkar, Ankur A; Cheung, Keith; Williams, Kevin J; Lo, Yu-Chen; Hamideh, Shadia A; Nnebe, Chelsea; Khuu, Cindy; Bensinger, Steven J; Torres, Jorge Z

    2016-08-12

    The sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP) transcription factors have become attractive targets for pharmacological inhibition in the treatment of metabolic diseases and cancer. SREBPs are critical for the production and metabolism of lipids and cholesterol, which are essential for cellular homeostasis and cell proliferation. Fatostatin was recently discovered as a specific inhibitor of SREBP cleavage-activating protein (SCAP), which is required for SREBP activation. Fatostatin possesses antitumor properties including the inhibition of cancer cell proliferation, invasion, and migration, and it arrests cancer cells in G2/M phase. Although Fatostatin has been viewed as an antitumor agent due to its inhibition of SREBP and its effect on lipid metabolism, we show that Fatostatin's anticancer properties can also be attributed to its inhibition of cell division. We analyzed the effect of SREBP activity inhibitors including Fatostatin, PF-429242, and Betulin on the cell cycle and determined that only Fatostatin possessed antimitotic properties. Fatostatin inhibited tubulin polymerization, arrested cells in mitosis, activated the spindle assembly checkpoint, and triggered mitotic catastrophe and reduced cell viability. Thus Fatostatin's ability to inhibit SREBP activity and cell division could prove beneficial in treating aggressive types of cancers such as glioblastomas that have elevated lipid metabolism and fast proliferation rates and often develop resistance to current anticancer therapies. PMID:27378817

  10. EB1-recruited microtubule +TIP complexes coordinate protrusion dynamics during 3D epithelial remodeling

    PubMed Central

    Gierke, Sarah; Wittmann, Torsten

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Background Epithelial remodeling, in which apical-basal polarized cells switch to a migratory phenotype, plays a central role in development and disease of multicellular organisms. Although dynamic microtubules (MTs) are required for directed migration on flat surfaces, how MT dynamics are controlled or contribute to epithelial remodeling in a more physiological three-dimensional (3D) environment is not understood. We use confocal live cell imaging to analyze MT function and dynamics during 3D epithelial morphogenesis and remodeling of polarized Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) epithelial cells that undergo partial epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in response to hepatocyte growth factor (HGF). Results We find that HGF treatment increases MT growth rate before morphological changes are evident, and that large numbers of MTs grow into HGF-induced cell extensions independent of centrosome reorientation. Using lentivirus-mediated shRNA, we demonstrate that EB1, an adaptor protein that mediates recruitment of numerous other +TIP proteins to growing MT plus ends, is required for this HGF-induced MT reorganization. We further show that protrusion and adhesion dynamics are disorganized, and that vesicular trafficking to the tip of HGF-induced cell extensions is disrupted in EB1-depleted cells. Conclusions We conclude that EB1-mediated interactions with growing MTs are important to coordinate cell shape changes and directed migration into the surrounding extracellular matrix during epithelial remodeling in a physiological 3D environment. In contrast, EB1 is not required for the establishment or maintenance of apical-basal cell polarity, suggesting different functions of +TIPs and MTs in different types of cell polarity. PMID:22483942