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Sample records for microtubule assembly dynamics

  1. Profilin connects actin assembly with microtubule dynamics

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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 micro­tubule 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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouchard, Ann M.; Warrender, Christina E.; Osbourn, Gordon C.

    2006-10-01

    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. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. The polarity and dynamics of microtubule assembly in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    PubMed Central

    Maddox, Paul S.; Bloom, Kerry S.; Salmon, E.D.

    2010-01-01

    Microtubule assembly in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is initiated from sites within spindle pole bodies (SPBs) in the nuclear envelope. Microtubule plus ends are thought to be organized distal to the SPBs, while minus ends are proximal. Several hypotheses for the function of microtubule motor proteins in force generation and regulation of microtubule assembly propose that assembly and disassembly occur at minus ends as well as at plus ends. Here we analyse microtubule assembly relative to the SPBs in haploid yeast cells expressing green fluorescent protein fused to α-tubulin, a microtubule subunit. Throughout the cell cycle, analysis of fluorescent speckle marks on cytoplasmic astral microtubules reveals that there is no detectable assembly or disassembly at minus ends. After laser-photobleaching, metaphase spindles recover about 63% of the bleached fluorescence, with a half-life of about 1 minute. After anaphase onset, photobleached marks in the interpolar spindle are persistent and do not move relative to the SPBs. In late anaphase, the elongated spindles disassemble at the microtubule plus ends. These results show for astral and anaphase interpolar spindle microtubules, and possibly for metaphase spindle microtubules, that microtubule assembly and disassembly occur at plus, and not minus, ends. PMID:10620805

  7. 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

  8. In vivo microtubule dynamics during experimentally induced conversions between tubulin assembly states in Allogromia laticollaris.

    PubMed

    Welnhofer, E A; Travis, J L

    1996-01-01

    A distinctive property of foraminiferan tubulin is that, in addition to microtubules (MTs), it exists in an alternate assembly state, helical filaments. Here, we have examined in vivo MT dynamics during experimentally induced conversions between these two assembly states in the reticulopods of the marine foraminiferan Allogromia laticollaris. Exposure to high extracellular concentrations of Mg2+ (165 mM) resulted in a complete conversion of MTs into helical filaments. However, Mg2+ treatment also induced a retrograde movement of organelles and cytoplasm, and it was necessary to inhibit this response in order to assess the effects of assembly state changes on individual MTs. This was accomplished by simultaneous treatment with high extracellular Mg2+ and 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP). The resulting loss in MTs was detected by video enhanced DIC (VEC-DIC) microscopy as either an endwise MT shortening (at an average rate of 474 microns/min) or transformation into one or more irregularly shaped fibrils, which we termed residual fibrils. Correlative immunofluorescence and video microscopy showed residual fibrils to be composed of helical filaments. Removal of extracellular Mg2+/DNP initiated a reversal in assembly state, from helical filaments into MTs, which was completed within 5 min. VEC-DIC microscopy showed that MTs reformed by an endwise lengthening at an average rate of 216 microns/min. These results suggest that conversion between alternate tubulin assembly states provides a more rapid means to build and dismantle MTs than conventional subunit-driven pathways.

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

    DOE PAGES

    Paxton, Walter F.; Bachand, George D.; Gomez, Andrew; ...

    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

  10. 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.

  11. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

    Olson, David J.; Oh, Denise

    2015-01-01

    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

  13. Rapid Microtubule Self-assembly Kinetics

    PubMed Central

    Gardner, Melissa K.; Charlebois, Blake D.; Jánosi, Imre M.; Howard, Jonathon; Hunt, Alan J.; Odde, David J.

    2011-01-01

    Microtubule assembly is vital for many fundamental cellular processes. Current models for microtubule assembly kinetics assume that the subunit disassociation rate from a microtubule tip is independent of free subunit concentration. Using Total-Internal-Reflection-Fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy and a laser tweezers assay to measure in vitro microtubule assembly with nanometer resolution, we find that the subunit dissociation rate from a microtubule tip increases as the free subunit concentration increases. These data are consistent with a two-dimensional model for microtubule assembly, and are explained by a shift in microtubule tip structure from a relatively blunt shape at low free concentrations to relatively tapered at high free concentrations. Because both the association and the dissociation rates increase at higher free subunit concentrations, we find that the kinetics of microtubule assembly are an order-of-magnitude higher than currently estimated in the literature. PMID:21854983

  14. Rapid microtubule self-assembly kinetics.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Melissa K; Charlebois, Blake D; Jánosi, Imre M; Howard, Jonathon; Hunt, Alan J; Odde, David J

    2011-08-19

    Microtubule assembly is vital for many fundamental cellular processes. Current models for microtubule assembly kinetics assume that the subunit dissociation rate from a microtubule tip is independent of free subunit concentration. Total-Internal-Reflection-Fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy experiments and data from a laser tweezers assay that measures in vitro microtubule assembly with nanometer resolution, provides evidence that the subunit dissociation rate from a microtubule tip increases as the free subunit concentration increases. These data are consistent with a two-dimensional model for microtubule assembly, and are explained by a shift in microtubule tip structure from a relatively blunt shape at low free concentrations to relatively tapered at high free concentrations. We find that because both the association and the dissociation rates increase at higher free subunit concentrations, the kinetics of microtubule assembly are an order-of-magnitude higher than currently estimated in the literature. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Acentrosomal Microtubule Assembly in Mitosis: The Where, When, and How.

    PubMed

    Meunier, Sylvain; Vernos, Isabelle

    2016-02-01

    In mitosis the cell assembles the bipolar spindle, a microtubule (MT)-based apparatus that segregates the duplicated chromosomes into two daughter cells. Most animal cells enter mitosis with duplicated centrosomes that provide an active source of dynamic MTs. However, it is now established that spindle assembly relies on the nucleation of acentrosomal MTs occurring around the chromosomes after nuclear envelope breakdown, and on pre-existing microtubules. Where chromosome-dependent MT nucleation occurs, when MT amplification takes place and how the two pathways function are still key questions that generate some controversies. We reconcile the data and present an integrated model accounting for acentrosomal microtubule assembly in the dividing cell.

  16. Visualization of microtubule growth in living platelets reveals a dynamic marginal band with multiple microtubules

    PubMed Central

    Patel-Hett, Sunita; Richardson, Jennifer L.; Schulze, Harald; Drabek, Ksenija; Isaac, Natasha A.; Hoffmeister, Karin; Shivdasani, Ramesh A.; Bulinski, J. Chloë; Galjart, Niels; Hartwig, John H.

    2008-01-01

    The marginal band of microtubules maintains the discoid shape of resting blood platelets. Although studies of platelet microtubule coil structure conclude that it is composed of a single microtubule, no investigations of its dynamics exist. In contrast to previous studies, permeabilized platelets incubated with GTP-rhodamine-tubulin revealed tubulin incorporation at 7.9 (± 1.9) points throughout the coil, and anti-EB1 antibodies stained 8.7 (± 2.0) sites, indicative of multiple free microtubules. To pursue this result, we expressed the microtubule plus-end marker EB3-GFP in megakaryocytes and examined its behavior in living platelets released from these cells. Time-lapse microscopy of EB3-GFP in resting platelets revealed multiple assembly sites within the coil and a bidirectional pattern of assembly. Consistent with these findings, tyrosinated tubulin, a marker of newly assembled microtubules, localized to resting platelet microtubule coils. These results suggest that the resting platelet marginal band contains multiple highly dynamic microtubules of mixed polarity. Analysis of microtubule coil diameters in newly formed resting platelets indicates that microtubule coil shrinkage occurs with aging. In addition, activated EB3-GFP–expressing platelets exhibited a dramatic increase in polymerizing microtubules, which travel outward and into filopodia. Thus, the dynamic microtubules associated with the marginal band likely function during both resting and activated platelet states. PMID:18230754

  17. 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.

  18. Microtubule dynamics in fish melanophores

    PubMed Central

    1994-01-01

    We have studied the dynamics of microtubules in black tetra (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi) melanophores to test the possible correlation of microtubule stability and intracellular particle transport. X- rhodamine-or caged fluorescein-conjugated tubulin were microinjected and visualized by fluorescence digital imaging using a cooled charge coupled device and videomicroscopy. Microtubule dynamics were evaluated by determining the time course of tubulin incorporation after pulse injection, by time lapse observation, and by quantitation of fluorescence redistribution after photobleaching and photoactivation. The time course experiments showed that the kinetics of incorporation of labeled tubulin into microtubules were similar for cells with aggregated or dispersed pigment with most microtubules becoming fully labeled within 15-20 min after injection. Quantitation by fluorescence redistribution after photobleaching and photoactivation confirmed that microtubule turnover was rapid in both states, t1/2 = 3.5 +/- 1.5 and 6.1 +/- 3.0 min for cells with aggregated and dispersed pigment, respectively. In addition, immunostaining with antibodies specific to posttranslationally modified alpha-tubulin, which is usually enriched in stable microtubules, showed that microtubules composed exclusively of detyrosinated tubulin were absent and microtubules containing acetylated tubulin were sparse. We conclude that the microtubules of melanophores are very dynamic, that their dynamic properties do not depend critically on the state of pigment distribution, and that their stabilization is not a prerequisite for intracellular transport. PMID:8089178

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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.

  2. Dynamic microtubules and the texture of plant cell walls.

    PubMed

    Lloyd, Clive

    2011-01-01

    The relationship between microtubules and cell-wall texture has had a fitful history in which progress in one area has not been matched by progress in the other. For example, the idea that wall texture arises entirely from self-assembly, independently of microtubules, originated with electron microscopic analyses of fixed cells that gave no clue to the ability of microtubules to reorganize. Since then, live-cell studies have established the surprising dynamicity of plant microtubules involving collisions, changes in angle, parallelization, and rotation of microtubule tracks. Combined with proof that cellulose synthases do track along shifting microtubules, this offers more realistic models for the dynamic influence of microtubules on wall texture than could have been imagined in the electron microscopic era-the era from which most ideas on wall texture originate. This review revisits the classical literature on wall organization from the vantage point of current knowledge of microtubule dynamics.

  3. Microtubule dynamics in plant cells.

    PubMed

    Buschmann, Henrik; Sambade, Adrian; Pesquet, Edouard; Calder, Grant; Lloyd, Clive W

    2010-01-01

    This chapter describes some of the choices and unavoidable compromises to be made when studying microtubule dynamics in plant cells. The choice of species still depends very much on the ability to produce transgenic plants and most work has been done in the relatively small cells of Arabidopsis plants or in tobacco BY-2 suspension cells. Fluorescence-tagged microtubule proteins have been used to label entire microtubules, or their plus ends, but there are still few minus-end markers for these acentrosomal cells. Pragmatic decisions have to be made about probes, balancing the efficacy of microtubule labeling against a tendency to overstabilize and bundle the microtubules and even induce helical plant growth. A key limitation in visualizing plant microtubules is the ability to keep plants alive for long periods under the microscope and we describe a biochamber that allows for plant cell growth and development while allowing gas exchange and reducing evaporation. Another major difficulty is the limited fluorescence lifetime and we describe imaging strategies to reduce photobleaching in long-term imaging. We also discuss methods of measuring microtubule dynamics, with emphasis on the behavior of plant-specific microtubule arrays. 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. A thermodynamic model of microtubule assembly and disassembly.

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-11

    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.

  5. Poleward microtubule flux mitotic spindles assembled in vitro

    PubMed Central

    1991-01-01

    In the preceding paper we described pathways of mitotic spindle assembly in cell-free extracts prepared from eggs of Xenopus laevis. Here we demonstrate the poleward flux of microtubules in spindles assembled in vitro, using a photoactivatable fluorescein covalently coupled to tubulin and multi-channel fluorescence videomicroscopy. After local photoactivation of fluorescence by UV microbeam, we observed poleward movement of fluorescein-marked microtubules at a rate of 3 microns/min, similar to rates of chromosome movement and spindle elongation during prometaphase and anaphase. This movement could be blocked by the addition of millimolar AMP-PNP but was not affected by concentrations of vanadate up to 150 microM, suggesting that poleward flux may be driven by a microtubule motor similar to kinesin. In contrast to previous results obtained in vivo (Mitchison, T. J. 1989. J. Cell Biol. 109:637-652), poleward flux in vitro appears to occur independently of kinetochores or kinetochore microtubules, and therefore may be a general property of relatively stable microtubules within the spindle. We find that microtubules moving towards poles are dynamic structures, and we have estimated the average half-life of fluxing microtubules in vitro to be between approximately 75 and 100 s. We discuss these results with regard to the function of poleward flux in spindle movements in anaphase and prometaphase. PMID:1999464

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Hydrophobic interaction of organic chemicals with microtubule assembly in vitro.

    PubMed

    Stoiber, Thomas; Unger, Eberhard; Dorn, Susanne B; Degen, Gisela H; Bolt, Hermann M

    2008-09-01

    A recent concept connecting the lipophilicity of organic chemicals with their genotoxicity on a chromosomal level implies that the lipophilic character of organic chemicals determines a certain background of chromosomal genotoxicity that can be addressed as "non-specific". This is opposed to compounds with more "specific" modes of action. Such mechanisms influence the processes of karyokinesis and cytokinesis. A critical partial process for the chromosomal segregation is the dynamics of assembly and disassembly of microtubules. To broaden the present database for such interactions, chemicals were selected based on their lipophilicity (log P between -1.5 and +1.0) and on hints from the literature pointing to possibilities of interaction with the tubulin-microtubule system. Thus, acetamide, acrylamide, methylmethane sulfonate, acetonitrile, acrylonitrile and cyclohexanone were assessed as to their potencies to influence the dynamic processes of microtubule assembly and disassembly in a cell-free system in vitro. These compounds covered a range of log P between -1.5 and 1.0, complementary to compounds investigated earlier. The entire body of data supports the general concept that hydrophobic interactions are connected with non-specific processes, which contribute to a background genotoxicity on a chromosomal level. It also points to the dynamics of microtubule assembly and disassembly as a decisive partial process involved.

  9. 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

  10. Video microscopy analysis of the polymerization dynamics of individual microtubules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salmon, E. D.

    1991-05-01

    We have developed methods using video-enhanced differential interference contrast light microscopy (VE-DIC) to measure the association and dissociation rate constants and transition frequencies of microtubule dynamic instability for microtubules assembled from pure tubulin, plus brain microtubule assoicated proteins (MAPs), and for microtubule assembly in living cells and cytosol extracts. Following nucleation, a microtubule end is seen to elongate at constant velocity until it abruptly begins rapid shortening, a transition termed catastrophe. The microtubule either disappears, or converts back to the elongation phase, a transition termed rescue. Catastrophes and rescues occur stochastically and infrequently in comparison to the durations of the elongation and shortening phases. In purified tubulin preparations from both mammalian brain and sea urchin embryos, the elongation and shortening phases exhibit distinctly different association and dissociation rate constants; in particular, the rate of dissocation during rapid shortening can be 100 times or more greater than during elongation particularly at high Mg2+. Brain MAPs (MAP2 and Tau) promote faster elongation, but suppress dynamic instability mainly by decreasing the frequency of catastrophe and increasing the frequency of rescue. In contrast, there are unknown factors in living dividing cells and in extracts from dividing cells which enhance dynamic instability by producing high frequencies of catastrophe (.01-.05 sec-1) at fast elongation velocities (10 μm min-1). Using a microscope perfusion chamber, we have shown for microtubules assembled from pure tubulin that dilution induces rapid shortening within several seconds independent of the elongation velocity or microtubule length. Thus, the stabilizing cap at elongating microtubule ends is small and sensitive to transient changes in the rate of tubulin association, even at high elongation velocities. This means that substantial changes in microtubule

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  12. Microtubule catastrophe from protofilament dynamics.

    PubMed

    Jemseena, V; Gopalakrishnan, Manoj

    2013-09-01

    The disappearance of the guanosine triphosphate- (GTP) tubulin cap is widely believed to be the forerunner event for the growth-shrinkage transition ("catastrophe") in microtubule filaments in eukaryotic cells. We study a discrete version of a stochastic model of the GTP cap dynamics, originally proposed by Flyvbjerg, Holy, and Leibler [Phys. Rev. Lett. 73, 2372 (1994)]. Our model includes both spontaneous and vectorial hydrolysis, as well as dissociation of a nonhydrolyzed dimer from the filament after incorporation. In the first part of the paper, we apply this model to a single protofilament of a microtubule. A catastrophe transition is defined for each protofilament, similarly to the earlier one-dimensional models, the frequency of occurrence of which is then calculated under various conditions but without explicit assumption of steady-state conditions. Using a perturbative approach, we show that the leading asymptotic behavior of the protofilament catastrophe in the limit of large growth velocities is remarkably similar across different models. In the second part of the paper, we extend our analysis to the entire filament by making a conjecture that a minimum number of such transitions are required to occur for the onset of microtubule catastrophe. The frequency of microtubule catastrophe is then determined using numerical simulations and compared with analytical and semianalytical estimates made under steady-state and quasi-steady-state assumptions, respectively, for the protofilament dynamics. A few relevant experimental results are analyzed in detail and compared with predictions from the model. Our results indicate that loss of GTP cap in two to three protofilaments is necessary to trigger catastrophe in a microtubule.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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

  14. 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.

  15. Theoretical Description of Microtubule Dynamics in Fission Yeast During Interphase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oei, Yung-Chin; Jiménez-Dalmaroni, Andrea; Vilfan, Andrej; Duke, Thomas

    2009-03-01

    Fission yeast (S. pombe) is a unicellular organism with a characteristic cylindrical shape. Cell growth during interphase is strongly influenced by microtubule self-organization - a process that has been experimentally well characterised. The microtubules are organized in 3 to 4 bundles, called ``interphase microtubule assemblies'' (IMAs). Each IMA is composed of several microtubules, arranged with their dynamic ``plus'' ends facing the cell tips and their ``minus'' ends overlapping at the cell middle. Although the main protein factors involved in interphase microtubule organization have been identified, an understanding of how their collective interaction with microtubules leads to the organization and structures observed in vivo is lacking. We present a physical model of microtubule dynamics that aims to provide a quantitative description of the self-organization process. First, we solve equations for the microtubule length distribution in steady-state, taking into account the way that a limited tubulin pool affects the nucleation, growth and shrinkage of microtubules. Then we incorporate passive and active crosslinkers (the bundling factor Ase1 and molecular motor Klp2) and investigate the formation of IMA structures. Analytical results are complemented by a 3D stochastic simulation.

  16. Stochastic Model of Microtubule Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hryniv, Ostap; Martínez Esteban, Antonio

    2017-10-01

    We introduce a continuous time stochastic process on strings made of two types of particle, whose dynamics mimics that of microtubules in a living cell. The long term behaviour of the system is described in terms of the velocity v of the string end. We show that v is an analytic function of its parameters and study its monotonicity properties. We give a complete characterisation of the phase diagram of the model and derive several criteria of the growth (v>0) and the shrinking (v<0) regimes of the dynamics.

  17. Microtubule-depolymerizing kinesins in the regulation of assembly, disassembly, and length of cilia and flagella.

    PubMed

    Hu, Zhangfeng; Liang, Yinwen; Meng, Dan; Wang, Liang; Pan, Junmin

    2015-01-01

    Defects in ciliary assembly, maintenance, and signaling are associated with various human diseases and developmental disorders, termed ciliopathies. Eukaryotic flagella and cilia (interchangeable terms) are microtubule-based organelles. Thus, microtubule dynamics and microtubule-dependent transport are predicted to affect the structural integrity and functionality of cilia profoundly. Kinesin-2 is well known for its role in intraflagellar transport to transport ciliary precursors and signaling molecules. Recently, microtubule-depolymerizing kinesins found in kinesin-8, -13, and -14A families have emerged as regulators of cilia. We first discuss ciliary kinesins identified in the flagellar or ciliary proteome, and then focus on the function and regulation of microtubule-depolymerizing kinesins. Lastly, we review the recent advances of microtubule-depolymerizing kinesins in controlling ciliary assembly, disassembly, and length.

  18. Stimulation of the CLIP-170–dependent capture of membrane organelles by microtubules through fine tuning of microtubule assembly dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Lomakin, Alexis J.; Kraikivski, Pavel; Semenova, Irina; Ikeda, Kazuho; Zaliapin, Ilya; Tirnauer, Jennifer S.; Akhmanova, Anna; Rodionov, Vladimir

    2011-01-01

    Cytoplasmic microtubules (MTs) continuously grow and shorten at their free plus ends, a behavior that allows them to capture membrane organelles destined for MT minus end–directed transport. In Xenopus melanophores, the capture of pigment granules (melanosomes) involves the +TIP CLIP-170, which is enriched at growing MT plus ends. Here we used Xenopus melanophores to test whether signals that stimulate minus end MT transport also enhance CLIP-170–dependent binding of melanosomes to MT tips. We found that these signals significantly (>twofold) increased the number of growing MT plus ends and their density at the cell periphery, thereby enhancing the likelihood of interaction with dispersed melanosomes. Computational simulations showed that local and global increases in the density of CLIP-170–decorated MT plus ends could reduce the half-time of melanosome aggregation by ∼50%. We conclude that pigment granule aggregation signals in melanophores stimulate MT minus end–directed transport by the increasing number of growing MT plus ends decorated with CLIP-170 and redistributing these ends to more efficiently capture melanosomes throughout the cytoplasm. PMID:21880898

  19. 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

  20. Force Generation by Microtubule Assembly/Disassembly in Mitosis and Related Movements

    PubMed Central

    Inoué, Shinya; Salmon, Edward D.

    1995-01-01

    In this article, we review the dynamic nature of the filaments (microtubules) that make up the labile fibers of the mitotic spindle and asters, we discuss the roles that assembly and disassembly of microtubules play in mitosis, and we consider how such assembling and disassembling polymer filaments can generate forces that are utilized by the living cell in mitosis and related movements. Images PMID:8590794

  1. Microtubule assembly in cytoplasmic extracts of Xenopus oocytes and eggs

    PubMed Central

    1987-01-01

    We have investigated the differences in microtubule assembly in cytoplasm from Xenopus oocytes and eggs in vitro. Extracts of activated eggs could be prepared that assembled extensive microtubule networks in vitro using Tetrahymena axonemes or mammalian centrosomes as nucleation centers. Assembly occurred predominantly from the plus-end of the microtubule with a rate constant of 2 microns.min-1.microM-1 (57 s- 1.microM-1). At the in vivo tubulin concentration, this corresponds to the extraordinarily high rate of 40-50 microns.min-1. Microtubule disassembly rates in these extracts were -4.5 microns.min-1 (128 s-1) at the plus-end and -6.9 microns.min-1 (196 s-1) at the minus-end. The critical concentration for plus-end microtubule assembly was 0.4 microM. These extracts also promoted the plus-end assembly of microtubules from bovine brain tubulin, suggesting the presence of an assembly promoting factor in the egg. In contrast to activated eggs, assembly was never observed in extracts prepared from oocytes, even at tubulin concentrations as high as 20 microM. Addition of oocyte extract to egg extracts or to purified brain tubulin inhibited microtubule assembly. These results suggest that there is a plus-end-specific inhibitor of microtubule assembly in the oocyte and a plus-end-specific promoter of assembly in the eggs. These factors may serve to regulate microtubule assembly during early development in Xenopus. PMID:3680377

  2. Suppression of microtubule assembly kinetics by the mitotic protein TPX2.

    PubMed

    Reid, Taylor A; Schuster, Breanna M; Mann, Barbara J; Balchand, Sai Keshavan; Plooster, Melissa; McClellan, Mark; Coombes, Courtney E; Wadsworth, Pat; Gardner, Melissa K

    2016-04-01

    TPX2 is a widely conserved microtubule-associated protein that is required for mitotic spindle formation and function. Previous studies have demonstrated that TPX2 is required for the nucleation of microtubules around chromosomes; however, the molecular mechanism by which TPX2 promotes microtubule nucleation remains a mystery. In this study, we found that TPX2 acts to suppress tubulin subunit off-rates during microtubule assembly and disassembly, thus allowing for the support of unprecedentedly slow rates of plus-end microtubule growth, and also leading to a dramatically reduced microtubule shortening rate. These changes in microtubule dynamics can be explained in computational simulations by a moderate increase in tubulin-tubulin bond strength upon TPX2 association with the microtubule lattice, which in turn acts to reduce the departure rate of tubulin subunits from the microtubule ends. Thus, the direct suppression of tubulin subunit off-rates by TPX2 during microtubule growth and shortening could provide a molecular mechanism to explain the nucleation of new microtubules in the presence of TPX2.

  3. Filopodia and actin arcs guide the assembly and transport of two populations of microtubules with unique dynamic parameters in neuronal growth cones

    PubMed Central

    Schaefer, Andrew W.; Kabir, Nurul; Forscher, Paul

    2002-01-01

    We have used multimode fluorescent speckle microscopy (FSM) and correlative differential interference contrast imaging to investigate the actin–microtubule (MT) interactions and polymer dynamics known to play a fundamental role in growth cone guidance. We report that MTs explore the peripheral domain (P-domain), exhibiting classical properties of dynamic instability. MT extension occurs preferentially along filopodia, which function as MT polymerization guides. Filopodial bundles undergo retrograde flow and also transport MTs. Thus, distal MT position is determined by the rate of plus-end MT assembly minus the rate of retrograde F-actin flow. Short MT displacements independent of flow are sometimes observed. MTs loop, buckle, and break as they are transported into the T-zone by retrograde flow. MT breakage results in exposure of new plus ends which can regrow, and minus ends which rapidly undergo catastrophes, resulting in efficient MT turnover. We also report a previously undetected presence of F-actin arc structures, which exhibit persistent retrograde movement across the T-zone into the central domain (C-domain) at ∼1/4 the rate of P-domain flow. Actin arcs interact with MTs and transport them into the C-domain. Interestingly, although the MTs associated with arcs are less dynamic than P-domain MTs, they elongate efficiently as a result of markedly lower catastrophe frequencies. PMID:12105186

  4. Tubulin bistability and polymorphic dynamics of microtubules.

    PubMed

    Mohrbach, Hervé; Johner, Albert; Kulić, Igor M

    2010-12-31

    Based on the hypothesis that the GDP-tubulin dimer is a conformationally bistable molecule-rapidly fluctuating between a discrete curved and a straight state-we develop a model for polymorphic dynamics of the microtubule lattice. We show that GDP-tubulin bistability consistently explains unusual dynamic fluctuations, the apparent length-stiffness relation of grafted taxol-stabilized microtubules, and the curved-helical appearance of microtubules in general. When clamped by one end the microtubules undergo an unusual zero energy motion-in its effect reminiscent of a limited rotational hinge. We conclude that microtubules exist in highly cooperative energy-degenerate helical states and discuss possible implications in vivo.

  5. Tubulin Bistability and Polymorphic Dynamics of Microtubules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohrbach, Hervé; Johner, Albert; Kulić, Igor M.

    2010-12-01

    Based on the hypothesis that the GDP-tubulin dimer is a conformationally bistable molecule—rapidly fluctuating between a discrete curved and a straight state—we develop a model for polymorphic dynamics of the microtubule lattice. We show that GDP-tubulin bistability consistently explains unusual dynamic fluctuations, the apparent length-stiffness relation of grafted taxol-stabilized microtubules, and the curved-helical appearance of microtubules in general. When clamped by one end the microtubules undergo an unusual zero energy motion—in its effect reminiscent of a limited rotational hinge. We conclude that microtubules exist in highly cooperative energy-degenerate helical states and discuss possible implications in vivo.

  6. Microtubule bundling and shape transitions: Mechanics, interactions, and self-assemblies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Needleman, Daniel Joseph

    Microtubules associate to form bundles in vivo in a wide variety of contexts including the mitotic spindle, neuronal processes, and the cortical array in plant cells. These supramolecular assemblies differ in size and shape, and in their internal structure, but the principles that determine this variation in morphology are not understood. To help elucidate such principals we constructed microtubule bundles in vitro using a variety of bundling agents. We have characterized the structure of these supramolecular assemblies of microtubules from the nanoscale to the mesoscale using synchrotron x-ray scattering and diffraction, video enhanced DIC and fluorescence microscopy, and electron microscopy. In the presence of inert polymers, an osmotic pressure imbalance between the inside and the outside of the microtubules may cause them to buckle to a non-circular cross-section. Depletion effects cause these distorted microtubules to bundle into a lattice with rectangular symmetry. The critical buckling pressure provides a measure of the stiffness of the inter-protofilament bond, and we determined that microtubule associated proteins enhance the strength of this bond, while the chemotherapeutic drug taxol has no effect. Multivalent ions cause microtubules to associate into bundles whose morphology depends on the condensing ion. Tightly packed hexagonal bundles with controllable diameters are observed for large tri-, tetra-, and pentavalent counterions. Unexpectedly, in the presence of small divalent cations, we have discovered a living necklace bundle phase, comprised of dynamical assemblies of MT nematic membranes with linear, branched, and loop topologies. Cations may also cause tubulin to assemble into non-microtubule structures. For example, in the presence of spermine, over time the microtubule bundles transform into a columnar phase of inverted tubules, such that the surface which was facing outside of the microtubules switches to the inside. This rearrangement between

  7. Kinetochore–microtubule attachment is sufficient to satisfy the human spindle assembly checkpoint

    PubMed Central

    Etemad, Banafsheh; Kuijt, Timo E. F.; Kops, Geert J. P. L.

    2015-01-01

    The spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) is a genome surveillance mechanism that protects against aneuploidization. Despite profound progress on understanding mechanisms of its activation, it remains unknown what aspect of chromosome–spindle interactions is monitored by the SAC: kinetochore–microtubule attachment or the force generated by dynamic microtubules that signals stable biorientation of chromosomes? To answer this, we uncoupled these two processes by expressing a non-phosphorylatable version of the main microtubule-binding protein at kinetochores (HEC1-9A), causing stabilization of incorrect kinetochore–microtubule attachments despite persistent activity of the error-correction machinery. The SAC is fully functional in HEC1-9A-expressing cells, yet cells in which chromosomes cannot biorient but are stably attached to microtubules satisfy the SAC and exit mitosis. SAC satisfaction requires neither intra-kinetochore stretching nor dynamic microtubules. Our findings support the hypothesis that in human cells the end-on interactions of microtubules with kinetochores are sufficient to satisfy the SAC without the need for microtubule-based pulling forces. PMID:26621779

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

    PubMed

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

    1998-08-01

    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.

  9. Dynamic Behavior of Microtubules during Dynein-dependent Nuclear Migrations of Meiotic Prophase in Fission Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Yamamoto, Ayumu; Tsutsumi, Chihiro; Kojima, Hiroaki; Oiwa, Kazuhiro; Hiraoka, Yasushi

    2001-01-01

    During meiotic prophase in fission yeast, the nucleus migrates back and forth between the two ends of the cell, led by the spindle pole body (SPB). This nuclear oscillation is dependent on astral microtubules radiating from the SPB and a microtubule motor, cytoplasmic dynein. Here we have examined the dynamic behavior of astral microtubules labeled with the green fluorescent protein during meiotic prophase with the use of optical sectioning microscopy. During nuclear migrations, the SPB mostly follows the microtubules that extend toward the cell cortex. SPB migrations start when these microtubules interact with the cortex and stop when they disappear, suggesting that these microtubules drive nuclear migrations. The microtubules that are followed by the SPB often slide along the cortex and are shortened by disassembly at their ends proximal to the cortex. In dynein-mutant cells, where nuclear oscillations are absent, the SPB never migrates by following microtubules, and microtubule assembly/disassembly dynamics is significantly altered. Based on these observations, together with the frequent accumulation of dynein at a cortical site where the directing microtubules interact, we propose a model in which dynein drives nuclear oscillation by mediating cortical microtubule interactions and regulating the dynamics of microtubule disassembly at the cortex. PMID:11739791

  10. 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.

  11. Chromatin-bound Xenopus Dppa2 shapes the nucleus by locally inhibiting microtubule assembly.

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-14

    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). Whereas 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. 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

  13. Multiscale polar theory of microtubule and motor-protein assemblies

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-01-27

    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. Finally, the results connect local polar structure to flow structures and defect dynamics.

  14. Multiscale polar theory of microtubule and motor-protein assemblies

    DOE PAGES

    Gao, Tong; Blackwell, Robert; Glaser, Matthew A.; ...

    2015-01-27

    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-specificmore » sources of active destabilizing stress. On larger length scales, our continuum Doi-Onsager theory captures the hydrodynamic flows generated by polarity-dependent active stresses. Finally, the results connect local polar structure to flow structures and defect dynamics.« less

  15. Multiscale polar theory of microtubule and motor-protein assemblies.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-30

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  17. Spatial regulation of astral microtubule dynamics by Kif18B in PtK cells

    PubMed Central

    Walczak, Claire E.; Zong, Hailing; Jain, Sachin; Stout, Jane R.

    2016-01-01

    The spatial and temporal control of microtubule dynamics is fundamentally important for proper spindle assembly and chromosome segregation. This is achieved, in part, by the multitude of proteins that bind to and regulate spindle microtubules, including kinesin superfamily members, which act as microtubule-destabilizing enzymes. These fall into two general classes: the kinesin-13 proteins, which directly depolymerize microtubules, and the kinesin-8 proteins, which are plus end–directed motors that either destabilize microtubules or cap the microtubule plus ends. Here we analyze the contribution of a PtK kinesin-8 protein, Kif18B, in the control of mitotic microtubule dynamics. Knockdown of Kif18B causes defects in spindle microtubule organization and a dramatic increase in astral microtubules. Kif18B-knockdown cells had defects in chromosome alignment, but there were no defects in chromosome segregation. The long astral microtubules that occur in the absence of Kif18B are limited in length by the cell cortex. Using EB1 tracking, we show that Kif18B activity is spatially controlled, as loss of Kif18B has the most dramatic effect on the lifetimes of astral microtubules that extend toward the cell cortex. Together our studies provide new insight into how diverse kinesins contribute to spatial microtubule organization in the spindle. PMID:27559136

  18. Spatial regulation of astral microtubule dynamics by Kif18B in PtK cells.

    PubMed

    Walczak, Claire E; Zong, Hailing; Jain, Sachin; Stout, Jane R

    2016-10-15

    The spatial and temporal control of microtubule dynamics is fundamentally important for proper spindle assembly and chromosome segregation. This is achieved, in part, by the multitude of proteins that bind to and regulate spindle microtubules, including kinesin superfamily members, which act as microtubule-destabilizing enzymes. These fall into two general classes: the kinesin-13 proteins, which directly depolymerize microtubules, and the kinesin-8 proteins, which are plus end-directed motors that either destabilize microtubules or cap the microtubule plus ends. Here we analyze the contribution of a PtK kinesin-8 protein, Kif18B, in the control of mitotic microtubule dynamics. Knockdown of Kif18B causes defects in spindle microtubule organization and a dramatic increase in astral microtubules. Kif18B-knockdown cells had defects in chromosome alignment, but there were no defects in chromosome segregation. The long astral microtubules that occur in the absence of Kif18B are limited in length by the cell cortex. Using EB1 tracking, we show that Kif18B activity is spatially controlled, as loss of Kif18B has the most dramatic effect on the lifetimes of astral microtubules that extend toward the cell cortex. Together our studies provide new insight into how diverse kinesins contribute to spatial microtubule organization in the spindle.

  19. 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

  20. MCF7 microtubules: Cancer microtubules with relatively slow and stable dynamic in vitro.

    PubMed

    Feizabadi, Mitra Shojania; Rosario, Brandon

    2017-03-04

    There is known to be significant diversity of β-tubulin isoforms in cells. However, whether the functions of microtubules that are polymerized from different distributions of beta isotypes become distinct from one another are still being explored. Of particular interest, recent studies have identified the role that different beta tubulin isotypes carry in regulating the functions of some of the molecular motors along MCF7, or breast cancer, microtubules. That being said, how the specific distribution of beta tubulin isotypes impacts the MCF7 microtubules' dynamic is not well understood. The current study was initiated to directly quantify the in vitro dynamic and polymerization parameters of single MCF7 microtubules and then compare them with those obtained from neuronal microtubules polymerized from porcine brain tubulin. Surprisingly, unlike porcine brain microtubules, this type of cancer microtubule showed a relatively stable and slow dynamic. The comparison between the subsequently fast and unstable dynamic of porcine brain microtubules with the significantly slow and relatively stable dynamic of MCF7 microtubules suggests that beta tubulin isotypes may not only influence the microtubule based functionalities of some molecular motors, but also may change the microtubule's intrinsic dynamic.

  1. Microtubule-sliding activity of a kinesin-8 promotes spindle assembly and spindle-length control.

    PubMed

    Su, Xiaolei; Arellano-Santoyo, Hugo; Portran, Didier; Gaillard, Jeremie; Vantard, Marylin; Thery, Manuel; Pellman, David

    2013-08-01

    Molecular motors play critical roles in the formation of mitotic spindles, either through controlling the stability of individual microtubules, or by crosslinking and sliding microtubule arrays. Kinesin-8 motors are best known for their regulatory roles in controlling microtubule dynamics. They contain microtubule-destabilizing activities, and restrict spindle length in a wide variety of cell types and organisms. Here, we report an antiparallel microtubule-sliding activity of the budding yeast kinesin-8, Kip3. The in vivo importance of this sliding activity was established through the identification of complementary Kip3 mutants that separate the sliding activity and microtubule-destabilizing activity. In conjunction with Cin8, a kinesin-5 family member, the sliding activity of Kip3 promotes bipolar spindle assembly and the maintenance of genome stability. We propose a slide-disassemble model where the sliding and destabilizing activity of Kip3 balance during pre-anaphase. This facilitates normal spindle assembly. However, the destabilizing activity of Kip3 dominates in late anaphase, inhibiting spindle elongation and ultimately promoting spindle disassembly.

  2. 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.

  3. Nup98 regulates bipolar spindle assembly through association with microtubules and opposition of MCAK

    PubMed Central

    Cross, Marie K.; Powers, Maureen A.

    2011-01-01

    During mitosis, the nuclear pore complex is disassembled and, increasingly, nucleoporins are proving to have mitotic functions when released from the pore. We find a contribution of the nucleoporin Nup98 to mitotic spindle assembly through regulation of microtubule dynamics. When added to Xenopus extract spindle assembly assays, the C-terminal domain of Nup98 stimulates uncontrolled growth of microtubules. Conversely, inhibition or depletion of Nup98 leads to formation of stable monopolar spindles. Spindle bipolarity is restored by addition of purified, recombinant Nup98 C-terminus. The minimal required region of Nup98 corresponds to a portion of the C-terminal domain lacking a previously characterized function. We show association between this region of the C-terminus of Nup98 and both Taxol-stabilized microtubules and the microtubule-depolymerizing mitotic centromere–associated kinesin (MCAK). Importantly, we demonstrate that this domain of Nup98 inhibits MCAK depolymerization activity in vitro. These data support a model in which Nup98 interacts with microtubules and antagonizes MCAK activity, thus promoting bipolar spindle assembly. PMID:21209315

  4. Dynamic response of axonal microtubules under suddenly applied end forces.

    PubMed

    Manuchehrfar, Farid; Shamloo, Amir; Mehboudi, Nastaran

    2014-01-01

    Axon is a filament in neuronal system and axonal microtubules are bundles in axons. In axons, microtubules are coated with microtubule-associated protein tau, a natively unfolded profuse filamentous protein in the central nervous system. These proteins are responsible for the cross-linked structure of the axonal microtubule bundles. Through complimentary dimerization with other tau proteins, bridges are formed to nearby microtubules to create bundles. The transverse reinforcement of microtubules by cross-linking to the cytoskeleton has been shown to enhance their ability to bear compressive loads. Though microtubules are conventionally regarded as bearing compressive loads, in certain circumstances such as in traumatic stretch injury, they are placed in tension. We employ Standard Linear Solid, a viscoelastic model, to computationally simulate microtubules. This study investigates the dynamic response of two dimensional axonal microtubules under suddenly applied end forces. We obtain the results for steady state behavior of axonal microtubule for different forces.

  5. Tubulin carbamoylation. Functional amino groups in microtubule assembly.

    PubMed Central

    Mellado, W; Slebe, J C; Maccioni, R B

    1982-01-01

    The characteristics of the carbamoylation of pig brain tubulin were examined by using the modification conditions with cyanate described previously [Mellado, Slebe + Maccioni (1980) Biochem. Int. I, 584--590]. The carbamoylation reaction resulted in an inhibition of microtubule assembly, which was dependent on the concentration of the modifying agent. This tubulin modification appears to inhibit the growth of microtubules. The presence of GTP did not protect tubulin against this inhibition. Electron microscopy showed a marked decrease in the number of tubules after carbamoylation, but no alterations were observed in the microtubule morphology. The incorporation of KN14CO into alpha- and beta-subunits with similar kinetics was also shown, and the carbamoylated residues were identified as epsilon-N-carbamoyl-lysine residues. Images PLATE 1 Fig. 4. PMID:7115308

  6. Physical aspects of the assembly and function of microtubules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holy, Timothy Eric

    Living cells contain polymers called microtubules. Microtubules are used to control cell shape, to generate force for movement, to transport vesicles, and to separate chromosomes during cell division. Microtubule polymerization is governed by a unique, energy-consuming phenomenon called dynamic instability, which leads to large fluctuations in length. This dissertation reports on physical studies (theory and experiment) of microtubules and their roles in living cells. To understand dynamic instability we need to know its mechanism and its function. Experiments on dynamic instability have led to a seeming contradiction as to its mechanism. By introducing a phenomenological model that unites the existing data, we show that this contradiction can be resolved. The model describes the stochastic dynamics of a stabilizing cap which promotes growth, but whose loss leads to disassembly. The theory matches experiments over time scales from seconds to minutes. We address the biological role of dynamic instability, also from a theoretical standpoint. We show that these large length fluctuations are useful: they lead to a rapid search of intracellular space. This search may be an essential step in organizing the cell interior, forging connections between widely-separated components. We show that dynamic instability speeds a search by several orders of magnitude. We also find that the parameters which govern dynamic instability appear to be chosen by the cell so as to minimize the search time. This thesis also reports experiments showing that microtubule polymerization may generate forces for movement and organization. Archetypal movements in living cells (e.g., the movement of the sperm nucleus from the periphery to the center of the egg) were reconstructed in an artificial system. The components of our system are purified proteins and two specially-designed materials: latex beads coated so as to nucleate microtubules, and microscopic chambers fabricated to mimic the confined

  7. 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.

  8. Binding of microtubule protein to DNA and chromatin: possibility of simultaneous linkage of microtubule to nucleic and assembly of the microtubule structure.

    PubMed Central

    Villasante, A; Corces, V G; Manso-Martínez, R; Avila, J

    1981-01-01

    Microtubule protein binds to DNA through microtubule associated polypeptides (MAPs). Among MAPs there is one high molecular weight polypeptide (MAP2) which interacts with DNA fundamentally through certain polynucleotide sequences. This interaction is not affected by the presence of histones and other chromosomal proteins. DNA can associate to assembled microtubules and when a determinate DNA/protein ratio is reached the nucleic acid behaves as a microtubule associated molecule. The nucleic acid fragments which preferentially bind to microtubules have been isolated and characterized. These fragments contain DNA regions enriched in repetitive sequences that hybridizes preferentially to the pericentromeric zone of metaphase chromosomes. These results give further support to the model of interaction microtubule-chromosome based upon the mediator function of the microtubule associated proteins. Images PMID:7232207

  9. 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.

  10. Human SAS-6 C-Terminus Nucleates and Promotes Microtubule Assembly in Vitro by Binding to Microtubules.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Hindol; Badarudeen, Binshad; George, Athira; Thomas, Geethu Emily; Gireesh, K K; Manna, Tapas K

    2015-10-20

    Centrioles are essential components of the animal centrosome and play crucial roles in the formation of cilia and flagella. They are cylindrical structures composed of nine triplet microtubules organized around a central cartwheel. Recent studies have identified spindle assembly abnormal protein SAS-6 as a critical component necessary for formation of the cartwheel. However, the molecular details of how the cartwheel participates in centriolar microtubule assembly have not been clearly understood. In this report, we show that the C-terminal tail (residues 470-657) of human SAS-6, HsSAS-6 C, the region that has been shown to extend toward the centriolar wall where the microtubule triplets are organized, nucleated and induced microtubule polymerization in vitro. The N-terminus (residues 1-166) of HsSAS-6, the domain known to be involved in formation of the central hub of the cartwheel, did not, however, exert any effect on microtubule polymerization. HsSAS-6 C bound to the microtubules and localized along the lengths of the microtubules in vitro. Microtubule pull-down and coimmunoprecipitation (Co-IP) experiments with S-phase synchronized HeLa cell lysates showed that the endogenous HsSAS-6 coprecipitated with the microtubules, and it mediated interaction with tubulin. Isothermal calorimetry titration and size exclusion chromatography showed that HsSAS-6 C bound to the αβ-tubulin dimer in vitro. The results demonstrate that HsSAS-6 possesses an intrinsic microtubule assembly promoting activity and further implicate that its outer exposed C-terminal tail may play critical roles in microtubule assembly and stabilizing microtubule attachment with the centriolar cartwheel.

  11. EWSR1 regulates mitosis by dynamically influencing microtubule acetylation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yi-Long; Chen, Hui; Zhan, Yi-Qun; Yin, Rong-Hua; Li, Chang-Yan; Ge, Chang-Hui; Yu, Miao; Yang, Xiao-Ming

    2016-08-17

    EWSR1, participating in transcription and splicing, has been identified as a translocation partner for various transcription factors, resulting in translocation, which in turn plays crucial roles in tumorigenesis. Recent studies have investigated the role of EWSR1 in mitosis. However, the effect of EWSR1 on mitosis is poorly understood. Here, we observed that depletion of EWSR1 resulted in cell cycle arrest in the mitotic phase, mainly due to an increase in the time from nuclear envelope breakdown to metaphase, resulting in a high percentage of unaligned chromosomes and multipolar spindles. We also demonstrated that EWSR1 is a spindle-associated protein that interacts with α-tubulin during mitosis. EWSR1 depletion increased the cold-sensitivity of spindle microtubules, and decreased the rate of spindle assembly. EWSR1 regulated the level of microtubule acetylation in the mitotic spindle; microtubule acetylation was rescued in EWSR1-depleted mitotic cells following suppression of HDAC6 activity by its specific inhibitor or siRNA treatment. In summary, these results suggest that EWSR1 regulates the acetylation of microtubules in a cell cycle-dependent manner through its dynamic location on spindle MTs, and may be a novel regulator for mitosis progress independent of its translocation.

  12. Internal Dynamics of Dynactin CAP-Gly Is Regulated by Microtubules and Plus End Tracking Protein EB1*

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Si; Zhang, Huilan; Hou, Guangjin; Ahmed, Shubbir; Williams, John C.; Polenova, Tatyana

    2015-01-01

    CAP-Gly domain of dynactin, a microtubule-associated activator of dynein motor, participates in multiple cellular processes, and its point mutations are associated with neurodegenerative diseases. Recently, we have demonstrated that conformational plasticity is an intrinsic property of CAP-Gly. To understand its origin, we addressed internal dynamics of CAP-Gly assembled on polymeric microtubules, bound to end-binding protein EB1 and free, by magic angle spinning NMR and molecular dynamics simulations. The analysis of residue-specific dynamics of CAP-Gly on time scales spanning nano- through milliseconds reveals its unusually high mobility, both free and assembled on polymeric microtubules. On the contrary, CAP-Gly bound to EB1 is significantly more rigid. Molecular dynamics simulations indicate that these motions are strongly temperature-dependent, and loop regions are surprisingly mobile. These findings establish the connection between conformational plasticity and internal dynamics in CAP-Gly, which is essential for the biological functions of CAP-Gly and its ability to bind to polymeric microtubules and multiple binding partners. In this work, we establish an approach, for the first time, to probe atomic resolution dynamic profiles of a microtubule-associated protein assembled on polymeric microtubules. More broadly, the methodology established here can be applied for atomic resolution analysis of dynamics in other microtubule-associated protein assemblies, including but not limited to dynactin, dynein, and kinesin motors assembled on microtubules. PMID:25451937

  13. Internal dynamics of dynactin CAP-Gly is regulated by microtubules and plus end tracking protein EB1.

    PubMed

    Yan, Si; Zhang, Huilan; Hou, Guangjin; Ahmed, Shubbir; Williams, John C; Polenova, Tatyana

    2015-01-16

    CAP-Gly domain of dynactin, a microtubule-associated activator of dynein motor, participates in multiple cellular processes, and its point mutations are associated with neurodegenerative diseases. Recently, we have demonstrated that conformational plasticity is an intrinsic property of CAP-Gly. To understand its origin, we addressed internal dynamics of CAP-Gly assembled on polymeric microtubules, bound to end-binding protein EB1 and free, by magic angle spinning NMR and molecular dynamics simulations. The analysis of residue-specific dynamics of CAP-Gly on time scales spanning nano- through milliseconds reveals its unusually high mobility, both free and assembled on polymeric microtubules. On the contrary, CAP-Gly bound to EB1 is significantly more rigid. Molecular dynamics simulations indicate that these motions are strongly temperature-dependent, and loop regions are surprisingly mobile. These findings establish the connection between conformational plasticity and internal dynamics in CAP-Gly, which is essential for the biological functions of CAP-Gly and its ability to bind to polymeric microtubules and multiple binding partners. In this work, we establish an approach, for the first time, to probe atomic resolution dynamic profiles of a microtubule-associated protein assembled on polymeric microtubules. More broadly, the methodology established here can be applied for atomic resolution analysis of dynamics in other microtubule-associated protein assemblies, including but not limited to dynactin, dynein, and kinesin motors assembled on microtubules. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  14. Mmb1p binds mitochondria to dynamic microtubules

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Chuanhai; Jain, Deeptee; Costa, Judite; Velve-Casquillas, Guilhem; Tran, Phong T.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Background Mitochondria form a dynamics tubular network within the cell. Proper mitochondria movement and distribution are critical for their localized function in cell metabolism, growth, and survival. In mammalian cells, mechanisms of mitochondria positioning appear dependent on the microtubule cytoskeleton, with kinesin or dynein motors carrying mitochondria as cargos and distributing them throughout the microtubule network. Interestingly, the timescale of microtubule dynamics occurs in seconds, and the timescale of mitochondria distribution occurs in minutes. How does the cell couple these two time constants? Results Fission yeast also relies on microtubules for mitochondria distribution. We report here a new microtubule-dependent but motor-independent mechanism for proper mitochondria positioning in fission yeast. We identify the protein mmb1p, which binds to mitochondria and microtubules. Mmb1p attaches the tubular mitochondria to the microtubule lattice at multiple discrete interaction sites. Mmb1 deletion causes mitochondria to aggregate, with the long-term consequence of defective mitochondria distribution and cell death. Mmb1p decreases microtubule dynamicity. Conclusion Mmb1p is a new microtubule-mitochondria binding protein. We propose that mmb1p act to couple long-term mitochondria distribution to short-term microtubule dynamics by attenuating microtubule dynamics, thus enhancing the mitochondria-microtubule interaction time. PMID:21856157

  15. 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.

  16. Microtubule Dynamics Control Tail Retraction in Migrating Vascular Endothelial Cells†

    PubMed Central

    Ganguly, Anutosh; Yang, Hailing; Zhang, Hong; Cabral, Fernando; Patel, Kamala D.

    2014-01-01

    Drugs that target microtubules are potent inhibitors of angiogenesis but their mechanism of action is not well understood. To explore this, we treated human umbilical vein endothelial cells with paclitaxel, vinblastine, and colchicine and measured the effects on microtubule dynamics and cell motility. In general, lower drug concentrations suppressed microtubule dynamics and inhibited cell migration whereas higher concentrations were needed to inhibit cell division; but, surprisingly, large drug-dependent differences were seen in the relative concentrations needed to inhibit these two processes. Suppression of microtubule dynamics did not significantly affect excursions of lamellipodia away from the nucleus or prevent cells from elongating; but, it did inhibit retraction of the trailing edges that are normally enriched in dynamic microtubules, thereby limiting cell locomotion. Complete removal of microtubules with a high vinblastine concentration caused a loss of polarity that resulted in roundish rather than elongated cells, rapid but non-directional membrane activity, and little cell movement. The results are consistent with a model in which more static microtubules stabilize the leading edge of migrating cells while more dynamic microtubules locate to the rear where they can remodel and allow tail retraction. Suppressing microtubule dynamics interferes with tail retraction, but removal of microtubules destroys the asymmetry needed for cell elongation and directional motility. The prediction that suppressing microtubule dynamics might be sufficient to prevent angiogenesis was supported by showing that low concentrations of paclitaxel could prevent the formation of capillary-like structures in an in vitro tube formation assay. PMID:24107446

  17. Mathematical modeling of microtubule dynamics: insights into physiology and disease.

    PubMed

    Buxton, Gavin A; Siedlak, Sandra L; Perry, George; Smith, Mark A

    2010-12-01

    Computer models of microtubule dynamics have provided the basis for many of the theories on the cellular mechanics of the microtubules, their polymerization kinetics, and the diffusion of tubulin and tau. In the three-dimensional model presented here, we include the effects of tau concentration and the hydrolysis of GTP-tubulin to GDP-tubulin and observe the emergence of microtubule dynamic instability. This integrated approach simulates the essential physics of microtubule dynamics in a cellular environment. The model captures the structure of the microtubules as they undergo steady state dynamic instabilities in this simplified geometry, and also yields the average number, length, and cap size of the microtubules. The model achieves realistic geometries and simulates cellular structures found in degenerating neurons in disease states such as Alzheimer disease. Further, this model can be used to simulate microtubule changes following the addition of antimitotic drugs which have recently attracted attention as chemotherapeutic agents.

  18. Analysis of microtubule polymerization dynamics in live cells

    PubMed Central

    Gierke, Sarah; Kumar, Praveen; Wittmann, Torsten

    2012-01-01

    Intracellular microtubule polymerization dynamics are spatiotemporally controlled by numerous microtubule-associated proteins and other mechanisms, and this regulation is central to many cell processes. Here, we give an overview and practical guide on how to acquire and analyze time-lapse sequences of dynamic microtubules in live cells by either fluorescently labeling entire microtubules or by utilizing proteins that specifically associate only with growing microtubule ends, and summarize the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches. We give practical recommendations for imaging conditions, and we also discuss important limitations of such analysis that are dictated by the maximal achievable spatial and temporal sampling frequencies. PMID:20719263

  19. 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

  20. 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).

  1. 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

  2. Microtubules: dynamically unstable stochastic phase-switching polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zakharov, P. N.; Arzhanik, V. K.; Ulyanov, E. V.; Gudimchuk, N. B.; Ataullakhanov, F. I.

    2016-08-01

    One of the simplest molecular motors, a biological microtubule, is reviewed as an example of a highly nonequilibrium molecular machine capable of stochastic transitions between slow growth and rapid disassembly phases. Basic properties of microtubules are described, and various approaches to simulating their dynamics, from statistical chemical kinetics models to molecular dynamics models using the Metropolis Monte Carlo and Brownian dynamics methods, are outlined.

  3. Reassembly of flagellar B (alpha beta) tubulin into singlet microtubules: consequences for cytoplasmic microtubule structure and assembly

    PubMed Central

    1981-01-01

    B(alpha beta) tubulin was obtained from a homogeneous class of microtubules, the incomplete B subfiber of sea urchin sperm flagellar doublet microtubules, by thermal fractionation. The thermally derived soluble B tubulin fraction (100, 000 g-h) repolymerizes in vitro, yielding microtubule-like structures. The microtubule-associated protein (MAP) composition and certain assembly parameters of thermally derived B tubulin are different from those reported for sonication- derived flageller tubulin and purified vertebrate tubulin. The "microtubules" reassembled from thermally prepared B tubulin are composed of 12-15 protofilaments (73% possess 14 protofilaments). A certain number possess a single "adlumenal component" applied to their inside walls, regardless of the number of protofilaments. Following the first cycle of polymerization, 81% of the B tubulin and essentially 100% of the MAPs remain cold insoluble. Evidence suggests that B tubulin assembles faithfully into a B lattice, creating a j seam between two protofilaments that are laterally bonded in a A-lattice configuration. The significance of these seams is discussed in relation to the mechanism of microtubule assembly, the stability of observed ribbons of protofilaments, and the three-dimensional organization of microtubule-associated components. PMID:7251656

  4. Initiation of Hepatitis C Virus Infection Requires the Dynamic Microtubule Network

    PubMed Central

    Roohvand, Farzin; Maillard, Patrick; Lavergne, Jean-Pierre; Boulant, Steeve; Walic, Marine; Andréo, Ursula; Goueslain, Lucie; Helle, François; Mallet, Adeline; McLauchlan, John; Budkowska, Agata

    2009-01-01

    Early events leading to the establishment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection are not completely understood. We show that intact and dynamic microtubules play a key role in the initiation of productive HCV infection. Microtubules were required for virus entry into cells, as evidenced using virus pseudotypes presenting HCV envelope proteins on their surface. Studies carried out using the recent infectious HCV model revealed that microtubules also play an essential role in early, postfusion steps of the virus cycle. Moreover, low concentrations of vinblastin and nocodazol, microtubule-affecting drugs, and paclitaxel, which stabilizes microtubules, inhibited infection, suggesting that microtubule dynamic instability and/or treadmilling mechanisms are involved in HCV internalization and early transport. By protein chip and direct core-dependent pull-down assays, followed by mass spectrometry, we identified β- and α-tubulin as cellular partners of the HCV core protein. Surface plasmon resonance analyses confirmed that core directly binds to tubulin with high affinity via amino acids 2-117. The interaction of core with tubulin in vitro promoted its polymerization and enhanced the formation of microtubules. Immune electron microscopy showed that HCV core associates, at least temporarily, with microtubules polymerized in its presence. Studies by confocal microscopy showed a juxtaposition of core with microtubules in HCV-infected cells. In summary, we report that intact and dynamic microtubules are required for virus entry into cells and for early postfusion steps of infection. HCV may exploit a direct interaction of core with tubulin, enhancing microtubule polymerization, to establish efficient infection and promote virus transport and/or assembly in infected cells. PMID:19269968

  5. Dual Detection of Chromosomes and Microtubules by the Chromosomal Passenger Complex Drives Spindle Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Tseng, Boo Shan; Tan, Lei; Kapoor, Tarun M.; Funabiki, Hironori

    2010-01-01

    SUMMARY Chromosome-dependent spindle assembly requires the chromosomal recruitment and activation of Aurora B, the kinase subunit of the chromosomal passenger complex (CPC). It remains unclear how the chromosome-activated kinase spatially transmits signals to organize the micron scale spindle. Here we reveal that the CPC must detect two structures, chromosomes and microtubules, to support spindle assembly in Xenopus egg extracts. While Aurora B is enriched on chromosomes in metaphase, we establish that a fraction of Aurora B is targeted to the metaphase spindle and phosphorylates microtubule-bound substrates. We demonstrate that chromosomally activated Aurora B must be targeted to microtubules to drive spindle assembly. Moreover, although the CPC-microtubule interaction can activate Aurora B, which further promotes microtubule assembly, this positive feedback is not initiated without chromosomes. We propose that the dual detection of chromosomes and microtubules by the CPC is a critical step in assembling spindles around and only around chromosomes. PMID:20627073

  6. Dual detection of chromosomes and microtubules by the chromosomal passenger complex drives spindle assembly.

    PubMed

    Tseng, Boo Shan; Tan, Lei; Kapoor, Tarun M; Funabiki, Hironori

    2010-06-15

    Chromosome-dependent spindle assembly requires the chromosomal recruitment and activation of Aurora B, the kinase subunit of the chromosomal passenger complex (CPC). It remains unclear how the chromosome-activated kinase spatially transmits signals to organize the micron-scale spindle. Here we reveal that the CPC must detect two structures, chromosomes and microtubules, to support spindle assembly in Xenopus egg extracts. While Aurora B is enriched on chromosomes in metaphase, we establish that a fraction of Aurora B is targeted to the metaphase spindle and phosphorylates microtubule-bound substrates. We demonstrate that chromosomally activated Aurora B must be targeted to microtubules to drive spindle assembly. Moreover, although the CPC-microtubule interaction can activate Aurora B, which further promotes microtubule assembly, this positive feedback is not initiated without chromosomes. We propose that the dual detection of chromosomes and microtubules by the CPC is a critical step in assembling spindles around and only around chromosomes.

  7. Signatures of a macroscopic switching transition for a dynamic microtubule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aparna, J. S.; Padinhateeri, Ranjith; Das, Dibyendu

    2017-04-01

    Characterising complex kinetics of non-equilibrium self-assembly of bio-filaments is of general interest. Dynamic instability in microtubules, consisting of successive catastrophes and rescues, is observed to occur as a result of the non-equilibrium conversion of GTP-tubulin to GDP-tubulin. We study this phenomenon using a model for microtubule kinetics with GTP/GDP state-dependent polymerisation, depolymerisation and hydrolysis of subunits. Our results reveal a sharp switch-like transition in the mean velocity of the filaments, from a growth phase to a shrinkage phase, with an associated co-existence of the two phases. This transition is reminiscent of the discontinuous phase transition across the liquid-gas boundary. We probe the extent of discontinuity in the transition quantitatively using characteristic signatures such as bimodality in velocity distribution, variance and Binder cumulant, and also hysteresis behaviour of the system. We further investigate ageing behaviour in catastrophes of the filament, and find that the multi-step nature of catastrophes is intensified in the vicinity of the switching transition. This assumes importance in the context of Microtubule Associated Proteins which have the potential of altering kinetic parameter values.

  8. Signatures of a macroscopic switching transition for a dynamic microtubule

    PubMed Central

    Aparna, J. S.; Padinhateeri, Ranjith; Das, Dibyendu

    2017-01-01

    Characterising complex kinetics of non-equilibrium self-assembly of bio-filaments is of general interest. Dynamic instability in microtubules, consisting of successive catastrophes and rescues, is observed to occur as a result of the non-equilibrium conversion of GTP-tubulin to GDP-tubulin. We study this phenomenon using a model for microtubule kinetics with GTP/GDP state-dependent polymerisation, depolymerisation and hydrolysis of subunits. Our results reveal a sharp switch-like transition in the mean velocity of the filaments, from a growth phase to a shrinkage phase, with an associated co-existence of the two phases. This transition is reminiscent of the discontinuous phase transition across the liquid-gas boundary. We probe the extent of discontinuity in the transition quantitatively using characteristic signatures such as bimodality in velocity distribution, variance and Binder cumulant, and also hysteresis behaviour of the system. We further investigate ageing behaviour in catastrophes of the filament, and find that the multi-step nature of catastrophes is intensified in the vicinity of the switching transition. This assumes importance in the context of Microtubule Associated Proteins which have the potential of altering kinetic parameter values. PMID:28374844

  9. Microtubules Modulate F-actin Dynamics during Neuronal Polarization.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Bing; Meka, Durga Praveen; Scharrenberg, Robin; König, Theresa; Schwanke, Birgit; Kobler, Oliver; Windhorst, Sabine; Kreutz, Michael R; Mikhaylova, Marina; Calderon de Anda, Froylan

    2017-08-29

    Neuronal polarization is reflected by different dynamics of microtubule and filamentous actin (F-actin). Axonal microtubules are more stable than those in the remaining neurites, while dynamics of F-actin in axonal growth cones clearly exceed those in their dendritic counterparts. However, whether a functional interplay exists between the microtubule network and F-actin dynamics in growing axons and whether this interplay is instrumental for breaking cellular symmetry is currently unknown. Here, we show that an increment on microtubule stability or number of microtubules is associated with increased F-actin dynamics. Moreover, we show that Drebrin E, an F-actin and microtubule plus-end binding protein, mediates this cross talk. Drebrin E segregates preferentially to growth cones with a higher F-actin treadmilling rate, where more microtubule plus-ends are found. Interruption of the interaction of Drebrin E with microtubules decreases F-actin dynamics and arrests neuronal polarization. Collectively the data show that microtubules modulate F-actin dynamics for initial axon extension during neuronal development.

  10. 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.

  11. Regulation of microtubule dynamic instability in vitro by differentially phosphorylated stathmin.

    PubMed

    Manna, Tapas; Thrower, Douglas A; Honnappa, Srinivas; Steinmetz, Michel O; Wilson, Leslie

    2009-06-05

    Stathmin is an important regulator of microtubule polymerization and dynamics. When unphosphorylated it destabilizes microtubules in two ways, by reducing the microtubule polymer mass through sequestration of soluble tubulin into an assembly-incompetent T2S complex (two alpha:beta tubulin dimers per molecule of stathmin), and by increasing the switching frequency (catastrophe frequency) from growth to shortening at plus and minus ends by binding directly to the microtubules. Phosphorylation of stathmin on one or more of its four serine residues (Ser(16), Ser(25), Ser(38), and Ser(63)) reduces its microtubule-destabilizing activity. However, the effects of phosphorylation of the individual serine residues of stathmin on microtubule dynamic instability have not been investigated systematically. Here we analyzed the effects of stathmin singly phosphorylated at Ser(16) or Ser(63), and doubly phosphorylated at Ser(25) and Ser(38), on its ability to modulate microtubule dynamic instability at steady-state in vitro. Phosphorylation at either Ser(16) or Ser(63) strongly reduced or abolished the ability of stathmin to bind to and sequester soluble tubulin and its ability to act as a catastrophe factor by directly binding to the microtubules. In contrast, double phosphorylation of Ser(25) and Ser(38) did not affect the binding of stathmin to tubulin or microtubules or its catastrophe-promoting activity. Our results indicate that the effects of stathmin on dynamic instability are strongly but differently attenuated by phosphorylation at Ser(16) and Ser(63) and support the hypothesis that selective targeting by Ser(16)-specific or Ser(63)-specific kinases provides complimentary mechanisms for regulating microtubule function.

  12. Twelve protofilament taxol-induced microtubules assembled from purified tublin. A synchrotron X-ray scattering study in comparison with glycerol- and map-induced microtubules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreu, J. M.; Garcia de Ancos, J.; Medrano, F. J.; Gil, R.; Diaz, J. F.; Nogales, E.; Towns-Andrews, E.; Pantos, E.; Bordas, J.

    1991-05-01

    The X-ray solution scattering profiles of taxol microtubules made of purified tubulin and control microtubules, assembled either from purified tubulin in glycerol buffer (a non-specific enhancer of the polymerization of tubulin) or from microtubule protein (a preparation containing tubulin plus microtubule associated proteins), were obtained to 3.3 nm resolution. These profiles show features of the microtubule wall structure which had not been observed in solution before. Comparison of the different profiles indicated that the structure of the microtubule wall is very similar in the three types of microtubules to the resolution of the measurements, however the mean diameter of the taxol microtubules is smaller than that of the control microtubules, by approximately one protofilament less. Actually, only 12 protofilament computer models of microtubules could fit the position of the maxima in the experimental scattering profile of the taxol microtubules. Having only 12 protofilaments implies a discontinuity on the microtubule wall, irrespective of whether the lateral contacts follow the A or B microtubule lattice, and also requires adjustment of the normal lattice to one protofilament axis with respect to the cylinder axis. The fact that the majority of these taxol microtubules assembled from purified tubulin have 12 protofilaments has been visualized by electron micrographs of tannic acid stained microtubule thin sections, and is fully consistent with the microtubule wall projections (fringe patterns) observed in negatively stained and cryo-electron microscopy specimens, which correspond to a 12 protofilament-three start lattice type.

  13. Distinct ECM mechanosensing pathways regulate microtubule dynamics to control endothelial cell branching morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Myers, Kenneth A.; Applegate, Kathryn T.

    2011-01-01

    During angiogenesis, cytoskeletal dynamics that mediate endothelial cell branching morphogenesis during vascular guidance are thought to be regulated by physical attributes of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in a process termed mechanosensing. Here, we tested the involvement of microtubules in linking mechanosensing to endothelial cell branching morphogenesis. We used a recently developed microtubule plus end–tracking program to show that specific parameters of microtubule assembly dynamics, growth speed and growth persistence, are globally and regionally modified by, and contribute to, ECM mechanosensing. We demonstrated that engagement of compliant two-dimensional or three-dimensional ECMs induces local differences in microtubule growth speed that require myosin II contractility. Finally, we found that microtubule growth persistence is modulated by myosin II–mediated compliance mechanosensing when cells are cultured on two-dimensional ECMs, whereas three-dimensional ECM engagement makes microtubule growth persistence insensitive to changes in ECM compliance. Thus, compliance and dimensionality ECM mechanosensing pathways independently regulate specific and distinct microtubule dynamics parameters in endothelial cells to guide branching morphogenesis in physically complex ECMs. PMID:21263030

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  16. Kinesin-5-independent mitotic spindle assembly requires the antiparallel microtubule crosslinker Ase1 in fission yeast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rincon, Sergio A.; Lamson, Adam; Blackwell, Robert; Syrovatkina, Viktoriya; Fraisier, Vincent; Paoletti, Anne; Betterton, Meredith D.; Tran, Phong T.

    2017-05-01

    Bipolar spindle assembly requires a balance of forces where kinesin-5 produces outward pushing forces to antagonize the inward pulling forces from kinesin-14 or dynein. Accordingly, Kinesin-5 inactivation results in force imbalance leading to monopolar spindle and chromosome segregation failure. In fission yeast, force balance is restored when both kinesin-5 Cut7 and kinesin-14 Pkl1 are deleted, restoring spindle bipolarity. Here we show that the cut7Δpkl1Δ spindle is fully competent for chromosome segregation independently of motor activity, except for kinesin-6 Klp9, which is required for anaphase spindle elongation. We demonstrate that cut7Δpkl1Δ spindle bipolarity requires the microtubule antiparallel bundler PRC1/Ase1 to recruit CLASP/Cls1 to stabilize microtubules. Brownian dynamics-kinetic Monte Carlo simulations show that Ase1 and Cls1 activity are sufficient for initial bipolar spindle formation. We conclude that pushing forces generated by microtubule polymerization are sufficient to promote spindle pole separation and the assembly of bipolar spindle in the absence of molecular motors.

  17. Kinesin-5-independent mitotic spindle assembly requires the antiparallel microtubule crosslinker Ase1 in fission yeast

    PubMed Central

    Rincon, Sergio A.; Lamson, Adam; Blackwell, Robert; Syrovatkina, Viktoriya; Fraisier, Vincent; Paoletti, Anne; Betterton, Meredith D.; Tran, Phong T.

    2017-01-01

    Bipolar spindle assembly requires a balance of forces where kinesin-5 produces outward pushing forces to antagonize the inward pulling forces from kinesin-14 or dynein. Accordingly, Kinesin-5 inactivation results in force imbalance leading to monopolar spindle and chromosome segregation failure. In fission yeast, force balance is restored when both kinesin-5 Cut7 and kinesin-14 Pkl1 are deleted, restoring spindle bipolarity. Here we show that the cut7Δpkl1Δ spindle is fully competent for chromosome segregation independently of motor activity, except for kinesin-6 Klp9, which is required for anaphase spindle elongation. We demonstrate that cut7Δpkl1Δ spindle bipolarity requires the microtubule antiparallel bundler PRC1/Ase1 to recruit CLASP/Cls1 to stabilize microtubules. Brownian dynamics-kinetic Monte Carlo simulations show that Ase1 and Cls1 activity are sufficient for initial bipolar spindle formation. We conclude that pushing forces generated by microtubule polymerization are sufficient to promote spindle pole separation and the assembly of bipolar spindle in the absence of molecular motors. PMID:28513584

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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)

  1. Ubiquitin editing enzyme UCH L1 and microtubule dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Bheda, Anjali; Gullapalli, Anuradha; Caplow, Michael; Pagano, Joseph S.; Shackelford, Julia

    2015-01-01

    Microtubules are essential components of the cytoskeleton and are involved in many aspects of cell responses including cell division, migration, and intracellular signal transduction. Among other factors, post-translational modifications play a significant role in the regulation of microtubule dynamics. Here, we demonstrate that the ubiquitin-editing enzyme UCH L1, abundant expression of which is normally restricted to brain tissue, is also a part of the microtubule network in a variety of transformed cells. Moreover, during mitosis, endogenous UCH L1 is expressed and tightly associated with the mitotic spindle through all stages of M phase, suggesting that UCH L1 is involved in regulation of microtubule dynamics. Indeed, addition of recombinant UCH L1 to the reaction of tubulin polymerization in vitro had an inhibitory effect on microtubule formation. Unexpectedly, western blot analysis of tubulin fractions after polymerization revealed the presence of a specific ∼50 kDa band of UCH L1 (not the normal ∼25 kDa) in association with microtubules, but not with free tubulin. In addition, we show that along with 25 kDa UCH L1, endogenous high molecular weight UCH L1 complexes exist in cells, and that levels of 50 kDa UCH L1 complexes are increasing in cells during mitosis. Finally, we provide evidence that ubiquitination is involved in tubulin polymerization: the presence of ubiquitin during polymerization in vitro by itself inhibited microtubule formation and enhanced the inhibitory effect of added UCH L1. the inhibitory effects of UCH L1 correlate with an increase in ubiquitination of microtubule components. Since besides being a deubiquitinating enzyme, UCH L1 as a dimer has also been shown to exhibit ubiquitin ligase activity, we discuss the possibility that the ∼50 kDa UCH L1 observed is a dimer which prevents microtubule formation through ubiquitination of tubulins and/or microtubule-associated proteins. PMID:20160478

  2. Green's functions and first passage time distributions for dynamic instability of microtubules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bicout, D. J.

    1997-12-01

    It is shown that the dynamic instability process describing the self-assembly and/or disassembly of microtubules is a continuous version of a variant of persistent random walks described by the generalized telegrapher's equation. That is to say, a microtubule is likely to undergo stochastic traveling waves in which catastrophe and rescue events cannot propagate faster than v- and v+, respectively. For this stochastic process, analytic expressions for Green's functions of position and velocity of a microtubule and exact solutions for the first passage time distributions of a microtubule to the nucleating site are obtained. It is shown that, in the ω-->∞ limit, where ω-1 is the persistence time, the dynamic instability process can be described by a diffusion process in the presence of a drift term that, in fact, is the steady-state velocity of the microtubule. As a result, the catastrophe time distribution (i.e., the distribution of microtubule lifetimes to the nucleating site) exhibits a power law with an exponential cutoff as F(t\\|x0)~t-3/2e-t/τc, where τc is the time scale at which the drift term and the diffusive term are comparable.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Astral Microtubule Dynamics in Yeast: A Microtubule-based Searching Mechanism for Spindle Orientation and Nuclear Migration into the Bud

    PubMed Central

    Shaw, Sidney L.; Yeh, Elaine; Maddox, Paul; Salmon, E.D.; Bloom, Kerry

    1997-01-01

    Localization of dynein–green fluorescent protein (GFP) to cytoplasmic microtubules allowed us to obtain one of the first views of the dynamic properties of astral microtubules in live budding yeast. Several novel aspects of microtubule function were revealed by time-lapse, three-dimensional fluorescence microscopy. Astral microtubules, about four to six in number for each pole, exhibited asynchronous dynamic instability throughout the cell cycle, growing at ≅0.3–1.5 μm/min toward the cell surface then switching to shortening at similar velocities back to the spindle pole body (SPB). During interphase, a conical array of microtubules trailed the SPB as the nucleus traversed the cytoplasm. Microtubule disassembly by nocodozole inhibited these movements, indicating that the nucleus was pushed around the interior of the cell via dynamic astral microtubules. These forays were evident in unbudded G1 cells, as well as in late telophase cells after spindle disassembly. Nuclear movement and orientation to the bud neck in S/G2 or G2/M was dependent on dynamic astral microtubules growing into the bud. The SPB and nucleus were then pulled toward the bud neck, and further microtubule growth from that SPB was mainly oriented toward the bud. After SPB separation and central spindle formation, a temporal delay in the acquisition of cytoplasmic dynein at one of the spindle poles was evident. Stable microtubule interactions with the cell cortex were rarely observed during anaphase, and did not appear to contribute significantly to spindle alignment or elongation into the bud. Alterations of microtubule dynamics, as observed in cells overexpressing dynein-GFP, resulted in eventual spindle misalignment. These studies provide the first mechanistic basis for understanding how spindle orientation and nuclear positioning are established and are indicative of a microtubule-based searching mechanism that requires dynamic microtubules for nuclear migration into the bud. PMID:9362516

  7. Regulation of Microtubule Dynamics by TOG-domain proteins XMAP215/Dis1 and CLASP

    PubMed Central

    Al-Bassam, Jawdat; Chang, Fred

    2011-01-01

    The molecular mechanisms by which microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) regulate the dynamic properties of microtubules (MTs) are still poorly understood. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of two conserved families of MAPs, the XMAP215/Dis1 and CLASP family of proteins. In vivo and in vitro studies show that XMAP215 proteins act as microtubule polymerases at MT plus ends to accelerate MT assembly, while CLASP proteins promote MT rescue and suppress MT catastrophe events. These are structurally related proteins that use conserved TOG domains to recruit tubulin dimers to MTs. We discuss models for how these proteins might use these individual tubulin dimers to regulate dynamic behaviors of MT plus ends. PMID:21782439

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  9. Cooperative lattice dynamics and anomalous fluctuations of microtubules.

    PubMed

    Mohrbach, Hervé; Johner, Albert; Kulić, Igor M

    2012-02-01

    Microtubules have been in the focus of biophysical research for several decades. However, the confusing and mutually contradictory results regarding their elasticity and fluctuations have cast doubt on their present understanding. In this paper, we present the empirical evidence for the existence of discrete guanosine diphosphate (GDP)-tubulin fluctuations between a curved and a straight configuration at room temperature as well as for conformational tubulin cooperativity. Guided by a number of experimental findings, we build the case for a novel microtubule model, with the principal result that microtubules can spontaneously form micron-sized cooperative helical states with unique elastic and dynamic features. The polymorphic dynamics of the microtubule lattice resulting from the tubulin bistability quantitatively explains several experimental puzzles, including anomalous scaling of dynamic fluctuations of grafted microtubules, their apparent length-stiffness relation, and their remarkable curved-helical appearance in general. We point out that the multistability and cooperative switching of tubulin dimers could participate in important cellular processes, and could in particular lead to efficient mechanochemical signaling along single microtubules.

  10. Characterization of rat brain crude extract microtubule assembly: correlation of cold stability with the phosphorylation state of a microtubule-associated 64K protein.

    PubMed

    Margolis, R L; Rauch, C T

    1981-07-21

    We have conducted preliminary investigations into the control of microtubule assembly in rat brain crude extract supernatants. The rationale for these experiments is that microtubules interact with many proteins and are undoubtedly subject to physiological control mechanisms that are lost during tubulin purification. A more complete understanding of the cellular regulation of microtubules must include the physiology of these proteins. Assembly can be monitored in rat brain crude extract high-speed supernatants by measuring the increase in solution turbidity. We find that assembly is maximal in both rate and extent in the absence of added nucleotide. Increasing concentrations of either adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) or guanosine 5'-triphosphate (GTP) inhibit both initiation and elongation of microtubules. GTP appears necessary for assembly and is apparently replenished from an intrinsic energy source during the time course of the assembly reaction. Inhibition of GTP production prevents microtubule assembly, and addition of exogenous GTP will reverse the blockage. Enzymatic removal of GTP at steady state causes a rapid depolymerization to the cold-stable microtubule level. Both GTP production and microtubule assembly display periodic oscillatory maxima. Cold-stable microtubules, which are always present in rat brain crude extract preparations, are rapidly made labile by addition of ATP. Analysis of proteins in cold-stable and cold-labile microtubule fractions shows changes in protein phosphorylation but not in the microtubule-associated protein composition. The tentative conclusion is that the state of phosphorylation of a 64K protein, designated the "switch protein", determines the cold stability or lability, and therefore the dimer association and dissociation rates, of crude extract microtubules.

  11. PHLP2 is essential and plays a role in ciliogenesis and microtubule assembly in Tetrahymena thermophila.

    PubMed

    Bregier, Cezary; Krzemień-Ojak, Lucja; Włoga, Dorota; Jerka-Dziadosz, Maria; Joachimiak, Ewa; Batko, Katarzyna; Filipiuk, Iwona; Smietanka, Urszula; Gaertig, Jacek; Fabczak, Stanisław; Fabczak, Hanna

    2013-11-01

    Recent studies have implicated the phosducin-like protein-2 (PHLP2) in regulation of CCT, a chaperonin whose activity is essential for folding of tubulin and actin. However, the exact molecular function of PHLP2 is unclear. Here we investigate the significance of PHLP2 in a ciliated unicellular model, Tetrahymena thermophila, by deleting its single homolog, Phlp2p. Cells lacking Phlp2p became larger and died within 96 h. Overexpressed Phlp2p-HA localized to cilia, basal bodies, and cytosol without an obvious change in the phenotype. Despite similar localization, overexpressed GFP-Phlp2p caused a dominant-negative effect. Cells overproducing GFP-Phlp2p had decreased rates of proliferation, motility and phagocytosis, as compared to wild type cells or cells overproducing a non-tagged Phlp2p. Growing GFP-Phlp2p-overexpressing cells had fewer cilia and, when deciliated, failed to regenerate cilia, indicating defects in cilia assembly. Paclitaxel-treated GFP-Phlp2p cells failed to elongate cilia, indicating a change in the microtubules dynamics. The pattern of ciliary and cytosolic tubulin isoforms on 2D gels differed between wild type and GFP-Phlp2p-overexpressing cells. Thus, in Tetrahymena, PhLP2 is essential and under specific experimental conditions its activity affects tubulin and microtubule-dependent functions including cilia assembly.

  12. Nonlinear dynamics of C–terminal tails in cellular microtubules

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-07-15

    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.

  13. Effects of the fluorescence dye DAPI on microtubule structure in vitro: formation of novel types of tubulin assembly products.

    PubMed

    Vater, W; Böhm, K J; Unger, E

    1993-02-01

    It has been found that the DNA fluorescence dye 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) is able to stain also microtubules. However, electron microscopy revealed that DAPI changed microtubule structure and induced the formation of a broad spectrum of polymorphic tubulin assembly products. Upon addition of DAPI to microtubules assembled from 10 to 15 mumol tubulin (molar DAPI/tubulin ratios of 10 to 40) in the presence of microtubule-associated proteins, most of the microtubules were decorated with additional protofilaments usually running parallel to the protofilaments of the microtubule wall (microtubule-protofilament complexes). When DAPI was already present during assembly, curved C- and S-shaped protofilament ribbons and microtubule-ribbon complexes with 6-shaped profiles were the most prominent products, beside microtubules. Additionally, protofilament bundles, some flat sheets, and hoops occurred. Electrophoresis revealed that DAPI lowered the amount of associated proteins, especially of tau-proteins, bound to the assembly products. Nevertheless, DAPI stimulated the assembly, enabled pure tubulin to assemble even at concentrations as low as 10 mumol, and stabilized the assembly products against cold. The microtubule-protofilament complexes, observed for the first time, are interpreted as the result of DAPI-induced protofilament linking as well as of activation of an additional tubulin-tubulin binding site which is possibly identical to that involved in the formation of microtubule doublets.

  14. The sequential activation of the mitotic microtubule assembly pathways favors bipolar spindle formation

    PubMed Central

    Cavazza, Tommaso; Malgaretti, Paolo; Vernos, Isabelle

    2016-01-01

    Centrosome maturation is the process by which the duplicated centrosomes recruit pericentriolar components and increase their microtubule nucleation activity before mitosis. The role of this process in cells entering mitosis has been mostly related to the separation of the duplicated centrosomes and thereby to the assembly of a bipolar spindle. However, spindles can form without centrosomes. In fact, all cells, whether they have centrosomes or not, rely on chromatin-driven microtubule assembly to form a spindle. To test whether the sequential activation of these microtubule assembly pathways, defined by centrosome maturation and nuclear envelope breakdown, plays any role in spindle assembly, we combined experiments in tissue culture cells and Xenopus laevis egg extracts with a mathematical model. We found that interfering with the sequential activation of the microtubule assembly pathways compromises bipolar spindle assembly in tissue culture cells but not in X. laevis egg extracts. Our data suggest a novel function for centrosome maturation that determines the contribution of the chromosomal microtubule assembly pathway and favors bipolar spindle formation in most animal cells in which tubulin is in limiting amounts. PMID:27489339

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

    SciTech Connect

    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. 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.

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

    DOE PAGES

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-10

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    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. 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.

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

    DOE PAGES

    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

  20. 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.

  1. γ-Tubulin ring complexes regulate microtubule plus end dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Bouissou, Anaïs; Vérollet, Christel; Sousa, Aureliana; Sampaio, Paula; Wright, Michel; Sunkel, Claudio E.; Merdes, Andreas

    2009-01-01

    γ-Tubulin is critical for the initiation and regulation of microtubule (MT) assembly. In Drosophila melanogaster, it acts within two main complexes: the γ-tubulin small complex (γ-TuSC) and the γ-tubulin ring complex (γ-TuRC). Proteins specific of the γ-TuRC, although nonessential for viability, are required for efficient mitotic progression. Until now, their role during interphase remained poorly understood. Using RNA interference in Drosophila S2 cells, we show that the γ-TuRC is not critical for overall MT organization. However, depletion of any component of this complex results in an increase of MT dynamics. Combined immunofluorescence and live imaging analysis allows us to reveal that the γ-TuRC localizes along interphase MTs and that distal γ-tubulin spots match with sites of pause or rescue events. We propose that, in addition to its role in nucleation, the γ-TuRC associated to MTs may regulate their dynamics by limiting catastrophes. PMID:19948476

  2. 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. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  3. Differential roles of microtubule assembly and sliding in proplatelet formation by megakaryocytes

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Sunita R.; Richardson, Jennifer L.; Schulze, Harald; Kahle, Eden; Galjart, Niels; Drabek, Ksenija; Shivdasani, Ramesh A.; Hartwig, John H.; Italiano, Joseph E.

    2005-01-01

    Megakaryocytes are terminally differentiated cells that, in their final hours, convert their cytoplasm into long, branched proplatelets, which remodel into blood platelets. Proplatelets elongate at an average rate of 0.85 μm/min in a microtubule-dependent process. Addition of rhodamine-tubulin to permeabilized proplatelets, immunofluorescence microscopy of the microtubule plus-end marker end-binding protein 3 (EB3), and fluorescence time-lapse microscopy of EB3–green fluorescent protein (GFP)–expressing megakaryocytes reveal that microtubules, organized as bipolar arrays, continuously polymerize throughout the proplatelet. In immature megakaryocytes lacking proplatelets, microtubule plus-ends initiate and grow by centrosomal nucleation at rates of 8.9 to 12.3 μm/min. In contrast, plus-end growth rates of microtubules within proplatelets are highly variable (1.5-23.5 μm/min) and are both slower and faster than those seen in immature cells. Despite the continuous assembly of microtubules, proplatelets continue to elongate when net microtubule assembly is arrested. One alternative mechanism for force generation is microtubule sliding. Triton X-100–permeabilized proplatelets containing dynein and its regulatory complex, dynactin, but not kinesin, elongate with the addition of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) at a rate of 0.65 μm/min. Retroviral expression in megakaryocytes of dynamitin (p50), which disrupts dynactindynein function, inhibits proplatelet elongation. We conclude that while continuous polymerization of microtubules is necessary to support the enlarging proplatelet mass, the sliding of overlapping microtubules is a vital component of proplatelet elongation. PMID:16118321

  4. 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.

  5. Biallelic Mutations in TBCD, Encoding the Tubulin Folding Cofactor D, Perturb Microtubule Dynamics and Cause Early-Onset Encephalopathy.

    PubMed

    Flex, Elisabetta; Niceta, Marcello; Cecchetti, Serena; Thiffault, Isabelle; Au, Margaret G; Capuano, Alessandro; Piermarini, Emanuela; Ivanova, Anna A; Francis, Joshua W; Chillemi, Giovanni; Chandramouli, Balasubramanian; Carpentieri, Giovanna; Haaxma, Charlotte A; Ciolfi, Andrea; Pizzi, Simone; Douglas, Ganka V; Levine, Kara; Sferra, Antonella; Dentici, Maria Lisa; Pfundt, Rolph R; Le Pichon, Jean-Baptiste; Farrow, Emily; Baas, Frank; Piemonte, Fiorella; Dallapiccola, Bruno; Graham, John M; Saunders, Carol J; Bertini, Enrico; Kahn, Richard A; Koolen, David A; Tartaglia, Marco

    2016-10-06

    Microtubules are dynamic cytoskeletal elements coordinating and supporting a variety of neuronal processes, including cell division, migration, polarity, intracellular trafficking, and signal transduction. Mutations in genes encoding tubulins and microtubule-associated proteins are known to cause neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. Growing evidence suggests that altered microtubule dynamics may also underlie or contribute to neurodevelopmental disorders and neurodegeneration. We report that biallelic mutations in TBCD, encoding one of the five co-chaperones required for assembly and disassembly of the αβ-tubulin heterodimer, the structural unit of microtubules, cause a disease with neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative features characterized by early-onset cortical atrophy, secondary hypomyelination, microcephaly, thin corpus callosum, developmental delay, intellectual disability, seizures, optic atrophy, and spastic quadriplegia. Molecular dynamics simulations predicted long-range and/or local structural perturbations associated with the disease-causing mutations. Biochemical analyses documented variably reduced levels of TBCD, indicating relative instability of mutant proteins, and defective β-tubulin binding in a subset of the tested mutants. Reduced or defective TBCD function resulted in decreased soluble α/β-tubulin levels and accelerated microtubule polymerization in fibroblasts from affected subjects, demonstrating an overall shift toward a more rapidly growing and stable microtubule population. These cells displayed an aberrant mitotic spindle with disorganized, tangle-shaped microtubules and reduced aster formation, which however did not alter appreciably the rate of cell proliferation. Our findings establish that defective TBCD function underlies a recognizable encephalopathy and drives accelerated microtubule polymerization and enhanced microtubule stability, underscoring an additional cause of altered microtubule dynamics with

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. The 3Ms of central spindle assembly: microtubules, motors and MAPs.

    PubMed

    Glotzer, Michael

    2009-01-01

    During metaphase, sister chromatids are positioned at the midpoint of the microtubule-based mitotic spindle in preparation for their segregation. The onset of anaphase triggers inactivation of the key mitotic kinase cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1) and the polewards movement of sister chromatids. During anaphase, the mitotic spindle reorganizes in preparation for cytokinesis. Kinesin motor proteins and microtubule-associated proteins bundle the plus ends of interpolar microtubules and generate the central spindle, which regulates cleavage furrow initiation and the completion of cytokinesis. Complementary approaches, including cell biology, genetics and computational modelling, have provided new insights into the mechanism and regulation of central spindle assembly.

  9. 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.

  10. Nonprocessive Motor Dynamics at the Microtubule Membrane Tube Interface

    PubMed Central

    Shaklee, Paige M.; Bourel-Bonnet, Line; Dogterom, Marileen; Schmidt, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Key cellular processes such as cell division, membrane compartmentalization, and intracellular transport rely on motor proteins. Motors have been studied in detail on the single motor level such that information on their step size, stall force, average run length, and processivity are well known. However, in vivo, motors often work together, so that the question of their collective coordination has raised great interest. Here, we specifically attach motors to giant vesicles and examine collective motor dynamics during membrane tube formation. Image correlation spectroscopy reveals directed motion as processive motors walk at typical speeds (≤500 nm/s) along an underlying microtubule and accumulate at the tip of the growing membrane tube. In contrast, nonprocessive motors exhibit purely diffusive behavior, decorating the entire length of a microtubule lattice with diffusion constants at least 1000 times smaller than a freely-diffusing lipid-motor complex in a lipid bilayer (1 μm2/s); fluorescence recovery after photobleaching experiments confirm the presence of the slower-moving motor population at the microtubule-membrane tube interface. We suggest that nonprocessive motors dynamically bind and unbind to maintain a continuous interaction with the microtubule. This dynamic and continuous interaction is likely necessary for nonprocessive motors to mediate bidirectional membrane tube dynamics reported previously. PMID:20085722

  11. 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.

  12. 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. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  13. MYPT1 regulates contractility and microtubule acetylation to modulate integrin adhesions and matrix assembly

    PubMed Central

    Joo, E. Emily; Yamada, Kenneth M.

    2014-01-01

    Although much is known about how individual cytoskeletal systems contribute to physiological processes such as cell migration and branching morphogenesis, little is known about how these different systems actively coordinate their functions after polymerization. Here we show that both fibroblasts and developing glands reciprocally coordinate levels of cellular contractility and microtubule acetylation. We find that this balance is achieved by interaction of the myosin phosphatase target subunit of myosin phosphatase with either myosin light chain or HDAC6, a microtubule deacetylase. This balance of contractility and microtubule acetylation controlled progression of adhesion maturation by regulating surface density of α5β1 integrin and fibronectin. Thus, we propose that a homeostatic balance between contractility and microtubule acetylation is mediated by myosin phosphatase via controlled activation and deactivation of myosin II and HDAC6. This regulates the surface density of α5β1 integrin to modulate fibronectin matrix assembly and governs rates of cell migration and branching morphogenesis. PMID:24667306

  14. Nonlinear dynamics of dipoles in microtubules: Pseudospin model.

    PubMed

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Effects of organotin compounds on mitosis, spindle structure, toxicity and in vitro microtubule assembly.

    PubMed

    Jensen, K G; Onfelt, A; Wallin, M; Lidums, V; Andersen, O

    1991-09-01

    Di- and tri-methyl, -butyl and phenyl tin, all as chlorides were tested for toxicity and spindle disturbances in V79 Chinese hamster cells and for effects on in vitro assembly of bovine brain tubulin. The V79 cells were treated for 30 min and in general, loss of a stainable spindle could be demonstrated at slightly higher concentrations than c-mitosis. Both these effects were observed at low, non-toxic concentrations. The c-mitotic activity of the compounds was found to increase with increasing lipophilicity and it was best described by a regression on both lipophilicity (partition coefficient octanol/water) and loss of spindle stain. All compounds showed a concentration dependent inhibition of microtubule assembly and all but diphenyltin induced disassembly of preassembled microtubules. An effect on the rate of polymerization was suggested for tributyl- and triphenyltin. The results further indicate that the inhibition of microtubule assembly is through direct interaction with tubulin but does not involve the sulfhydryls of the protein. Thus, the organotins seem to act through two different cooperative mechanisms, inhibition of microtubule assembly and interaction with hydrophobic sites. The latter mechanism might involve Cl-/OH- exchange across cellular membranes. Previous studies have demonstrated chromosomal supercontraction and aneuploidy in human lymphocytes exposed to low concentrations of organotin in vitro and it is suggested that exposure to these compounds may increase the risk of aneuploidy in humans.

  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.

  19. Tobacco mutants with reduced microtubule dynamics are less susceptible to TMV.

    PubMed

    Ouko, Maurice O; Sambade, Adrian; Brandner, Katrin; Niehl, Annette; Peña, Eduardo; Ahad, Abdul; Heinlein, Manfred; Nick, Peter

    2010-06-01

    A panel of seven SR1 tobacco mutants (ATER1 to ATER7) derived via T-DNA activation tagging and screening for resistance to a microtubule assembly inhibitor, ethyl phenyl carbamate, were used to study the role of microtubules during infection and spread of tobacco mosaic virus (TMV). In one of these lines, ATER2, alpha-tubulin is shifted from the tyrosinylated into the detyrosinated form, and the microtubule plus-end marker GFP-EB1 moves significantly slower when expressed in the background of the ATER2 mutant as compared with the SR1 wild type. The efficiency of cell-to-cell movement of TMV encoding GFP-tagged movement protein (MP-GFP) is reduced in ATER2 accompanied by a reduced association of MP-GFP with plasmodesmata. This mutant is also more tolerant to viral infection as compared with the SR1 wild type, implying that reduced microtubule dynamics confer a comparative advantage in face of TMV infection.

  20. The role of TOG domains in microtubule plus end dynamics.

    PubMed

    Slep, Kevin C

    2009-10-01

    The XMAP215 (Xenopus microtubule-associated protein 215) and CLASP [CLIP-170 (cytoskeletal linker protein 170) associated protein] microtubule plus end tracking families play central roles in the regulation of interphase microtubule dynamics and the proper formation of mitotic spindle architecture and flux. XMAP215 members comprise N-terminally-arrayed hexa-HEAT (huntingtin, elongation factor 3, the PR65/A subunit of protein phosphatase 2A and the lipid kinase Tor) repeats known as TOG (tumour overexpressed gene) domains. Higher eukaryotic XMAP215 members are monomeric and have five TOG domains. Yeast counterparts are dimeric and have two TOG domains. Structure determination of the TOG domain reveals that the six HEAT repeats are aligned to form an oblong scaffold. The TOG domain face composed of intra-HEAT loops forms a contiguous, conserved tubulin-binding surface. Nested within the conserved intra-HEAT loop 1 is an invariant, signature, surface-exposed tryptophan residue that is a prime determinant in the TOG domain-tubulin interaction. The arrayed organization of TOG domains is critical for the processive mechanism of XMAP215, indicative that multiple tubulin/microtubule-binding sites are required for plus end tracking activity. The CLASP family has been annotated as containing a single N-terminal TOG domain. Using XMAP215 TOG domain structure determinants as a metric to analyse CLASP sequence, it is anticipated that CLASP contains two additional cryptic TOGL (TOG-like) domains. The presence of additional TOGL domains implicates CLASP as an ancient XMAP215 relative that uses a similar, multi-TOG-based mechanism to processively track microtubule ends.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Of microtubules and memory: implications for microtubule dynamics in dendrites and spines

    PubMed Central

    Dent, Erik W.

    2017-01-01

    Microtubules (MTs) are cytoskeletal polymers composed of repeating subunits of tubulin that are ubiquitously expressed in eukaryotic cells. They undergo a stochastic process of polymerization and depolymerization from their plus ends termed dynamic instability. MT dynamics is an ongoing process in all cell types and has been the target for the development of several useful anticancer drugs, which compromise rapidly dividing cells. Recent studies also suggest that MT dynamics may be particularly important in neurons, which develop a highly polarized morphology, consisting of a single axon and multiple dendrites that persist throughout adulthood. MTs are especially dynamic in dendrites and have recently been shown to polymerize directly into dendritic spines, the postsynaptic compartment of excitatory neurons in the CNS. These transient polymerization events into dendritic spines have been demonstrated to play important roles in synaptic plasticity in cultured neurons. Recent studies also suggest that MT dynamics in the adult brain function in the essential process of learning and memory and may be compromised in degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. This raises the possibility of targeting MT dynamics in the design of new therapeutic agents. PMID:28035040

  4. The implications of microtubule dynamic instability on chromosome dynamics in metaphase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lubin, David; Chakrabarti, Buddhapriya

    2005-03-01

    We present a model of chromosome oscillations during late metaphase based on the postulates of the stochastic detachment/reattachment of kinetochore microtubules and the dynamic instability model for microtubules dynamics. In this approach the motion of the chromosomes is analyzed by treating them as Brownian particles subject to a fluctuating force arising from the varying number of microtubules attached to the kinetochore at a given time. Furthermore, we predict observable changes in the chromosome dynamics in response to antimitotic drugs (e.g. taxol) that affects the microtubule dynamics. This approach may facilitate the use of the stochastic time series of chromosome position data as a complement to more traditional approaches in the elucidation of the mechanisms of chromosome alignment during metaphase of cell division.

  5. Effect of drugs affecting microtubular assembly on microtubules, phospholipid synthesis and physiological indices (signalling, growth, motility and phagocytosis) in Tetrahymena pyriformis.

    PubMed

    Kovács, P; Csaba, G

    2006-01-01

    Structural changes of microtubules, incorporation of radioactively labelled components into phospholipids, cell motility, growth and phagocytosis were studied under the effect of four drugs affecting microtubular assembly: colchicine, nocodazole, vinblastine and taxol. Although the first three agents influence microtubules in the direction of depolymerization and the fourth stabilizes them, their effects on the structure of microtubules cannot be explained by this. Using confocal microscopy after an acetylated anti-tubulin label, in nocodazole- and colchicine-treated cells, the basal body cages disappear and longitudinal microtubules (LM) became thinner without changing transversal microtubules (TM). After taxol treatment LM also became thinner, however TM disappeared. Under the effect of vinblastine TM became thinner, without influencing LM. These drugs influence the incorporation of components ([(3)H]-serine, [(3)H]-palmitic acid and (32)P) into phospholipids, however their effect is equivocal and cannot be consequently coupled with the effect on the microtubules. Nocodazole, vinblastine and taxol significantly reduced the cell's motility, however colchicine did so to a lesser degree. Vinblastine and nocodazole totally inhibited, and taxol significantly decreased cell growth, while colchicine in a lower concentration increased the multiplication of cells. Phagocytosis was not significantly influenced after 1 min, but after 5 min all the agents studied (except colchicine) significantly inhibited phagocytosis. After 15 and 30 min each molecule caused highly significant inhibition. The experiments demonstrate that drugs affecting microtubular assembly dynamics influence differently the diverse (longitudinal, transversal etc.) microtubular systems of Tetrahymena and also differently influence microtubule-dependent physiological processes. The latter are more dependent on microtubular dynamics than are changes in phospholipid signalling.

  6. Centrosome maturation requires YB-1 to regulate dynamic instability of microtubules for nucleus reassembly

    PubMed Central

    Kawaguchi, Atsushi; Asaka, Masamitsu N.; Matsumoto, Ken; Nagata, Kyosuke

    2015-01-01

    Microtubule formation from the centrosome increases dramatically at the onset of mitosis. This process is termed centrosome maturation. However, regulatory mechanisms of microtubule assembly from the centrosome in response to the centrosome maturation are largely unknown. Here we found that YB-1, a cellular cancer susceptibility protein, is required for the centrosome maturation. Phosphorylated YB-1 accumulated in the centrosome at mitotic phase. By YB-1 knockdown, microtubules were found detached from the centrosome at telophase and an abnormal nuclear shape called nuclear lobulation was found due to defective reassembly of nuclear envelope by mis-localization of non-centrosomal microtubules. In conclusion, we propose that YB-1 is important for the assembly of centrosomal microtubule array for temporal and spatial regulation of microtubules. PMID:25740062

  7. Binding of dihydroxynaphthyl aryl ketones to tubulin colchicine site inhibits microtubule assembly.

    PubMed

    Gutierrez, Eunices; Benites, Julio; Valderrama, Jaime A; Calderon, Pedro Buc; Verrax, Julien; Nova, Esteban; Villanelo, Felipe; Maturana, Daniel; Escobar, Cristian; Lagos, Rosalba; Monasterio, Octavio

    2015-10-23

    Dihydroxynaphthyl aryl ketones 1-5 have been evaluated for their abilities to inhibit microtubule assembly and the binding to tubulin. Compounds 3, 4 and 5 displayed competitive inhibition against colchicine binding, and docking analysis showed that they bind to the tubulin colchicine-binding pocket inducing sheets instead of microtubules. Remarkable differences in biological activity observed among the assayed compounds seem to be related to the structure and position of the aryl substituent bonded to the carbonyl group. Compounds 2, 3 and 4, which contain a heterocyclic ring, presented higher affinity for tubulin compared to the carbocyclic analogue 5. Compound 4 showed the best affinity of the series, with an IC50 value of 2.1 μM for microtubule polymerization inhibition and a tubulin dissociation constant of 1.0 ± 0.2 μM, as determined by thermophoresis. Compound 4 was more efficacious in disrupting microtubule assembly in vitro than compound 5 although it contains the trimethoxyphenyl ring present in colchicine. Hydrogen bonds with Asn101 of α-tubulin seem to be responsible for the higher affinity of compound 4 respects to the others.

  8. A Mec17-Myosin II Effector Axis Coordinates Microtubule Acetylation and Actin Dynamics to Control Primary Cilium Biogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Rao, Yanhua; Hao, Rui; Wang, Bin; Yao, Tso-Pang

    2014-01-01

    Primary cilia are specialized, acetylated microtubule-based signaling processes. Cilium assembly is activated by cellular quiescence and requires reconfiguration of microtubules, the actin cytoskeleton, and vesicular trafficking machinery. How these components are coordinated to activate ciliogenesis remains unknown. Here we identify the microtubule acetyltransferase Mec-17 and myosin II motors as the key effectors in primary cilium biogenesis. We found that myosin IIB (Myh10) is required for cilium formation; however, myosin IIA (Myh9) suppresses it. Myh10 binds and antagonizes Myh9 to increase actin dynamics, which facilitates the assembly of the pericentrosomal preciliary complex (PPC) that supplies materials for cilium growth. Importantly, Myh10 expression is upregulated by serum-starvation and this induction requires Mec-17, which is itself accumulated upon cellular quiescence. Pharmacological stimulation of microtubule acetylation also induces Myh10 expression and cilium formation. Thus cellular quiescence induces Mec17 to couple the production of acetylated microtubules and Myh10, whose accumulation overcomes the inhibitory role of Myh9 and initiates ciliogenesis. PMID:25494100

  9. 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

  10. Programmed Self-Assembly of a Biochemical and Magnetic Scaffold to Trigger and Manipulate Microtubule Structures.

    PubMed

    Ducasse, Rémi; Wang, Wei-An; Navarro, Marina Garcia-Jove; Debons, Nicolas; Colin, Alexandra; Gautier, Jérémie; Guigner, Jean-Michel; Guyot, François; Gueroui, Zoher

    2017-09-12

    Artificial bio-based scaffolds offer broad applications in bioinspired chemistry, nanomedicine, and material science. One current challenge is to understand how the programmed self-assembly of biomolecules at the nanometre level can dictate the emergence of new functional properties at the mesoscopic scale. Here we report a general approach to design genetically encoded protein-based scaffolds with modular biochemical and magnetic functions. By combining chemically induced dimerization strategies and biomineralisation, we engineered ferritin nanocages to nucleate and manipulate microtubule structures upon magnetic actuation. Triggering the self-assembly of engineered ferritins into micrometric scaffolds mimics the function of centrosomes, the microtubule organizing centres of cells, and provides unique magnetic and self-organizing properties. We anticipate that our approach could be transposed to control various biological processes and extend to broader applications in biotechnology or material chemistry.

  11. SCG10, a microtubule destabilizing factor, stimulates the neurite outgrowth by modulating microtubule dynamics in rat hippocampal primary cultured neurons.

    PubMed

    Morii, Hiroshi; Shiraishi-Yamaguchi, Yoko; Mori, Nozomu

    2006-09-01

    Microtubule dynamics, one of the key elements in neurite outgrowth, is regulated by various regulatory factors to determine the behavior of the neuronal growth cone and to form the specialized neuronal shape. SCG10 is a neuron-specific stathmin protein with a potent microtubule destabilizing factor and is enriched in the growth cones of the developing neurons. We investigated the functional role of SCG10 in neurite outgrowth using rat hippocampal primary cultured neurons. Genetic manipulation of SCG10 using a short-interfering RNA duplex markedly decreased the SCG10 expression level and significantly suppressed neurite outgrowth. This result was confirmed by immunodepletion experiments. On the other hand, the protein transduction of SCG10 using a polyarginine tag stimulated neurite outgrowth. Such manipulation of the SCG10 expression level affected microtubule morphology within the growth cones. A decrease in the SCG10 level converted the morphology to a more stable state, while an increase converted the morphology to a more dynamic state. However, an excess of SCG10 induced neurite retraction due to an excess of microtubule disassembly. These results suggest that SCG10 serves as an important regulatory factor of growth cone motility by enhancing microtubule dynamics, possibly through increasing the catastrophe frequency.

  12. Self-repair promotes microtubule rescue

    PubMed Central

    Gaillard, Jérémie; John, Karin; Blanchoin, Laurent; Théry, Manuel

    2016-01-01

    Summary The dynamic instability of microtubules is characterised by slow growth phases stochastically interrupted by rapid depolymerisations called catastrophes. Rescue events can arrest the depolymerisation and restore microtubule elongation. However the origin of these rescue events remain unexplained. Here we show that microtubule lattice self-repair, in structurally damaged sites, is responsible for the rescue of microtubule growth. Tubulin photo-conversion in cells revealed that free tubulin dimers can incorporate along the shafts of microtubules, especially in regions where microtubules cross each other, form bundles or become bent due to mechanical constraints. These incorporation sites appeared to act as effective rescue sites ensuring microtubule rejuvenation. By securing damaged microtubule growth, the self-repair process supports a mechanosensitive growth by specifically promoting microtubule assembly in regions where they are subjected to physical constraints. PMID:27617929

  13. Bis(1,8-anilinonaphthalenesulfonate). A novel and potent inhibitor of microtubule assembly.

    PubMed

    Horowitz, P; Prasad, V; Luduena, R F

    1984-12-10

    Two related compounds, 1,8-anilinonaphthalenesulfonate (1,8-ANS) and bis(1,8-anilinonaphthalenesulfonate) (Bis-ANS), are useful fluorescent probes for hydrophobic areas on protein molecules. Using fluorescence, we examined the binding of these compounds to bovine brain tubulin and found that Bis-ANS and 1,8-ANS bound to tubulin with Ki values of 2 and 25 microM, respectively. Bis-ANS potently inhibited the polymerization of tubulin into microtubules in vitro. In the presence of microtubule-associated protein 2, half-maximal inhibition of assembly was obtained at 3 microM Bis-ANS. In the presence of tau protein, half-maximal inhibition was obtained at 15 microM Bis-ANS. Surprisingly, 1,8-ANS, even at 200 microM, did not inhibit assembly. Scatchard analysis indicated one binding site for Bis-ANS on tubulin. Previous reports of 1,8-ANS binding to tubulin may have been influenced by the presence of Bis-ANS which until recently was a common contaminant of commercial supplies. Because of its intense fluorescence in addition to its potent inhibitory effects, Bis-ANS appears to be a useful probe to study microtubule assembly and other interactions involving tubulin.

  14. The taccalonolides and paclitaxel cause distinct effects on microtubule dynamics and aster formation

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Microtubule stabilizers suppress microtubule dynamics and, at the lowest antiproliferative concentrations, disrupt the function of mitotic spindles, leading to mitotic arrest and apoptosis. At slightly higher concentrations, these agents cause the formation of multiple mitotic asters with distinct morphologies elicited by different microtubule stabilizers. Results We tested the hypothesis that two classes of microtubule stabilizing drugs, the taxanes and the taccalonolides, cause the formation of distinct aster structures due, in part, to differential effects on microtubule dynamics. Paclitaxel and the taccalonolides suppressed the dynamics of microtubules formed from purified tubulin as well as in live cells. Both agents suppressed microtubule dynamic instability, with the taccalonolides having a more pronounced inhibition of microtubule catastrophe, suggesting that they stabilize the plus ends of microtubules more effectively than paclitaxel. Live cell microscopy was also used to evaluate the formation and resolution of asters after drug treatment. While each drug had similar effects on initial formation, substantial differences were observed in aster resolution. Paclitaxel-induced asters often coalesced over time resulting in fewer, larger asters whereas numerous compact asters persisted once they were formed in the presence of the taccalonolides. Conclusions We conclude that the increased resistance of microtubule plus ends to catastrophe may play a role in the observed inability of taccalonolide-induced asters to coalesce during mitosis, giving rise to the distinct morphologies observed after exposure to these agents. PMID:24576146

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Identification of a novel microtubule-destabilizing motif in CPAP that binds to tubulin heterodimers and inhibits microtubule assembly.

    PubMed

    Hung, Liang-Yi; Chen, Hua-Ling; Chang, Ching-Wen; Li, Bor-Ran; Tang, Tang K

    2004-06-01

    We have previously identified a new centrosomal protein, centrosomal protein 4.1-associated protein (CPAP), which is associated with the gamma-tubulin complex. Here, we report that CPAP carries a novel microtubule-destabilizing motif that not only inhibits microtubule nucleation from the centrosome but also depolymerizes taxol-stabilized microtubules. Deletion mapping and functional analyses have defined a 112-residue CPAP that is necessary and sufficient for microtubule destabilization. This 112-residue CPAP directly recognizes the plus end of a microtubule and inhibits microtubule nucleation from the centrosome. Biochemical and functional analyses revealed that this 112-residue CPAP also binds to tubulin dimers, resulting in the destabilization of microtubules. Using the tetracycline-controlled system (tet-off), we observed that overexpression of this 112-residue CPAP inhibits cell proliferation and induces apoptosis after G2/M arrest. The possible mechanisms of how this 112-residue motif in CPAP that inhibits microtubule nucleation from the centrosome and disassembles preformed microtubules are discussed.

  19. 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

  20. Controlling the bias of rotational motion of ring-shaped microtubule assembly.

    PubMed

    Wada, Shoki; Kabir, Arif Md Rashedul; Kawamura, Ryuzo; Ito, Masaki; Inoue, Daisuke; Sada, Kazuki; Kakugo, Akira

    2015-01-12

    Biomolecular motor system microtubule (MT)-kinesin is considered a building block for developing artificial microdevices. Recently, an active self-organization method has been established to integrate MT filaments into ring-shaped assembly that can produce rotational motion both in the clockwise and in the counterclockwise directions. In this work, we have investigated the effect of parameters such as MT and kinesin concentration, length, and rigidity of MT and type of kinesin (structure of tail region) on the preferential rotation of the ring-shaped MT assembly produced in an active self-organization. We elucidated that these factors can significantly affect the bias of rotation of the ring-shaped MT assembly, which seems to be related to the fluctuation of leading tip of moving MT filaments. This new finding might be important for designing handedness regulated artificial biomachine using the ring-shaped MT assembly in future.

  1. Topological Phonon Modes and Their Role in Dynamic Instability of Microtubules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prodan, Emil; Prodan, Camelia

    2009-12-01

    Microtubules (MTs) are self-assembled hollow protein tubes playing important functions in live cells. Their building block is a protein called tubulin, which self-assembles in a particulate 2 dimensional lattice. We study the vibrational modes of this lattice and find Dirac points in the phonon spectrum. We discuss a splitting of the Dirac points that leads to phonon bands with nonzero Chern numbers, signaling the existence of topological vibrational modes localized at MTs edges, which we indeed observe after explicit calculations. Since these modes are robust against the large changes occurring at the edges during the dynamic cycle of the MTs, we can build a simple mechanical model to illustrate how they would participate in this phenomenon.

  2. Bis-ANS as a specific inhibitor for microtubule-associated protein induced assembly of tubulin.

    PubMed

    Mazumdar, M; Parrack, P K; Mukhopadhyay, K; Bhattacharyya, B

    1992-07-21

    5,5'-Bis[8-(phenylamino)-1-naphthalenesulfonate] (bis-ANS), the fluorescent probe which binds to tubulin, inhibits its assembly into microtubules [Horowitz et al. (1984) J. Biol. Chem. 259, 14647-14650]. The results described in this paper demonstrate that bis-ANS is quite distinct from other well-known microtubule inhibitors in its specificity of action. The inhibitory potentials of bis-ANS and its three structural analogues ANS, Prodan [6-propionyl-2-(dimethylamino)naphthalene], and NSA (naphthalenesulfonic acid) have been compared. It is found that they can be arranged in the following order according to their polymerization inhibitory potentials: bis-ANS approximately equal to Prodan much greater than ANS greater than NSA. Interestingly, the naphthalene nucleus is sufficient to cause inhibition of polymerization. Detailed experiments were carried out to examine the mode of assembly inhibition by aminonaphthalenes at the molecular level, using bis-ANS as a representative. It was found that there was little or no effect of bis-ANS on the assembly of tubulin when polymerization was induced by assembly promoters like taxol, DMSO, or glutamate, or on the assembly of subtilisin-digested protein (tubulin S), for all of which half-maximal inhibition could not be achieved even at 120 microM bis-ANS. On the contrary, bis-ANS acts as an inhibitor in the case of MAP- (MAP2 and tau) and poly(L-lysine)-induced assembly of tubulin, with half-maximal inhibitory concentrations ranging from 1.5 to 7.6 microM. Our results place bis-ANS as a novel inhibitor, which seems to specifically inhibit C-termini-mediated assembly. Of all assembly inhibitors known so far, none exhibits such selection.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  3. TACC3 is a microtubule plus end–tracking protein that promotes axon elongation and also regulates microtubule plus end dynamics in multiple embryonic cell types

    PubMed Central

    Nwagbara, Belinda U.; Faris, Anna E.; Bearce, Elizabeth A.; Erdogan, Burcu; Ebbert, Patrick T.; Evans, Matthew F.; Rutherford, Erin L.; Enzenbacher, Tiffany B.; Lowery, Laura Anne

    2014-01-01

    Microtubule plus end dynamics are regulated by a conserved family of proteins called plus end–tracking proteins (+TIPs). It is unclear how various +TIPs interact with each other and with plus ends to control microtubule behavior. The centrosome-associated protein TACC3, a member of the transforming acidic coiled-coil (TACC) domain family, has been implicated in regulating several aspects of microtubule dynamics. However, TACC3 has not been shown to function as a +TIP in vertebrates. Here we show that TACC3 promotes axon outgrowth and regulates microtubule dynamics by increasing microtubule plus end velocities in vivo. We also demonstrate that TACC3 acts as a +TIP in multiple embryonic cell types and that this requires the conserved C-terminal TACC domain. Using high-resolution live-imaging data on tagged +TIPs, we show that TACC3 localizes to the extreme microtubule plus end, where it lies distal to the microtubule polymerization marker EB1 and directly overlaps with the microtubule polymerase XMAP215. TACC3 also plays a role in regulating XMAP215 stability and localizing XMAP215 to microtubule plus ends. Taken together, our results implicate TACC3 as a +TIP that functions with XMAP215 to regulate microtubule plus end dynamics. PMID:25187649

  4. Dynamic Change of Cellular Localization of Microtubule-Organizing Center During Conjugation of Ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila.

    PubMed

    Kushida, Yasuharu; Takaine, Masak; Nakano, Kentaro; Sugai, Toshiro; Numata, Osamu

    2015-01-01

    To obtain a comprehensive picture of microtubule dynamics during conjugation, the mode of sexual reproduction in ciliates, we combined indirect immunofluorescence and three-dimensional imaging using confocal laser-scanning microscope to visualize the cellular localization of DNA, microtubules, and γ-tubulin, the main component of the microtubule-organizing center in mating Tetrahymena cells. As the conjugational stages proceeded, the distribution of γ-tubulin changed drastically and microtubules showed dynamic appearance and disappearance during meiosis, nuclear selection, nuclear exchange, and the development of new macronuclei. This study highlights the involvement of cytoskeletal regulation in the modulation of germline nuclear motilities required for ciliate reproduction.

  5. Maternal Dead-End1 is required for vegetal cortical microtubule assembly during Xenopus axis specification

    PubMed Central

    Mei, Wenyan; Jin, Zhigang; Lai, Fangfang; Schwend, Tyler; Houston, Douglas W.; King, Mary Lou; Yang, Jing

    2013-01-01

    Vertebrate axis specification is an evolutionarily conserved developmental process that relies on asymmetric activation of Wnt signaling and subsequent organizer formation on the future dorsal side of the embryo. Although roles of Wnt signaling during organizer formation have been studied extensively, it is unclear how the Wnt pathway is asymmetrically activated. In Xenopus and zebrafish, the Wnt pathway is triggered by dorsal determinants, which are translocated from the vegetal pole to the future dorsal side of the embryo shortly after fertilization. The transport of dorsal determinants requires a unique microtubule network formed in the vegetal cortex shortly after fertilization. However, molecular mechanisms governing the formation of vegetal cortical microtubule arrays are not fully understood. Here we report that Dead-End 1 (Dnd1), an RNA-binding protein required for primordial germ cell development during later stages of embryogenesis, is essential for Xenopus axis specification. We show that knockdown of maternal Dnd1 specifically interferes with the formation of vegetal cortical microtubules. This, in turn, impairs translocation of dorsal determinants, the initiation of Wnt signaling, organizer formation, and ultimately results in ventralized embryos. Furthermore, we found that Dnd1 binds to a uridine-rich sequence in the 3′-UTR of trim36, a vegetally localized maternal RNA essential for vegetal cortical microtubule assembly. Dnd1 anchors trim36 to the vegetal cortex in the egg, promoting high concentrations of Trim36 protein there. Our work thus demonstrates a novel and surprising function for Dnd1 during early development and provides an important link between Dnd1, mRNA localization, the microtubule cytoskeleton and axis specification. PMID:23615278

  6. Qualitative Behavior of the Low-Frequency Vibrational Dynamics of Microtubules and the Surrounding Water.

    PubMed

    Moix, Jeremy M; Parker, James E; Echchgadda, Ibtissam

    2017-04-13

    The dynamics of the low-frequency vibrational modes of microtubules play a key role in many theoretical models regarding their biological function. We analyze these dynamics through large scale, classical molecular dynamics simulations of a microtubule composed of 42 tubulin heterodimers to provide insights into the qualitative nature of the vibrational energy absorption and dissipation mechanisms. The computed microtubule absorption spectra and vibrational density of states in the terahertz regime are presented, along with an analysis of the vibrational dephasing rates of the tubulin monomer center of mass dynamics, which are shown to be overdamped. Additionally, the presence of the microtubule modifies the dynamical properties of the solvation shell structure within roughly 10 Å of the protein. These vibrational properties are similar to those seen in other globular proteins and indicate microtubules are unlikely candidates for any large scale collective vibrational processes in the terahertz regime such as Fröhlich condensates.

  7. Contributions of Microtubule Dynamic Instability and Rotational Diffusion to Kinetochore Capture.

    PubMed

    Blackwell, Robert; Sweezy-Schindler, Oliver; Edelmaier, Christopher; Gergely, Zachary R; Flynn, Patrick J; Montes, Salvador; Crapo, Ammon; Doostan, Alireza; McIntosh, J Richard; Glaser, Matthew A; Betterton, Meredith D

    2017-02-07

    Microtubule dynamic instability allows search and capture of kinetochores during spindle formation, an important process for accurate chromosome segregation during cell division. Recent work has found that microtubule rotational diffusion about minus-end attachment points contributes to kinetochore capture in fission yeast, but the relative contributions of dynamic instability and rotational diffusion are not well understood. We have developed a biophysical model of kinetochore capture in small fission-yeast nuclei using hybrid Brownian dynamics/kinetic Monte Carlo simulation techniques. With this model, we have studied the importance of dynamic instability and microtubule rotational diffusion for kinetochore capture, both to the lateral surface of a microtubule and at or near its end. Over a range of biologically relevant parameters, microtubule rotational diffusion decreased capture time, but made a relatively small contribution compared to dynamic instability. At most, rotational diffusion reduced capture time by 25%. Our results suggest that while microtubule rotational diffusion can speed up kinetochore capture, it is unlikely to be the dominant physical mechanism for typical conditions in fission yeast. In addition, we found that when microtubules undergo dynamic instability, lateral captures predominate even in the absence of rotational diffusion. Counterintuitively, adding rotational diffusion to a dynamic microtubule increases the probability of end-on capture.

  8. Contributions of Microtubule Dynamic Instability and Rotational Diffusion to Kinetochore Capture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blackwell, Robert; Sweezy-Schindler, Oliver; Edelmaier, Christopher; Gergely, Zachary R.; Flynn, Patrick J.; Montes, Salvador; Crapo, Ammon; Doostan, Alireza; McIntosh, J. Richard; Glaser, Matthew A.; Betterton, Meredith D.

    2017-02-01

    Microtubule dynamic instability allows search and capture of kinetochores during spindle formation, an important process for accurate chromosome segregation during cell division. Recent work has found that microtubule rotational diffusion about minus-end attachment points contributes to kinetochore capture in fission yeast, but the relative contributions of dynamic instability and rotational diffusion are not well understood. We have developed a biophysical model of kinetochore capture in small fission-yeast nuclei using hybrid Brownian dynamics/kinetic Monte Carlo simulation techniques. With this model, we have studied the importance of dynamic instability and microtubule rotational diffusion for kinetochore capture, both to the lateral surface of a microtubule and at or near its end. Over a range of biologically relevant parameters, microtubule rotational diffusion decreased capture time, but made a relatively small contribution compared to dynamic instability. At most, rotational diffusion reduced capture time by 25%. Our results suggest that while microtubule rotational diffusion can speed up kinetochore capture, it is unlikely to be the dominant physical mechanism. In addition, we found that when microtubules undergo dynamic instability, lateral captures predominate even in the absence of rotational diffusion. Counterintuitively, adding rotational diffusion to a dynamic microtubule increases the probability of end-on capture.

  9. 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

  10. Meiosis-Specific Stable Binding of Augmin to Acentrosomal Spindle Poles Promotes Biased Microtubule Assembly in Oocytes

    PubMed Central

    Colombié, Nathalie; Głuszek, A. Agata; Meireles, Ana M.; Ohkura, Hiroyuki

    2013-01-01

    In the oocytes of many animals including humans, the meiotic spindle assembles without centrosomes. It is still unclear how multiple pathways contribute to spindle microtubule assembly, and whether they are regulated differently in mitosis and meiosis. Augmin is a γ-tubulin recruiting complex which “amplifies” spindle microtubules by generating new microtubules along existing ones in mitosis. Here we show that in Drosophila melanogaster oocytes Augmin is dispensable for chromatin-driven assembly of bulk spindle microtubules, but is required for full microtubule assembly near the poles. The level of Augmin accumulated at spindle poles is well correlated with the degree of chromosome congression. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching shows that Augmin stably associates with the polar regions of the spindle in oocytes, unlike in mitotic cells where it transiently and uniformly associates with the metaphase spindle. This stable association is enhanced by γ-tubulin and the kinesin-14 Ncd. Therefore, we suggest that meiosis-specific regulation of Augmin compensates for the lack of centrosomes in oocytes by actively biasing sites of microtubule generation within the spindle. PMID:23785300

  11. Meiosis-specific stable binding of augmin to acentrosomal spindle poles promotes biased microtubule assembly in oocytes.

    PubMed

    Colombié, Nathalie; Głuszek, A Agata; Meireles, Ana M; Ohkura, Hiroyuki

    2013-06-01

    In the oocytes of many animals including humans, the meiotic spindle assembles without centrosomes. It is still unclear how multiple pathways contribute to spindle microtubule assembly, and whether they are regulated differently in mitosis and meiosis. Augmin is a γ-tubulin recruiting complex which "amplifies" spindle microtubules by generating new microtubules along existing ones in mitosis. Here we show that in Drosophila melanogaster oocytes Augmin is dispensable for chromatin-driven assembly of bulk spindle microtubules, but is required for full microtubule assembly near the poles. The level of Augmin accumulated at spindle poles is well correlated with the degree of chromosome congression. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching shows that Augmin stably associates with the polar regions of the spindle in oocytes, unlike in mitotic cells where it transiently and uniformly associates with the metaphase spindle. This stable association is enhanced by γ-tubulin and the kinesin-14 Ncd. Therefore, we suggest that meiosis-specific regulation of Augmin compensates for the lack of centrosomes in oocytes by actively biasing sites of microtubule generation within the spindle.

  12. Assembly of Caenorhabditis elegans acentrosomal spindles occurs without evident microtubule-organizing centers and requires microtubule sorting by KLP-18/kinesin-12 and MESP-1

    PubMed Central

    Wolff, Ian D.; Tran, Michael V.; Mullen, Timothy J.; Villeneuve, Anne M.; Wignall, Sarah M.

    2016-01-01

    Although centrosomes contribute to spindle formation in most cell types, oocytes of many species are acentrosomal and must organize spindles in their absence. Here we investigate this process in Caenorhabditis elegans, detailing how acentrosomal spindles form and revealing mechanisms required to establish bipolarity. Using high-resolution imaging, we find that in meiosis I, microtubules initially form a “cage-like” structure inside the disassembling nuclear envelope. This structure reorganizes so that minus ends are sorted to the periphery of the array, forming multiple nascent poles that then coalesce until bipolarity is achieved. In meiosis II, microtubules nucleate in the vicinity of chromosomes but then undergo similar sorting and pole formation events. We further show that KLP-18/kinesin-12 and MESP-1, previously shown to be required for spindle bipolarity, likely contribute to bipolarity by sorting microtubules. After their depletion, minus ends are not sorted outward at the early stages of spindle assembly and instead converge. These proteins colocalize on microtubules, are interdependent for localization, and can interact, suggesting that they work together. We propose that KLP-18/kinesin-12 and MESP-1 form a complex that functions to sort microtubules of mixed polarity into a configuration in which minus ends are away from the chromosomes, enabling formation of nascent poles. PMID:27559133

  13. Minimal model for collective kinetochore–microtubule dynamics

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  14. The Oligomeric Outer Dynein Arm Assembly Factor CCDC103 Is Tightly Integrated within the Ciliary Axoneme and Exhibits Periodic Binding to Microtubules*

    PubMed Central

    King, Stephen M.; Patel-King, Ramila S.

    2015-01-01

    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

  15. Genome stability is ensured by temporal control of kinetochore-microtubule dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Bakhoum, Samuel F.; Thompson, Sarah L.; Manning, Amity L.; Compton, Duane A.

    2008-01-01

    Summary Most solid tumors are aneuploid and many frequently mis-segregate chromosomes. This chromosomal instability is commonly caused by persistent maloriented attachment of chromosomes to spindle microtubules. Chromosome segregation requires stable microtubule attachment at kinetochores, yet those attachments must be sufficiently dynamic to permit correction of malorientations. How this balance is achieved is unknown, and the permissible boundaries of attachment stability versus dynamics essential for genome stability remain poorly understood. Here we show that two microtubule-depolymerizing kinesins, Kif2b and MCAK, stimulate kinetochore-microtubule dynamics during distinct phases of mitosis to correct malorientations. Few-fold reductions in kinetochore-microtubule turnover, particularly in early mitosis, induce severe chromosome segregation defects. In addition, we show that stimulation of microtubule dynamics at kinetochores restores chromosome stability to chromosomally unstable tumor cell lines, establishing a causal relationship between deregulation of kinetochore-microtubule dynamics and chromosomal instability. Thus, temporal control of microtubule attachment to chromosomes during mitosis is central to genome stability in human cells. PMID:19060894

  16. Steering microtubule shuttle transport with dynamically controlled magnetic fields

    SciTech Connect

    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 and could serve as the basis for improved lab-on-a-chip technologies based on MT transport.

  17. Steering microtubule shuttle transport with dynamically controlled magnetic fields

    DOE PAGES

    Mahajan, K. D.; Ruan, G.; Dorcéna, C. J.; ...

    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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. A plus-end raft to control microtubule dynamics and function.

    PubMed

    Galjart, Niels; Perez, Franck

    2003-02-01

    Cells require a properly oriented and organised microtubule array to transmit positional information. Recent data have revealed a heterogeneous population of microtubule-binding proteins that accumulates mainly at distal ends of polymerising microtubules. Two mechanisms may account for this concentration: transient immobilisation, which involves association of proteins with growing ends, followed by release more proximally; and deposition at ends via a molecular motor. As with lipid rafts, protein concentration at distal ends may allow a cascade of interactions in the restricted area of a microtubule plus end. This may, in turn, control the dynamic behaviour of this cytoskeletal network and its anchoring to other structures.

  1. Cell cycle regulation of tubulin RNA level, tubulin protein synthesis, and assembly of microtubules in Physarum.

    PubMed

    Schedl, T; Burland, T G; Gull, K; Dove, W F

    1984-07-01

    The temporal relationship between tubulin expression and the assembly of the mitotic spindle microtubules has been investigated during the naturally synchronous cell cycle of the Physarum plasmodium. The cell cycle behavior of the tubulin isoforms was examined by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis of proteins labeled in vivo and by translation of RNA in vitro. alpha 1-, alpha 2-, beta 1-, and beta 2-tubulin synthesis increases coordinately until metaphase, and then falls, with beta 2 falling more rapidly than beta 1. Nucleic acid hybridization demonstrated that alpha- and beta-tubulin RNAs accumulate coordinately during G2, peaking at metaphase. Quantitative analysis demonstrated that alpha-tubulin RNA increases with apparent exponential kinetics, peaking with an increase over the basal level of greater than 40-fold. After metaphase, tubulin RNA levels fall exponentially, with a short half-life (19 min). Electron microscopic analysis of the plasmodium showed that the accumulation of tubulin RNA begins long before the polymerization of mitotic spindle microtubules. By contrast, the decay of tubulin RNA after metaphase coincides with the depolymerization of the spindle microtubules.

  2. SAS-4 is recruited to a dynamic structure in newly forming centrioles that is stabilized by the gamma-tubulin-mediated addition of centriolar microtubules.

    PubMed

    Dammermann, Alexander; Maddox, Paul S; Desai, Arshad; Oegema, Karen

    2008-02-25

    Centrioles are surrounded by pericentriolar material (PCM), which is proposed to promote new centriole assembly by concentrating gamma-tubulin. Here, we quantitatively monitor new centriole assembly in living Caenorhabditis elegans embryos, focusing on the conserved components SAS-4 and SAS-6. We show that SAS-4 and SAS-6 are coordinately recruited to the site of new centriole assembly and reach their maximum levels during S phase. Centriolar SAS-6 is subsequently reduced by a mechanism intrinsic to the early assembly pathway that does not require progression into mitosis. Centriolar SAS-4 remains in dynamic equilibrium with the cytoplasmic pool until late prophase, when it is stably incorporated in a step that requires gamma-tubulin and microtubule assembly. These results indicate that gamma-tubulin in the PCM stabilizes the nascent daughter centriole by promoting microtubule addition to its outer wall. Such a mechanism may help restrict new centriole assembly to the vicinity of preexisting parent centrioles that recruit PCM.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-15

    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 Ca(2+)-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.

  5. 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

  6. Mechanical stress induced mechanism of microtubule catastrophes.

    PubMed

    Hunyadi, Viktória; Chrétien, Denis; Jánosi, Imre M

    2005-05-13

    Microtubules assembled in vitro from pure tubulin can switch occasionally from growing to shrinking states or resume assembly, an unusual behavior termed "dynamic instability of microtubule growth". Its origin remains unclear and several models have been proposed, including occasional switching of the microtubules into energetically unfavorable configurations during assembly. In this study, we have asked whether the excess energy accumulated in these configurations would be of sufficient magnitude to destabilize the capping region that must exist at the end of growing microtubules. For this purpose, we have analyzed the frequency distribution of microtubules assembled in vitro from pure tubulin, and modeled the different mechanical constraints accumulated in their wall. We find that the maximal excess energy that the microtubule lattice can store is in the order of 11 kBT per dimer. Configurations that require distortions up to approximately 20 kBT are allowed at the expense of a slight conformational change, and larger distortions are not observed. Modeling of the different elastic deformations suggests that the excess energy is essentially induced by protofilament skewing, microtubule radial curvature change and inter-subunit shearing, distortions that must destabilize further the tubulin subunits interactions. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that unfavorable closure events may trigger the catastrophes observed at low tubulin concentration in vitro. In addition, we propose a novel type of representation that describes the stability of microtubule assembly systems, and which might be of considerable interest to study the effects of stabilizing and destabilizing factors on microtubule structure and dynamics.

  7. Functional specialization of stable and dynamic microtubules in protein traffic in WIF-B cells.

    PubMed

    Poüs, C; Chabin, K; Drechou, A; Barbot, L; Phung-Koskas, T; Settegrana, C; Bourguet-Kondracki, M L; Maurice, M; Cassio, D; Guyot, M; Durand, G

    1998-07-13

    We found that the magnesium salt of ilimaquinone, named 201-F, specifically disassembled dynamically unstable microtubules in fibroblasts and various epithelial cell lines. Unlike classical tubulin- interacting drugs such as nocodazole or colchicine which affect all classes of microtubules, 201-F did not depolymerize stable microtubules. In WIF-B-polarized hepatic cells, 201-F disrupted the Golgi complex and inhibited albumin and alpha1-antitrypsin secretion to the same extent as nocodazole. By contrast, 201-F did not impair the transport of membrane proteins to the basolateral surface, which was only affected by the total disassembly of cellular microtubules. Transcytosis of two apical membrane proteins-the alkaline phosphodiesterase B10 and dipeptidyl peptidase IV-was affected to the same extent by 201-F and nocodazole. Taken together, these results indicate that only dynamically unstable microtubules are involved in the transport of secretory proteins to the plasma membrane, and in the transcytosis of membrane proteins to the apical surface. By contrast, stable microtubules, which are not functionally affected by 201-F treatment, are involved in the transport of membrane proteins to the basolateral surface. By specifically disassembling highly dynamic microtubules, 201-F is an invaluable tool with which to study the functional specialization of stable and dynamic microtubules in living cells.

  8. 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

  9. Understanding force-generating microtubule systems through in vitro reconstitution

    PubMed Central

    Kok, Maurits; Dogterom, Marileen

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Microtubules switch between growing and shrinking states, a feature known as dynamic instability. The biochemical parameters underlying dynamic instability are modulated by a wide variety of microtubule-associated proteins that enable the strict control of microtubule dynamics in cells. The forces generated by controlled growth and shrinkage of microtubules drive a large range of processes, including organelle positioning, mitotic spindle assembly, and chromosome segregation. In the past decade, our understanding of microtubule dynamics and microtubule force generation has progressed significantly. Here, we review the microtubule-intrinsic process of dynamic instability, the effect of external factors on this process, and how the resulting forces act on various biological systems. Recently, reconstitution-based approaches have strongly benefited from extensive biochemical and biophysical characterization of individual components that are involved in regulating or transmitting microtubule-driven forces. We will focus on the current state of reconstituting increasingly complex biological systems and provide new directions for future developments. PMID:27715396

  10. Microtubule Dynamics in Living Root Hairs: Transient Slowing by Lipochitin Oligosaccharide Nodulation SignalsW⃞

    PubMed Central

    Vassileva, Valya N.; Kouchi, Hiroshi; Ridge, Robert W.

    2005-01-01

    The incorporation of a fusion of green fluorescent protein and tubulin-α 6 from Arabidopsis thaliana in root hairs of Lotus japonicus has allowed us to visualize and quantify the dynamic parameters of the cortical microtubules in living root hairs. Analysis of individual microtubule turnover in real time showed that only plus polymer ends contributed to overall microtubule dynamicity, exhibiting dynamic instability as the main type of microtubule behavior in Lotus root hairs. Comparison of the four standard parameters of in vivo dynamic instability—the growth rate, the disassembly rate, and the frequency of transitions from disassembly to growth (rescue) and from growth to disassembly (catastrophe)—revealed that microtubules in young root hairs were more dynamic than those in mature root hairs. Either inoculation with Mesorhizobium loti or purified M. loti lipochitin oligosaccharide signal molecules (Nod factors) significantly affected the growth rate and transition frequencies in emerging and growing root hairs, making microtubules less dynamic at a specific window after symbiotic inoculation. This response of root hair cells to rhizobial Nod factors is discussed in terms of the possible biological significance of microtubule dynamics in the early signaling events leading to the establishment and progression of the globally important Rhizobium/legume symbiosis. PMID:15863517

  11. 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

  12. On and around microtubules: an overview.

    PubMed

    Wade, Richard H

    2009-10-01

    Microtubules are hollow tubes some 25 nm in diameter participating in the eukaryotic cytoskeleton. They are built from alphabeta-tubulin heterodimers that associate to form protofilaments running lengthwise along the microtubule wall with the beta-tubulin subunit facing the microtubule plus end conferring a structural polarity. The alpha- and beta-tubulins are highly conserved. A third member of the tubulin family, gamma-tubulin, plays a role in microtubule nucleation and assembly. Other members of the tubulin family appear to be involved in microtubule nucleation. Microtubule assembly is accompanied by hydrolysis of GTP associated with beta-tubulin so that microtubules consist principally of 'GDP-tubulin' stabilized at the plus end by a short 'cap'. An important property of microtubules is dynamic instability characterized by growth randomly interrupted by pauses and shrinkage. Many proteins interact with microtubules within the cell and are involved in essential functions such as microtubule growth, stabilization, destabilization, and interactions with chromosomes during cell division. The motor proteins kinesin and dynein use microtubules as pathways for transport and are also involved in cell division. Crystallography and electron microscopy are providing a structural basis for understanding the interactions of microtubules with antimitotic drugs, with motor proteins and with plus end tracking proteins.

  13. Lighting up microtubule cytoskeleton dynamics in skeletal muscle

    PubMed Central

    Masedunskas, Andrius; Appaduray, Mark; Gunning, Peter W; Hardeman, Edna C

    2014-01-01

    In the past few decades, live cell microscopy techniques in combination with fluorescent tagging have provided a true explosion in our knowledge of the inner functioning of the cell. Dynamic phenomena can be observed inside living cells and the behavior of individual molecules participating in those events can be documented. However, our preference for simple or easy model systems such as cell culture, has come at a cost of chasing artifacts and missing out on understanding real biology as it happens in complex multicellular organisms. We are now entering a new era where developing meaningful, but also tractable model systems to study biological phenomenon dynamically in vivo in a mammal is not only possible; it will become the gold standard for scientific quality and translational potential.1,2 A study by Oddoux et al. describing the dynamics of the microtubule (MT) cytoskeleton in skeletal muscle is one example that demonstrates the power of developing in vivo/ex vivo models.3 MTs have long attracted attention as targets for cancer therapeutics 4 and more recently as mediators of Duchene muscular dystrophy.5 The muscle fiber MT cytoskeleton forms an intricate rectilinear lattice beneath the sarcolemma and is essential for the structural integrity of the muscle. Cultured cells do not develop such a specialized organization of the MT cytoskeleton and our understanding of it has come from static snapshots of muscle sections.6 In this context, the methodology and the findings reported by Oddoux et al. are a significant step forward. PMID:28243508

  14. The role of microtubule dynamics in growth cone motility and axonal growth

    PubMed Central

    1995-01-01

    The growth cone contains dynamic and relatively stable microtubule populations, whose function in motility and axonal growth is uncharacterized. We have used vinblastine at low doses to inhibit microtubule dynamics without appreciable depolymerization to probe the role of these dynamics in growth cone behavior. At doses of vinblastine that interfere only with dynamics, the forward and persistent movement of the growth cone is inhibited and the growth cone wanders without appreciable forward translocation; it quickly resumes forward growth after the vinblastine is washed out. Direct visualization of fluorescently tagged microtubules in these neurons shows that in the absence of dynamic microtubules, the remaining mass of polymer does not invade the peripheral lamella and does not undergo the usual cycle of bundling and splaying and the growth cone stops forward movement. These experiments argue for a role for dynamic microtubules in allowing microtubule rearrangements in the growth cone. These rearrangements seem to be necessary for microtubule bundling, the subsequent coalescence of the cortex around the bundle to form new axon, and forward translocation of the growth cone. PMID:7822411

  15. Microtubule dynamics in relation to osmotic stress-induced ABA accumulation in Zea mays roots.

    PubMed

    Lü, Bing; Gong, Zhonghua; Wang, Juan; Zhang, Jianhua; Liang, Jiansheng

    2007-01-01

    Microtubules play important roles in many physiological processes such as plant responses to drought stress. Abscisic acid (ABA) accumulates significantly in plants in response to drought conditions, which has been considered as a major response for plants to enhance drought tolerance. In this work, the focus was on the possible roles of microtubules in the induction of ABA biosynthesis in the roots of Zea mays when subjected to osmotic stress. The dynamic changes of microtubules in response to the stress were investigated by immunofluorescence staining, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and a pharmacological approach. Disruption and stabilization of microtubules both significantly stimulated ABA accumulation in maize root cells, although this stimulation was markedly lower than that caused by osmotic stress. Cells in which the microtubule stability had been changed did not respond further to osmotic stress in terms of ABA biosynthesis. However, treatment with both a microtubule de-stabilizer and a stabilizer enhanced the sensitivity of cells to osmotic stress in terms of ABA accumulation. It is suggested that both osmotic stress and changes in microtubule dynamics would trigger maize root cells to biosynthesize ABA, and interactions between osmotic stress and microtubule dynamics would have an effect on ABA accumulation in root cells, although the exact mechanism is not clear at present.

  16. Stable and dynamic microtubules coordinately shape the myosin activation zone during cytokinetic furrow formation

    PubMed Central

    Foe, Victoria E.; von Dassow, George

    2008-01-01

    The cytokinetic furrow arises from spatial and temporal regulation of cortical contractility. To test the role microtubules play in furrow specification, we studied myosin II activation in echinoderm zygotes by assessing serine19-phosphorylated regulatory light chain (pRLC) localization after precisely timed drug treatments. Cortical pRLC was globally depressed before cytokinesis, then elevated only at the equator. We implicated cell cycle biochemistry (not microtubules) in pRLC depression, and differential microtubule stability in localizing the subsequent myosin activation. With no microtubules, pRLC accumulation occurred globally instead of equatorially, and loss of just dynamic microtubules increased equatorial pRLC recruitment. Nocodazole treatment revealed a population of stable astral microtubules that formed during anaphase; among these, those aimed toward the equator grew longer, and their tips coincided with cortical pRLC accumulation. Shrinking the mitotic apparatus with colchicine revealed pRLC suppression near dynamic microtubule arrays. We conclude that opposite effects of stable versus dynamic microtubules focuses myosin activation to the cell equator during cytokinesis. PMID:18955555

  17. Microtubule Dynamics Interacting with Stabilizing Agents in a Cell-like Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shojania Feizabadi, Mitra

    2010-03-01

    Microtubules, key components of the cytoskeleton, are involved in several biological functions. They are highly dynamic polymers that stochastically switch between growing and shrinking phases. Due to their critical role in the process of cell division, they are the target of anti-cancer drugs. Antimitotic drugs usually suppress the dynamic instability of microtubules and, therefore, affect the process of cell division. In this work, the dynamic of microtubules interacting with catastrophe suppressing drugs as stabilizing agents, introduced by Mishra et al. (Phys. Rev. E. 72, 51914, 2005), is modified in a confined geometry and associated with the obtained and analyzed steady state solutions.

  18. Microtubules as key coordinators of nuclear envelope and endoplasmic reticulum dynamics during mitosis.

    PubMed

    Schlaitz, Anne-Lore

    2014-07-01

    During mitosis, cells comprehensively restructure their interior to promote the faithful inheritance of DNA and cytoplasmic contents. In metazoans, this restructuring entails disassembly of the nuclear envelope, redistribution of its components into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and eventually nuclear envelope reassembly around the segregated chromosomes. The microtubule cytoskeleton has recently emerged as a critical regulator of mitotic nuclear envelope and ER dynamics. Microtubules and associated molecular motors tear open the nuclear envelope in prophase and remove nuclear envelope remnants from chromatin. Additionally, two distinct mechanisms of microtubule-based regulation of ER dynamics operate later in mitosis. First, association of the ER with microtubules is reduced, preventing invasion of ER into the spindle area, and second, organelle membrane is actively cleared from metaphase chromosomes. However, we are only beginning to understand the role of microtubules in shaping and distributing ER and other organelles during mitosis.

  19. Effect of Cibacron blue on tubulin assembly in the absence and presence of microtubule-associated proteins.

    PubMed

    Deinum, J; Sörskog, L; Wallin, M

    1982-11-24

    Cibacron blue was found to inhibit assembly and increase the critical concentration of microtubule proteins. In the presence of 4 mol Cibacron blue/mol tubulin, assembly was completely inhibited and pre-formed microtubules disassembled. Addition of 8% (v/v) dimethylsulfoxide to Cibacron blue-inhibited samples induced assembly of normal microtubules in addition to sheets of protofilaments. Disassembly was induced upon addition of 1 mM colchicine or 2 mM Ca2+. No obvious difference was seen in the protein composition of these microtubules compared with controls. GTP exchange was not affected by the presence of Cibacron blue nor was GTP able to counteract its effect. This indicates that the exchangeable GTP site is not involved. The extent of assembly of phosphocellulose purified tubulin in the presence of 8% (v/v) dimethylsulfoxide was only slightly less in the presence of Cibacron blue, although the assembly rate was decreased. These results suggest that Cibacron blue might alter the binding of one or more of the associated proteins stimulating assembly.

  20. Idiotypic mimicry and the assembly of a supramolecular structure: an anti-idiotypic antibody that mimics taxol in its tubulin-microtubule interactions.

    PubMed Central

    Leu, J G; Chen, B X; Diamanduros, A W; Erlanger, B F

    1994-01-01

    Taxol, originally extracted from the bark of the western yew, Taxus brevifolia, is reportedly the first of a new class of anti-cancer agents. It acts by promoting and irreversibly stabilizing microtubule assembly, thus interfering with the dynamic processes required for cell viability and multiplication. With the aim of using immunological techniques to study the mechanism of action of taxol, a monoclonal anti-idiotypic antibody that mimics taxol was prepared, using an auto-anti-idiotypic strategy. It and its Fab fragment inhibited the binding of [3H]taxol to microtubules. Moreover, like taxol, both promoted the assembly of tubulin into microtubules. These findings provide an example of an anti-idiotypic antibody capable of assembling an organized supramolecular structure from soluble cellular components. In addition, it further establishes the ability of anti-idiotypic antibodies to be functional mimics of ligand molecules bearing no structural similarity to immunoglobulins. The variable regions of the antibody have been sequenced. With the exception of the complementarity-determining region 3, the sequence of the heavy chain variable region is strikingly similar to that of an anti-idiotypic antibody raised to anti-insulin. The finding that a polypeptide can mimic taxol raises the possibility that taxol acts as a peptidomimetic compound that interferes with the function of an endogenous polypeptide. Images PMID:7840821

  1. The Dam1 kinetochore complex harnesses microtubule dynamics to produce force and movement.

    PubMed

    Asbury, Charles L; Gestaut, Daniel R; Powers, Andrew F; Franck, Andrew D; Davis, Trisha N

    2006-06-27

    Kinetochores remain attached to microtubule (MT) tips during mitosis even as the tips assemble and disassemble under their grip, allowing filament dynamics to produce force and move chromosomes. The specific proteins that mediate tip attachment are uncertain, and the mechanism of MT-dependent force production is unknown. Recent work suggests that the Dam1 complex, an essential component of kinetochores in yeast, may contribute directly to kinetochore-MT attachment and force production, perhaps by forming a sliding ring encircling the MT. To test these hypotheses, we developed an in vitro motility assay where beads coated with pure recombinant Dam1 complex were bound to the tips of individual dynamic MTs. The Dam1-coated beads remained tip-bound and underwent assembly- and disassembly-driven movement over approximately 3 microm, comparable to chromosome displacements in vivo. Dam1-based attachments to assembling tips were robust, supporting 0.5-3 pN of tension applied with a feedback-controlled optical trap as the MTs lengthened approximately 1 microm. The attachments also harnessed energy from MT disassembly to generate movement against tension. Reversing the direction of force (i.e., switching to compressive force) caused the attachments to disengage the tip and slide over the filament, but sliding was blocked by areas where the MT was anchored to a coverslip, consistent with a coupling structure encircling the filament. Our findings demonstrate how the Dam1 complex may contribute directly to MT-driven chromosome movement.

  2. Dynamic shape changes of cytoplasmic organelles translocating along microtubules

    PubMed Central

    1987-01-01

    Transient shape changes of organelles translocating along microtubules are directly visualized in thinly spread cytoplasmic processes of the marine foraminifer. Allogromia laticollaris, by a combination of high- resolution video-enhanced microscopy and fast-freezing electron microscopy. The interacting side of the organelle flattens upon binding to a microtubule, as if to maximize contact with it. Organelles typically assume a teardrop shape while moving, as if they were dragged through a viscous medium. Associated microtubules bend around attachments of the teardrop-shaped organelles, suggesting that they too are acted on by the forces deforming the organelles. An 18-nm gap between the organelles and the microtubules is periodically bridged by 10-nm-thick cross-bridge structures that may be responsible for the binding and motive forces deforming organelles and microtubules. PMID:3654751

  3. Dynamic shape changes of cytoplasmic organelles translocating along microtubules.

    PubMed

    Kachar, B; Bridgman, P C; Reese, T S

    1987-09-01

    Transient shape changes of organelles translocating along microtubules are directly visualized in thinly spread cytoplasmic processes of the marine foraminifer. Allogromia laticollaris, by a combination of high-resolution video-enhanced microscopy and fast-freezing electron microscopy. The interacting side of the organelle flattens upon binding to a microtubule, as if to maximize contact with it. Organelles typically assume a teardrop shape while moving, as if they were dragged through a viscous medium. Associated microtubules bend around attachments of the teardrop-shaped organelles, suggesting that they too are acted on by the forces deforming the organelles. An 18-nm gap between the organelles and the microtubules is periodically bridged by 10-nm-thick cross-bridge structures that may be responsible for the binding and motive forces deforming organelles and microtubules.

  4. 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

  5. Phosphoregulation promotes release of kinetochores from dynamic microtubules via multiple mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Sarangapani, Krishna K; Akiyoshi, Bungo; Duggan, Nicole M; Biggins, Sue; Asbury, Charles L

    2013-04-30

    During mitosis, multiprotein complexes called kinetochores orchestrate chromosome segregation by forming load-bearing attachments to dynamic microtubule tips, and by participating in phosphoregulatory error correction. The conserved kinase Aurora B phosphorylates the major microtubule-binding kinetochore subcomplexes, Ndc80 and (in yeast) Dam1, to promote release of erroneous attachments, giving another chance for proper attachments to form. It is unknown whether Aurora B phosphorylation promotes release directly, by increasing the rate of kinetochore detachment, or indirectly, by destabilizing the microtubule tip. Moreover, the relative importance of phosphorylation of Ndc80 vs. Dam1 in the context of whole kinetochores is unclear. To address these uncertainties, we isolated native yeast kinetochore particles carrying phosphomimetic mutations on Ndc80 and Dam1, and applied advanced laser-trapping techniques to measure the strength and stability of their attachments to individual dynamic microtubule tips. Rupture forces were reduced by phosphomimetic mutations on both subcomplexes, in an additive manner, indicating that both subcomplexes make independent contributions to attachment strength. Phosphomimetics on either subcomplex reduced attachment lifetimes under constant force, primarily by accelerating detachment during microtubule growth. Phosphomimetics on Dam1 also increased the likelihood of switches from microtubule growth into shortening, further promoting release in an indirect manner. Taken together, our results suggest that, in vivo, Aurora B releases kinetochores via at least two mechanisms: by weakening the kinetochore-microtubule interface and also by destabilizing the kinetochore-attached microtubule tip.

  6. Microtubule-associated protein-4 controls nanovesicle dynamics and T cell activation.

    PubMed

    Bustos-Morán, Eugenio; Blas-Rus, Noelia; Martin-Cófreces, Noa Beatriz; Sánchez-Madrid, Francisco

    2017-04-01

    The immune synapse (IS) is a specialized structure formed at the contact area between T lymphocytes and antigen-presenting cells (APCs) that is essential for the adaptive immune response. Proper T cell activation requires its polarization towards the APC, which is highly dependent on the tubulin cytoskeleton. Microtubule-associated protein-4 (MAP4) is a microtubule (MT)-stabilizing protein that controls MTs in physiological processes, such as cell division, migration, vesicular transport or primary cilia formation. In this study, we assessed the role of MAP4 in T cell activation. MAP4 decorates the pericentrosomal area and MTs of the T cell, and it is involved in MT detyrosination and stable assembly in response to T cell activation. In addition, MAP4 prompts the timely translocation of the MT-organizing center (MTOC) towards the IS and the dynamics of signaling nanovesicles that sustains T cell activation. However, MAP4 acts as a negative regulator of other T cell activation-related signals, including diacylglycerol (DAG) production and IL2 secretion. Our data indicate that MAP4 acts as a checkpoint molecule that balances positive and negative hallmarks of T cell activation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-08

    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.

  8. Automated screening of microtubule growth dynamics identifies MARK2 as a regulator of leading edge microtubules downstream of Rac1 in migrating cells.

    PubMed

    Nishimura, Yukako; Applegate, Kathryn; Davidson, Michael W; Danuser, Gaudenz; Waterman, Clare M

    2012-01-01

    Polarized microtubule (MT) growth in the leading edge is critical to directed cell migration, and is mediated by Rac1 GTPase. To find downstream targets of Rac1 that affect MT assembly dynamics, we performed an RNAi screen of 23 MT binding and regulatory factors and identified RNAi treatments that suppressed changes in MT dynamics induced by constitutively activated Rac1. By analyzing fluorescent EB3 dynamics with automated tracking, we found that RNAi treatments targeting p150(glued), APC2, spastin, EB1, Op18, or MARK2 blocked Rac1-mediated MT growth in lamellipodia. MARK2 was the only protein whose RNAi targeting additionally suppressed Rac1 effects on MT orientation in lamellipodia, and thus became the focus of further study. We show that GFP-MARK2 rescued effects of MARK2 depletion on MT growth lifetime and orientation, and GFP-MARK2 localized in lamellipodia in a Rac1-activity-dependent manner. In a wound-edge motility assay, MARK2-depleted cells failed to polarize their centrosomes or exhibit oriented MT growth in the leading edge, and displayed defects in directional cell migration. Thus, automated image analysis of MT assembly dynamics identified MARK2 as a target regulated downstream of Rac1 that promotes oriented MT growth in the leading edge to mediate directed cell migration.

  9. Automated Screening of Microtubule Growth Dynamics Identifies MARK2 as a Regulator of Leading Edge Microtubules Downstream of Rac1 in Migrating Cells

    PubMed Central

    Nishimura, Yukako; Applegate, Kathryn; Davidson, Michael W.; Danuser, Gaudenz; Waterman, Clare M.

    2012-01-01

    Polarized microtubule (MT) growth in the leading edge is critical to directed cell migration, and is mediated by Rac1 GTPase. To find downstream targets of Rac1 that affect MT assembly dynamics, we performed an RNAi screen of 23 MT binding and regulatory factors and identified RNAi treatments that suppressed changes in MT dynamics induced by constitutively activated Rac1. By analyzing fluorescent EB3 dynamics with automated tracking, we found that RNAi treatments targeting p150glued, APC2, spastin, EB1, Op18, or MARK2 blocked Rac1-mediated MT growth in lamellipodia. MARK2 was the only protein whose RNAi targeting additionally suppressed Rac1 effects on MT orientation in lamellipodia, and thus became the focus of further study. We show that GFP-MARK2 rescued effects of MARK2 depletion on MT growth lifetime and orientation, and GFP-MARK2 localized in lamellipodia in a Rac1-activity-dependent manner. In a wound-edge motility assay, MARK2-depleted cells failed to polarize their centrosomes or exhibit oriented MT growth in the leading edge, and displayed defects in directional cell migration. Thus, automated image analysis of MT assembly dynamics identified MARK2 as a target regulated downstream of Rac1 that promotes oriented MT growth in the leading edge to mediate directed cell migration. PMID:22848487

  10. Local stabilization of microtubule assembly improves recovery of facial nerve function after repair.

    PubMed

    Grosheva, Maria; Guntinas-Lichius, Orlando; Angelova, Srebrina K; Kuerten, Stefanie; Alvanou, Athanasia; Streppel, Michael; Skouras, Emmanouil; Sinis, Nektarios; Pavlov, Stoyan; Angelov, Doychin N

    2008-01-01

    Within a recent study on the recovery of vibrissae motor performance after facial nerve repair in blind (strain SD/RCS) and sighted (strain SD) rats, we found that, despite persisting myotopic disorganization in the facial nucleus, the blind animals fully restored vibrissal whisking. Searching for the morphological substrates of this improved recovery, we compared the amount of cytoskeletal proteins in the leading edge of elongating axons between both strains. Since our results showed an enhanced expression of neuronal class III beta-tubulin in the blind rats, we wondered whether this was due to an increased synthesis or to a delayed turnover of microtubules. In the present report, we approached this question applying established pharmacological agents to the transected buccal branch of the facial nerve in sighted Wistar rats perturbing either microtubule assembly towards stabilization (enhanced polymerization with 10 microg/ml taxol) or towards increased synthesis (challenged by destabilization with 100 microg/ml nocodazole and 20 microg/ml vinblastine). Evaluation of the effect(s) 2 months later included estimation of (i) vibrissae motor performance by video-based motion analysis, (ii) the degree of collateral axonal branching by double retrograde neuronal labeling with crystals of Fluoro-Gold and DiI and (iii) the pattern of motor end-plate reinnervation (proportions of mono- and poly-reinnervated) in the largest extrinsic vibrissal muscle, the m. levator labii superioris. We found that only stabilization of microtubules with 10 microg/ml taxol reduced intramuscular axonal sprouting and polyinnervation of the motor end-plates, which was accompanied by improved restoration of function.

  11. Uniform polarity microtubule assemblies imaged in native brain tissue by second-harmonic generation microscopy.

    PubMed

    Dombeck, Daniel A; Kasischke, Karl A; Vishwasrao, Harshad D; Ingelsson, Martin; Hyman, Bradley T; Webb, Watt W

    2003-06-10

    Microtubule (MT) ensemble polarity is a diagnostic determinant of the structure and function of neuronal processes. Here, polarized MT structures are selectively imaged with second-harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy in native brain tissue. This SHG is found to colocalize with axons in both brain slices and cultured neurons. Because SHG arises only from noninversion symmetric structures, the uniform polarity of axonal MTs leads to the observed signal, whereas the mixed polarity in dendrites leads to destructive interference. SHG imaging provides a tool to investigate the kinetics and function of MT ensemble polarity in dynamic native brain tissue structures and other subcellular motility structures based on polarized MTs.

  12. 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.

  13. Ubiquitin editing enzyme UCH L1 and microtubule dynamics: implication in mitosis.

    PubMed

    Bheda, Anjali; Gullapalli, Anuradha; Caplow, Michael; Pagano, Joseph S; Shackelford, Julia

    2010-03-01

    Microtubules are essential components of the cytoskeleton and are involved in many aspects of cell responses including cell division, migration, and intracellular signal transduction. Among other factors, post-translational modifications play a significant role in the regulation of microtubule dynamics. Here, we demonstrate that the ubiquitin-editing enzyme UCH L1, abundant expression of which is normally restricted to brain tissue, is also a part of the microtubule network in a variety of transformed cells. Moreover, during mitosis, endogenous UCH L1 is expressed and tightly associated with the mitotic spindle through all stages of M phase, suggesting that UCH L1 is involved in regulation of microtubule dynamics. Indeed, addition of recombinant UCH L1 to the reaction of tubulin polymerization in vitro had an inhibitory effect on microtubule formation. Unexpectedly, western blot analysis of tubulin fractions after polymerization revealed the presence of a specific approximately 50 kDa band of UCH L1 (not the normal approximately 25 kDa) in association with microtubules, but not with free tubulin. In addition, we show that along with 25 kDa UCH L1, endogenous high molecular weight UCH L1 complexes exist in cells, and that levels of 50 kDa UCH L1 complexes are increasing in cells during mitosis. Finally, we provide evidence that ubiquitination is involved in tubulin polymerization: the presence of ubiquitin during polymerization in vitro by itself inhibited microtubule formation and enhanced the inhibitory effect of added UCH L1. The inhibitory effects of UCH L1 correlate with an increase in ubiquitination of microtubule components. Since besides being a deubiquitinating enzyme, UCH L1 as a dimer has also been shown to exhibit ubiquitin ligase activity, we discuss the possibility that the approximately 50 kDa UCH L1 observed is a dimer which prevents microtubule formation through ubiquitination of tubulins and/or microtubule-associated proteins.

  14. A Case for Microtubule Vulnerability in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Altered Dynamics During Disease

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Jayden A.; Yeaman, Elise J.; Blizzard, Catherine A.; Chuckowree, Jyoti A.; Dickson, Tracey C.

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an aggressive multifactorial disease converging on a common pathology: the degeneration of motor neurons (MNs), their axons and neuromuscular synapses. This vulnerability and dysfunction of MNs highlights the dependency of these large cells on their intracellular machinery. Neuronal microtubules (MTs) are intracellular structures that facilitate a myriad of vital neuronal functions, including activity dependent axonal transport. In ALS, it is becoming increasingly apparent that MTs are likely to be a critical component of this disease. Not only are disruptions in this intracellular machinery present in the vast majority of seemingly sporadic cases, recent research has revealed that mutation to a microtubule protein, the tubulin isoform TUBA4A, is sufficient to cause a familial, albeit rare, form of disease. In both sporadic and familial disease, studies have provided evidence that microtubule mediated deficits in axonal transport are the tipping point for MN survivability. Axonal transport deficits would lead to abnormal mitochondrial recycling, decreased vesicle and mRNA transport and limited signaling of key survival factors from the neurons peripheral synapses, causing the characteristic peripheral “die back”. This disruption to microtubule dependant transport in ALS has been shown to result from alterations in the phenomenon of microtubule dynamic instability: the rapid growth and shrinkage of microtubule polymers. This is accomplished primarily due to aberrant alterations to microtubule associated proteins (MAPs) that regulate microtubule stability. Indeed, the current literature would argue that microtubule stability, particularly alterations in their dynamics, may be the initial driving force behind many familial and sporadic insults in ALS. Pharmacological stabilization of the microtubule network offers an attractive therapeutic strategy in ALS; indeed it has shown promise in many neurological disorders, ALS

  15. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Non-linear dynamics in biological microtubules: solitons and dissipation-free energy transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mavromatos, Nick E.

    2017-08-01

    I review some recent developments concerning soliton solutions in biological microtubules and their significance in transferring energy without dissipation. I discuss various types of soliton solutions, as well as ‘spikes’, of the associated non-linear Lagrange equations describing the dynamics of a ‘pseudo-spin non-linear σ-model’ that models the dynamics of a microtubule system with dipole-dipole interactions. These results will hopefully contribute to a better understanding of the functional properties of microtubules, including the motor protein dynamics and the information transfer processes. With regards to the latter we also speculate on the use of microtubules as ‘logical’ gates. Our considerations are classical, but the soliton solutions may have a microscopic quantum origin, which we briefly touch upon.

  20. The microtubule lattice and plus-end association of Drosophila Mini spindles is spatially regulated to fine-tune microtubule dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Currie, Joshua D.; Stewman, Shannon; Schimizzi, Gregory; Slep, Kevin C.; Ma, Ao; Rogers, Stephen L.

    2011-01-01

    Individual microtubules (MTs) exhibit dynamic instability, a behavior in which they cycle between phases of growth and shrinkage while the total amount of MT polymer remains constant. Dynamic instability is promoted by the conserved XMAP215/Dis1 family of microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs). In this study, we conducted an in vivo structure–function analysis of the Drosophila homologue Mini spindles (Msps). Msps exhibits EB1-dependent and spatially regulated MT localization, targeting to microtubule plus ends in the cell interior and decorating the lattice of growing and shrinking microtubules in the cell periphery. RNA interference rescue experiments revealed that the NH2-terminal four TOG domains of Msps function as paired units and were sufficient to promote microtubule dynamics and EB1 comet formation. We also identified TOG5 and novel inter-TOG linker motifs that are required for targeting Msps to the microtubule lattice. These novel microtubule contact sites are necessary for the interplay between the conserved TOG domains and inter-TOG MT binding that underlies the ability of Msps to promote MT dynamic instability. PMID:21965297

  1. GDP-tubulin incorporation into growing microtubules modulates polymer stability.

    PubMed

    Valiron, Odile; Arnal, Isabelle; Caudron, Nicolas; Job, Didier

    2010-06-04

    Microtubule growth proceeds through the endwise addition of nucleotide-bound tubulin dimers. The microtubule wall is composed of GDP-tubulin subunits, which are thought to come exclusively from the incorporation of GTP-tubulin complexes at microtubule ends followed by GTP hydrolysis within the polymer. The possibility of a direct GDP-tubulin incorporation into growing polymers is regarded as hardly compatible with recent structural data. Here, we have examined GTP-tubulin and GDP-tubulin incorporation into polymerizing microtubules using a minimal assembly system comprised of nucleotide-bound tubulin dimers, in the absence of free nucleotide. We find that GDP-tubulin complexes can efficiently co-polymerize with GTP-tubulin complexes during microtubule assembly. GDP-tubulin incorporation into microtubules occurs with similar efficiency during bulk microtubule assembly as during microtubule growth from seeds or centrosomes. Microtubules formed from GTP-tubulin/GDP-tubulin mixtures display altered microtubule dynamics, in particular a decreased shrinkage rate, apparently due to intrinsic modifications of the polymer disassembly properties. Thus, although microtubules polymerized from GTP-tubulin/GDP-tubulin mixtures or from homogeneous GTP-tubulin solutions are both composed of GDP-tubulin subunits, they have different dynamic properties, and this may reveal a novel form of microtubule "structural plasticity."

  2. GDP-Tubulin Incorporation into Growing Microtubules Modulates Polymer Stability*

    PubMed Central

    Valiron, Odile; Arnal, Isabelle; Caudron, Nicolas; Job, Didier

    2010-01-01

    Microtubule growth proceeds through the endwise addition of nucleotide-bound tubulin dimers. The microtubule wall is composed of GDP-tubulin subunits, which are thought to come exclusively from the incorporation of GTP-tubulin complexes at microtubule ends followed by GTP hydrolysis within the polymer. The possibility of a direct GDP-tubulin incorporation into growing polymers is regarded as hardly compatible with recent structural data. Here, we have examined GTP-tubulin and GDP-tubulin incorporation into polymerizing microtubules using a minimal assembly system comprised of nucleotide-bound tubulin dimers, in the absence of free nucleotide. We find that GDP-tubulin complexes can efficiently co-polymerize with GTP-tubulin complexes during microtubule assembly. GDP-tubulin incorporation into microtubules occurs with similar efficiency during bulk microtubule assembly as during microtubule growth from seeds or centrosomes. Microtubules formed from GTP-tubulin/GDP-tubulin mixtures display altered microtubule dynamics, in particular a decreased shrinkage rate, apparently due to intrinsic modifications of the polymer disassembly properties. Thus, although microtubules polymerized from GTP-tubulin/GDP-tubulin mixtures or from homogeneous GTP-tubulin solutions are both composed of GDP-tubulin subunits, they have different dynamic properties, and this may reveal a novel form of microtubule “structural plasticity.” PMID:20371874

  3. Microtubule-Binding R3 Fragment from Tau Self-Assembles into Giant Multistranded Amyloid Ribbons.

    PubMed

    Adamcik, Jozef; Sánchez-Ferrer, Antoni; Ait-Bouziad, Nadine; Reynolds, Nicholas P; Lashuel, Hilal A; Mezzenga, Raffaele

    2016-01-11

    Tau protein and its fragments self-assemble into amyloid fibrils in the presence of polyanions, such as heparin. By combining microscopy, scattering, and spectroscopy techniques, we studied the aggregation of the 26-mer Tau-derived peptide alone, Tau(306-327), the third repeat fragment (R3) of the microtubule-binding domain. We show that: i) the sole Tau(306-327) can self-assemble into amyloid fibrils without the need of aggregation-promoting polyanions; ii) the resulting structures consist of surprisingly large, well-ordered 2D laminated flat ribbons, with a log-normal distribution of the lateral width, reaching the unprecedented lateral size of 350 nm and/or 45 individual protofilaments, that is, the largest amyloid laminated structures ever observed for Tau or any other amyloidogenic sequence. Our results provide insight into the molecular determinants of Tau aggregation and open new perspectives in the understanding of the assembly of amyloid fibrils and β-sheet-based biomaterials. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  4. Integrated modeling methodology for microtubule dynamics and Taxol kinetics with experimentally identifiable parameters.

    PubMed

    Zhao, He; Sokhansanj, Bahrad A

    2007-10-01

    Microtubule dynamics play a critical role in cell function and stress response, modulating mitosis, morphology, signaling, and transport. Drugs such as paclitaxel (Taxol) can impact tubulin polymerization and affect microtubule dynamics. While theoretical methods have been previously proposed to simulate microtubule dynamics, we develop a methodology here that can be used to compare model predictions with experimental data. Our model is a hybrid of (1) a simple two-state stochastic formulation of tubulin polymerization kinetics and (2) an equilibrium approximation for the chemical kinetics of Taxol drug binding to microtubule ends. Model parameters are biologically realistic, with values taken directly from experimental measurements. Model validation is conducted against published experimental data comparing optical measurements of microtubule dynamics in cultured cells under normal and Taxol-treated conditions. To compare model predictions with experimental data requires applying a "windowing" strategy on the spatiotemporal resolution of the simulation. From a biological perspective, this is consistent with interpreting the microtubule "pause" phenomenon as at least partially an artifact of spatiotemporal resolution limits on experimental measurement.

  5. Differential effects of natural product microtubule stabilizers on microtubule assembly: single agent and combination studies with taxol, epothilone B, and discodermolide.

    PubMed

    Gertsch, Jürg; Meier, Sarah; Müller, Martin; Altmann, Karl-Heinz

    2009-01-05

    A systematic comparison has been performed of the morphology and stability of microtubules (MTs) induced by the potent microtubule-stabilizing agents (MSAs) taxol, epothilone B (Epo B), and discodermolide (DDM) under GTP-free conditions. DDM-induced tubulin polymerization occurred significantly faster than that induced by taxol and Epo B. At the same time, tubulin polymers assembled from soluble tubulin by DDM were morphologically distinct (shorter and less ordered) from those induced by either taxol or Epo B, as demonstrated by electron microscopy. Exposure of MSA-induced tubulin polymers to ultrasound revealed the DDM-based polymers to be less stable to this type of physical stress than those formed with either Epo B or taxol. Interestingly, MT assembly in the presence of both DDM and taxol appeared to produce a distinct new type of MT polymer with a mixed morphology between those of DDM- and taxol-induced structures. The observed differences in MT morphology and stability might be related, at least partly, to differences in intramicrotubular tubulin isotype distribution, as DDM showed a different pattern of beta-tubulin isotype usage in the assembly process.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  7. Microtubule catastrophe and rescue.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Melissa K; Zanic, Marija; Howard, Jonathon

    2013-02-01

    Microtubules are long cylindrical polymers composed of tubulin subunits. In cells, microtubules play an essential role in architecture and motility. For example, microtubules give shape to cells, serve as intracellular transport tracks, and act as key elements in important cellular structures such as axonemes and mitotic spindles. To accomplish these varied functions, networks of microtubules in cells are very dynamic, continuously remodeling through stochastic length fluctuations at the ends of individual microtubules. The dynamic behavior at the end of an individual microtubule is termed 'dynamic instability'. This behavior manifests itself by periods of persistent microtubule growth interrupted by occasional switching to rapid shrinkage (called microtubule 'catastrophe'), and then by switching back from shrinkage to growth (called microtubule 'rescue'). In this review, we summarize recent findings which provide new insights into the mechanisms of microtubule catastrophe and rescue, and discuss the impact of these findings in regards to the role of microtubule dynamics inside of cells. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Microtubule Catastrophe and Rescue

    PubMed Central

    Gardner, Melissa K.; Zanic, Marija; Howard, Jonathon

    2012-01-01

    Microtubules are long cylindrical polymers composed of tubulin subunits. In cells, microtubules play an essential role in architecture and motility. For example, microtubules give shape to cells, serve as intracellular transport tracks, and act as key elements in important cellular structures such as axonemes and mitotic spindles. To accomplish these varied functions, networks of microtubules in cells are very dynamic, continuously remodeling through stochastic length fluctuations at the ends of individual microtubules. The dynamic behavior at the end of an individual microtubule is termed “dynamic instability”. This behavior manifests itself by periods of persistent microtubule growth interrupted by occasional switching to rapid shrinkage (called microtubule `catastrophe'), and then by switching back from shrinkage to growth (called microtubule `rescue'). In this review, we summarize recent findings which provide new insights into the mechanisms of microtubule catastrophe and rescue, and discuss the impact of these findings in regards to the role of microtubule dynamics inside of cells. PMID:23092753

  9. Kinetochore microtubule dynamics and the metaphase-anaphase transition.

    PubMed

    Zhai, Y; Kronebusch, P J; Borisy, G G

    1995-11-01

    We have quantitatively studied the dynamic behavior of kinetochore fiber microtubules (kMTs); both turnover and poleward transport (flux) in metaphase and anaphase mammalian cells by fluorescence photoactivation. Tubulin derivatized with photoactivatable fluorescein was microinjected into prometaphase LLC-PK and PtK1 cells and allowed to incorporate to steady-state. A fluorescent bar was generated across the MTs in a half-spindle of the mitotic cells using laser irradiation and the kinetics of fluorescence redistribution were determined in terms of a double exponential decay process. The movement of the activated zone was also measured along with chromosome movement and spindle elongation. To investigate the possible regulation of MT transport at the metaphase-anaphase transition, we performed double photoactivation analyses on the same spindles as the cell advanced from metaphase to anaphase. We determined values for the turnover of kMTs (t1/2 = 7.1 +/- 2.4 min at 30 degrees C) and demonstrated that the turnover of kMTs in metaphase is approximately an order of magnitude slower than that for non-kMTs. In anaphase, kMTs become dramatically more stable as evidenced by a fivefold increase in the fluorescence redistribution half-time (t1/2 = 37.5 +/- 8.5 min at 30 degrees C). Our results also indicate that MT transport slows abruptly at anaphase onset to one-half the metaphase value. In early anaphase, MT depolymerization at the kinetochore accounted, on average, for 84% of the rate of chromosome movement toward the pole whereas the relative contribution of MT transport and depolymerization at the pole contributed 16%. These properties reflect a dramatic shift in the dynamic behavior of kMTs at the metaphase-anaphase transition. A release-capture model is presented in which the stability of kMTs is increased at the onset of anaphase through a reduction in the probability of MT release from the kinetochore. The reduction in MT transport at the metaphase

  10. 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)

  11. 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)

  12. Dynamic microtubules at the vegetal cortex predict the embryonic axis in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Tran, Long Duc; Hino, Hiromu; Quach, Helen; Lim, Shimin; Shindo, Asako; Mimori-Kiyosue, Yuko; Mione, Marina; Ueno, Naoto; Winkler, Christoph; Hibi, Masahiko; Sampath, Karuna

    2012-10-01

    In zebrafish, as in many animals, maternal dorsal determinants are vegetally localized in the egg and are transported after fertilization in a microtubule-dependent manner. However, the organization of early microtubules, their dynamics and their contribution to axis formation are not fully understood. Using live imaging, we identified two populations of microtubules, perpendicular bundles and parallel arrays, which are directionally oriented and detected exclusively at the vegetal cortex before the first cell division. Perpendicular bundles emanate from the vegetal cortex, extend towards the blastoderm, and orient along the animal-vegetal axis. Parallel arrays become asymmetric on the vegetal cortex, and orient towards dorsal. We show that the orientation of microtubules at 20 minutes post-fertilization can predict where the embryonic dorsal structures in zebrafish will form. Furthermore, we find that parallel microtubule arrays colocalize with wnt8a RNA, the candidate maternal dorsal factor. Vegetal cytoplasmic granules are displaced with parallel arrays by ~20°, providing in vivo evidence of a cortical rotation-like process in zebrafish. Cortical displacement requires parallel microtubule arrays, and probably contributes to asymmetric transport of maternal determinants. Formation of parallel arrays depends on Ca(2+) signaling. Thus, microtubule polarity and organization predicts the zebrafish embryonic axis. In addition, our results suggest that cortical rotation-like processes might be more common in early development than previously thought.

  13. 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

  14. 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. © 2015 Hori et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  15. Desmosome assembly and dynamics.

    PubMed

    Nekrasova, Oxana; Green, Kathleen J

    2013-11-01

    Desmosomes are intercellular junctions that anchor intermediate filaments (IFs) 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.

  16. Microtubule dynamics in the peripheral nervous system: A matter of balance.

    PubMed

    Almeida-Souza, Leonardo; Timmerman, Vincent; Janssens, Sophie

    2011-11-01

    The special architecture of neurons in the peripheral nervous system, with axons extending for long distances, represents a major challenge for the intracellular transport system. Two recent studies show that mutations in the small heat shock protein HSPB1, which cause an axonal type of Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) neuropathy, affect microtubule dynamics and impede axonal transport. Intriguingly, while at presymptomatic age the neurons in the mutant HSPB1 mouse show a hyperstable microtubule network, at postsymptomatic age, the microtubule network completely lost its stability as reflected by a marked decrease in tubulin acetylation levels. We here propose a model explaining the role of microtubule stabilization and tubulin acetylation in the pathogenesis of HSPB1 mutations.

  17. Active sliding between cytoplasmic microtubules.

    PubMed

    Koonce, M P; Tong, J; Euteneuer, U; Schliwa, M

    Microtubules are versatile cellular polymers that play a role in cell shape determination and mediate various motile processes such as ciliary and flagellar bending, chromosome movements and organelle transport. That a sliding microtubule mechanism can generate force has been demonstrated in highly ordered structures such as axonemes, and microtubule-based force generation almost certainly contributes to the function of mitotic and meiotic spindles. Most cytoplasmic microtubule arrays, however, do not exhibit the structural regularity of axonemes and some spindles, and often appear disorganized. Yet many cellular activities (such as shape changes during morphogenesis, axonal extension and spindle assembly) involve highly coordinated microtubule behaviour and possibly require force generated by an intermicrotubule sliding mechanism, or perhaps use sliding to move microtubules rapidly into a protrusion for stabilization. Here we show that active sliding between cytoplasmic microtubules can occur in microtubule bundles of the amoeba Reticulomyxa. A force-producing mechanism of this sort could be used by this organism to facilitate the extension of cell processes and to generate the dynamic movements of the cytoplasmic network.

  18. Altered microtubule dynamics in neurodegenerative disease: Therapeutic potential of microtubule-stabilizing drugs.

    PubMed

    Brunden, Kurt R; Lee, Virginia M-Y; Smith, Amos B; Trojanowski, John Q; Ballatore, Carlo

    2017-09-01

    Many neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by deficiencies in neuronal axonal transport, a process in which cellular cargo is shuttled with the aid of molecular motors from the cell body to axonal termini and back along microtubules (MTs). Proper axonal transport is critical to the normal functioning of neurons, and impairments in this process could contribute to the neuronal damage and death that is characteristic of neurodegenerative disease. Although the causes of axonal transport abnormalities may vary among the various neurodegenerative conditions, in many cases it appears that the transport deficiencies result from a diminution of axonal MT stability. Here we review the evidence of MT abnormalities in a number of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and traumatic brain injury, and highlight the potential benefit of MT-stabilizing agents in improving axonal transport and nerve function in these diseases. Moreover, we discuss the challenges associated with the utilization of MT-stabilizing drugs as therapeutic candidates for neurodegenerative conditions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Elastic and damping forces generated by confined arrays of dynamic microtubules.

    PubMed

    Howard, J

    2006-02-28

    In addition to serving as structural elements and as tracks for motor proteins, microtubules use chemical energy derived from the hydrolysis of GTP to generate forces when growing and shrinking. These forces are used to push or pull on organelles such as chromosomes and the mitotic spindle. If an array of microtubules grows out from a nucleation site and is confined by the periphery of the cell, pushing and pulling forces can give rise to interesting collective phenomena. In this paper, I show that pushing forces center the array provided that the microtubules are dynamic in the sense that they switch from pushing to shrinking after reaching the periphery. Microtubule dynamics of free ends is neither necessary nor sufficient for centering. Buckling can augment the centering force. For small displacements and velocities, the array can be modeled very simply as a damped spring. The dynamic stiffness of the array is orders of magnitude smaller than its static stiffness, and the relaxation time is on the order of the time that it takes for a microtubule to grow from the center to the periphery. Replacement of a dynamic polymer array with an equivalent mechanical circuit provides a bridge between molecular and cellular mechanics.

  20. Kinesin-8 effects on mitotic microtubule dynamics contribute to spindle function in fission yeast

    PubMed Central

    Gergely, Zachary R.; Crapo, Ammon; Hough, Loren E.; McIntosh, J. Richard; Betterton, Meredith D.

    2016-01-01

    Kinesin-8 motor proteins destabilize microtubules. Their absence during cell division is associated with disorganized mitotic chromosome movements and chromosome loss. Despite recent work studying effects of kinesin-8s on microtubule dynamics, it remains unclear whether the kinesin-8 mitotic phenotypes are consequences of their effect on microtubule dynamics, their well-established motor activity, or additional, unknown functions. To better understand the role of kinesin-8 proteins in mitosis, we studied the effects of deletion of the fission yeast kinesin-8 proteins Klp5 and Klp6 on chromosome movements and spindle length dynamics. Aberrant microtubule-driven kinetochore pushing movements and tripolar mitotic spindles occurred in cells lacking Klp5 but not Klp6. Kinesin-8–deletion strains showed large fluctuations in metaphase spindle length, suggesting a disruption of spindle length stabilization. Comparison of our results from light microscopy with a mathematical model suggests that kinesin-8–induced effects on microtubule dynamics, kinetochore attachment stability, and sliding force in the spindle can explain the aberrant chromosome movements and spindle length fluctuations seen. PMID:27146110

  1. Polo-like kinase-1 regulates kinetochore–microtubule dynamics and spindle checkpoint silencing

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Dan; Davydenko, Olga

    2012-01-01

    Polo-like kinase-1 (Plk1) is a highly conserved kinase with multiple mitotic functions. Plk1 localizes to prometaphase kinetochores and is reduced at metaphase kinetochores, similar to many checkpoint signaling proteins, but Plk1 is not required for spindle checkpoint function. Plk1 is also implicated in stabilizing kinetochore–microtubule attachments, but these attachments are most stable when kinetochore Plk1 levels are low at metaphase. Therefore, it is unclear how Plk1 function at kinetochores can be understood in the context of its dynamic localization. In this paper, we show that Plk1 activity suppresses kinetochore–microtubule dynamics to stabilize initial attachments in prometaphase, and Plk1 removal from kinetochores is necessary to maintain dynamic microtubules in metaphase. Constitutively targeting Plk1 to kinetochores maintained high activity at metaphase, leading to reduced interkinetochore tension and intrakinetochore stretch, a checkpoint-dependent mitotic arrest, and accumulation of microtubule attachment errors. Together, our data show that Plk1 dynamics at kinetochores control two critical mitotic processes: initially establishing correct kinetochore–microtubule attachments and subsequently silencing the spindle checkpoint. PMID:22908307

  2. Caenorhabditis elegans oocyte meiotic spindle pole assembly requires microtubule severing and the calponin homology domain protein ASPM-1

    PubMed Central

    Connolly, Amy A.; Osterberg, Valerie; Christensen, Sara; Price, Meredith; Lu, Chenggang; Chicas-Cruz, Kathy; Lockery, Shawn; Mains, Paul E.; Bowerman, Bruce

    2014-01-01

    In many animals, including vertebrates, oocyte meiotic spindles are bipolar but assemble in the absence of centrosomes. Although meiotic spindle positioning in oocytes has been investigated extensively, much less is known about their assembly. In Caenorhabditis elegans, three genes previously shown to contribute to oocyte meiotic spindle assembly are the calponin homology domain protein encoded by aspm-1, the katanin family member mei-1, and the kinesin-12 family member klp-18. We isolated temperature-sensitive alleles of all three and investigated their requirements using live-cell imaging to reveal previously undocumented requirements for aspm-1 and mei-1. Our results indicate that bipolar but abnormal oocyte meiotic spindles assemble in aspm-1(-) embryos, whereas klp-18(-) and mei-1(-) mutants assemble monopolar and apolar spindles, respectively. Furthermore, two MEI-1 functions—ASPM-1 recruitment to the spindle and microtubule severing—both contribute to monopolar spindle assembly in klp-18(-) mutants. We conclude that microtubule severing and ASPM-1 both promote meiotic spindle pole assembly in C. elegans oocytes, whereas the kinesin 12 family member KLP-18 promotes spindle bipolarity. PMID:24554763

  3. Microtubule dynamic instability: A new model with coupled GTP hydrolysis and multistep catastrophe

    PubMed Central

    Bowne-Anderson, Hugo; Zanic, Marija; Kauer, Monika; Howard, Jonathon

    2013-01-01

    A key question in understanding microtubule dynamics is how GTP hydrolysis leads to catastrophe, the switch from slow growth to rapid shrinkage. We first provide a review of the experimental and modeling literature, and then present a new model of microtubule dynamics. We demonstrate that vectorial, random, and coupled hydrolysis mechanisms are not consistent with the dependence of catastrophe on tubulin concentration and show that, although single-protofilament models can explain many features of dynamics, they do not describe catastrophe as a multistep process. Finally, we present a new combined (coupled plus random hydrolysis) multiple-protofilament model that is a simple, analytically solvable generalization of a single-protofilament model. This model accounts for the observed lifetimes of growing microtubules, the delay to catastrophe following dilution and describes catastrophe as a multistep process. PMID:23532586

  4. Calcium-independent disruption of microtubule dynamics by nanosecond pulsed electric fields in U87 human glioblastoma cells

    PubMed Central

    Carr, Lynn; Bardet, Sylvia M.; Burke, Ryan C.; Arnaud-Cormos, Delia; Leveque, Philippe; O’Connor, Rodney P.

    2017-01-01

    High powered, nanosecond duration, pulsed electric fields (nsPEF) cause cell death by a mechanism that is not fully understood and have been proposed as a targeted cancer therapy. Numerous chemotherapeutics work by disrupting microtubules. As microtubules are affected by electrical fields, this study looks at the possibility of disrupting them electrically with nsPEF. Human glioblastoma cells (U87-MG) treated with 100, 10 ns, 44 kV/cm pulses at a frequency of 10 Hz showed a breakdown of their interphase microtubule network that was accompanied by a reduction in the number of growing microtubules. This effect is temporally linked to loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and independent of cellular swelling and calcium influx, two factors that disrupt microtubule growth dynamics. Super-resolution microscopy revealed microtubule buckling and breaking as a result of nsPEF application, suggesting that nsPEF may act directly on microtubules. PMID:28117459

  5. Calcium-independent disruption of microtubule dynamics by nanosecond pulsed electric fields in U87 human glioblastoma cells.

    PubMed

    Carr, Lynn; Bardet, Sylvia M; Burke, Ryan C; Arnaud-Cormos, Delia; Leveque, Philippe; O'Connor, Rodney P

    2017-01-24

    High powered, nanosecond duration, pulsed electric fields (nsPEF) cause cell death by a mechanism that is not fully understood and have been proposed as a targeted cancer therapy. Numerous chemotherapeutics work by disrupting microtubules. As microtubules are affected by electrical fields, this study looks at the possibility of disrupting them electrically with nsPEF. Human glioblastoma cells (U87-MG) treated with 100, 10 ns, 44 kV/cm pulses at a frequency of 10 Hz showed a breakdown of their interphase microtubule network that was accompanied by a reduction in the number of growing microtubules. This effect is temporally linked to loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and independent of cellular swelling and calcium influx, two factors that disrupt microtubule growth dynamics. Super-resolution microscopy revealed microtubule buckling and breaking as a result of nsPEF application, suggesting that nsPEF may act directly on microtubules.

  6. BRCA1 regulates microtubule dynamics and taxane-induced apoptotic cell signaling

    PubMed Central

    Sung, M; Giannakakou, P

    2013-01-01

    The taxanes are effective microtubule-stabilizing chemotherapy drugs used in the treatment of various solid tumors. However, the emergence of drug resistance hampers their clinical efficacy. The molecular basis of clinical taxane resistance remains poorly understood. Breast cancer 1, early onset gene, BRCA1, is a tumor-suppressor gene, whose expression has been correlated with taxane sensitivity in many solid tumors including non-small cell lung cancer. However, the molecular mechanism underlying the relationship between BRCA1 (B1) expression and taxane activity remains unclear. To this end, we created a stable B1 knockdown A549 cell line (B1-KD) to investigate B1’s role in microtubule biology and response to taxane treatment. We show that B1-KD rendered A549 cells resistant to paclitaxel (PTX), phenocopying clinical studies showing that low B1 expression correlated with taxane resistance. As previously reported, we show that loss of B1 enhanced centrosomal γ-tubulin localization and microtubule nucleation. Interestingly, we found that the B1-KD cells exhibited increased microtubule dynamics as compared with parental A549 cells, as assessed by live-cell confocal microscopy using enhanced green fluorescent protein-tagged α-tubulin or EB1 protein. In addition, we showed that loss of B1 impairs the ability of PTX to induce microtubule polymerization using immunofluorescence microscopy and a cell-based tubulin polymerization assay. Furthermore, B1-KD cells exhibited significantly lower intracellular binding of a fluorescently labeled PTX to microtubules. Recent studies have shown that PTX-stabilized microtubules serves as a scaffold for pro-caspase-8 binding and induction of apoptosis downstream of induced-proximity activation of caspase-8. Here we show that loss of B1 reduces the association of pro-caspase-8 with microtubules and subsequently leads to impaired PTX-induced activation of apoptosis. Taken together, our data show that B1 regulates indirectly

  7. 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

  8. 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

    2014-08-04

    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.

  9. Myosin-Va and Dynamic Actin Oppose Microtubules to Drive Long-Range Organelle Transport

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2014-01-01

    Summary 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 [1–8]. 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 [2]. 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 [5, 9]. 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 [10, 11]. PMID:25065759

  10. Autoinhibition of TBCB regulates EB1-mediated microtubule dynamics.

    PubMed

    Carranza, Gerardo; Castaño, Raquel; Fanarraga, Mónica L; Villegas, Juan Carlos; Gonçalves, João; Soares, Helena; Avila, Jesus; Marenchino, Marco; Campos-Olivas, Ramón; Montoya, Guillermo; Zabala, Juan Carlos

    2013-01-01

    Tubulin cofactors (TBCs) participate in the folding, dimerization, and dissociation pathways of the tubulin dimer. Among them, TBCB and TBCE are two CAP-Gly domain-containing proteins that together efficiently interact with and dissociate the tubulin dimer. In the study reported here we showed that TBCB localizes at spindle and midzone microtubules during mitosis. Furthermore, the motif DEI/M-COO(-) present in TBCB, which is similar to the EEY/F-COO(-) element characteristic of EB proteins, CLIP-170, and α-tubulin, is required for TBCE-TBCB heterodimer formation and thus for tubulin dimer dissociation. This motif is responsible for TBCB autoinhibition, and our analysis suggests that TBCB is a monomer in solution. Mutants of TBCB lacking this motif are derepressed and induce microtubule depolymerization through an interaction with EB1 associated with microtubule tips. TBCB is also able to bind to the chaperonin complex CCT containing α-tubulin, suggesting that it could escort tubulin to facilitate its folding and dimerization, recycling or degradation.

  11. Microtubule dynamics from mating through the first zygotic division in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Maddox, P; Chin, E; Mallavarapu, A; Yeh, E; Salmon, E D; Bloom, K

    1999-03-08

    We have used time-lapse digital imaging microscopy to examine cytoplasmic astral microtubules (Mts) and spindle dynamics during the mating pathway in budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mating begins when two cells of opposite mating type come into proximity. The cells arrest in the G1 phase of the cell cycle and grow a projection towards one another forming a shmoo projection. Imaging of microtubule dynamics with green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusions to dynein or tubulin revealed that the nucleus and spindle pole body (SPB) became oriented and tethered to the shmoo tip by a Mt-dependent search and capture mechanism. Dynamically unstable astral Mts were captured at the shmoo tip forming a bundle of three or four astral Mts. This bundle changed length as the tethered nucleus and SPB oscillated toward and away from the shmoo tip at growth and shortening velocities typical of free plus end astral Mts (approximately 0.5 micrometer/min). Fluorescent fiduciary marks in Mt bundles showed that Mt growth and shortening occurred primarily at the shmoo tip, not the SPB. This indicates that Mt plus end assembly/disassembly was coupled to pushing and pulling of the nucleus. Upon cell fusion, a fluorescent bar of Mts was formed between the two shmoo tip bundles, which slowly shortened (0.23 +/- 0.07 micrometer/min) as the two nuclei and their SPBs came together and fused (karyogamy). Bud emergence occurred adjacent to the fused SPB approximately 30 min after SPB fusion. During the first mitosis, the SPBs separated as the spindle elongated at a constant velocity (0.75 micrometer/min) into the zygotic bud. There was no indication of a temporal delay at the 2-micrometer stage of spindle morphogenesis or a lag in Mt nucleation by replicated SPBs as occurs in vegetative mitosis implying a lack of normal checkpoints. Thus, the shmoo tip appears to be a new model system for studying Mt plus end dynamic attachments and much like higher eukaryotes, the first mitosis after haploid

  12. Microtubule Dynamics from Mating through the First Zygotic Division in the Budding Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    PubMed Central

    Maddox, Paul; Chin, E.; Mallavarapu, A.; Yeh, E.; Salmon, E.D.; Bloom, K.

    1999-01-01

    We have used time-lapse digital imaging microscopy to examine cytoplasmic astral microtubules (Mts) and spindle dynamics during the mating pathway in budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mating begins when two cells of opposite mating type come into proximity. The cells arrest in the G1 phase of the cell cycle and grow a projection towards one another forming a shmoo projection. Imaging of microtubule dynamics with green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusions to dynein or tubulin revealed that the nucleus and spindle pole body (SPB) became oriented and tethered to the shmoo tip by a Mt-dependent search and capture mechanism. Dynamically unstable astral Mts were captured at the shmoo tip forming a bundle of three or four astral Mts. This bundle changed length as the tethered nucleus and SPB oscillated toward and away from the shmoo tip at growth and shortening velocities typical of free plus end astral Mts (∼0.5 μm/min). Fluorescent fiduciary marks in Mt bundles showed that Mt growth and shortening occurred primarily at the shmoo tip, not the SPB. This indicates that Mt plus end assembly/disassembly was coupled to pushing and pulling of the nucleus. Upon cell fusion, a fluorescent bar of Mts was formed between the two shmoo tip bundles, which slowly shortened (0.23 ± 0.07 μm/min) as the two nuclei and their SPBs came together and fused (karyogamy). Bud emergence occurred adjacent to the fused SPB ∼30 min after SPB fusion. During the first mitosis, the SPBs separated as the spindle elongated at a constant velocity (0.75 μm/min) into the zygotic bud. There was no indication of a temporal delay at the 2-μm stage of spindle morphogenesis or a lag in Mt nucleation by replicated SPBs as occurs in vegetative mitosis implying a lack of normal checkpoints. Thus, the shmoo tip appears to be a new model system for studying Mt plus end dynamic attachments and much like higher eukaryotes, the first mitosis after haploid cell fusion in budding yeast may forgo cell cycle

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Mechanism of action of antitumor drugs that interact with microtubules and tubulin.

    PubMed

    Jordan, M A

    2002-01-01

    Microtubules, major structural components in cells, are the target of a large and diverse group of natural product anticancer drugs. Given the success of this class of drugs in cancer treatment, it can be argued that microtubules represent the single best cancer target identified to date. Microtubules are highly dynamic assemblies of the protein tubulin. They readily polymerize and depolymerize in cells, and they undergo two interesting kinds of dynamics called dynamic instability and treadmilling. These dynamic behaviors are crucial to mitosis, the process of chromosomal division to form new cells. Microtubule dynamics are highly regulated during the cell cycle by endogenous cellular regulators. In addition, many antitumor drugs and natural compounds alter the polymerization dynamics of microtubules, blocking mitosis, and consequently, inducing cell death by apoptosis. These drugs include several that inhibit microtubule polymerization at high drug concentrations, namely, the Vinca alkaloids, cryptophycins, halichondrins, estramustine, and colchicine. Another group of these compounds stimulates microtubule polymerization and stabilizes microtubules at high concentrations. These include Taxol, Taxotere, eleutherobins, epothilones, laulimalide, sarcodictyins, and discodermolide. Importantly, considerable evidence indicates that, at lower concentrations, these drugs have a common mechanism of action; they suppress the dynamics of microtubules without appreciably changing the mass of microtubules in the cell. The drugs bind to diverse sites on tubulin and at different positions within the microtubule, and they have diverse effects on microtubule dynamics. However, by their common mechanism of suppression microtubule dynamics, they all block mitosis at the metaphase/anaphase transition, and induce cell death.

  16. Mirror-symmetric microtubule assembly and cell interactions drive lumen formation in the zebrafish neural rod

    PubMed Central

    Buckley, Clare E; Ren, Xiaoyun; Ward, Laura C; Girdler, Gemma C; Araya, Claudio; Green, Mary J; Clark, Brian S; Link, Brian A; Clarke, Jonathan D W

    2013-01-01

    By analysing the cellular and subcellular events that occur in the centre of the developing zebrafish neural rod, we have uncovered a novel mechanism of cell polarisation during lumen formation. Cells from each side of the neural rod interdigitate across the tissue midline. This is necessary for localisation of apical junctional proteins to the region where cells intersect the tissue midline. Cells assemble a mirror-symmetric microtubule cytoskeleton around the tissue midline, which is necessary for the trafficking of proteins required for normal lumen formation, such as partitioning defective 3 and Rab11a to this point. This occurs in advance and is independent of the midline cell division that has been shown to have a powerful role in lumen organisation. To our knowledge, this is the first example of the initiation of apical polarisation part way along the length of a cell, rather than at a cell extremity. Although the midline division is not necessary for apical polarisation, it confers a morphogenetic advantage by efficiently eliminating cellular processes that would otherwise bridge the developing lumen. PMID:23202854

  17. The acetylation of alpha-tubulin and its relationship to the assembly and disassembly of microtubules

    PubMed Central

    1986-01-01

    A tight association between Chlamydomonas alpha-tubulin acetyltransferase (TAT) and flagellar axonemes, and the cytoplasmic localization of both tubulin deacetylase (TDA) and an inhibitor of tubulin acetylation have been demonstrated by the use of calf brain tubulin as substrate for these enzymes. A major axonemal TAT of 130 kD has been solubilized by high salt treatment, purified, and characterized. Using the Chlamydomonas TAT with brain tubulin as substrate, we have studied the effects of acetylation on the assembly and disassembly of microtubules in vitro. We also determined the relative rates of acetylation of tubulin dimers and polymers. The acetylation does not significantly affect the temperature-dependent polymerization or depolymerization of tubulin in vitro. Furthermore, polymerization of tubulin is not a prerequisite for the acetylation, although the polymer is a better substrate for TAT than the dimer. The acetylation is sensitive to calcium ions which completely inhibit the acetylation of both dimers and polymers of tubulin. Acetylation of the dimer is not inhibited by colchicine; the effect of colchicine on acetylation of the polymer can be explained by its depolymerizing effect on the polymer. PMID:3733880

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. The dynamic nature of mollusc egg surface architecture and its relation to the microtubule network.

    PubMed

    Tyler, Sheena E B; Kimber, Susan J

    2006-01-01

    Dynamic changes in the surface architecture pattern of embryos of the slipper limpet (Crepidula fornicata, Mollusca) were found in this study to correlate with the dynamic activity and pattern of the underlying mitotic spindle microtubule network, revealed by fluorescent labelling and confocal imaging techniques. Examination of a series of optical sections indicate that this network appears to be spatially co-ordinated together as a whole throughout the embryo. The microtubule pattern also associated with abnormal multipolar spindles resulting from an applied static magnetic field, indicating that the pattern may be generated by a natural endogenous field source. The patterning characteristics of the surface and microtubule network together provide further morphological evidence for a primary morphogenetic or developmental field system which organises the primary body axis and co-ordinates the pattern of cleavage.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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. In this research, we have purified and characterized 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.

  2. Dynamic interactions of fluorescently labeled microtubule-associated proteins in living cells

    PubMed Central

    1984-01-01

    Microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) from calf brain were fluorescently labeled with 6-iodoacetamido fluorescein (I-AF). The modified MAPs (especially enriched for MAP2) were fully active in promoting tubulin polymerization in vitro and readily associated with cytoplasmic filaments when microinjected into living cultured cells. Double-labeling experiments indicated that the microinjected AF-MAPs were incorporated predominantly, if not exclusively, into cytoplasmic microtubules in untreated cells or paracrystals induced within vinblastine-treated cells. Similar results were obtained with different cell types (neuronal, epithelial, and fibroblastic) of diverse origin (man, mouse, chicken, and rat kangaroo). Mobility measurements of the microinjected AF-MAPs using the method of fluorescence-photobleaching recovery (FPR) revealed two populations of AF-MAPs with distinct dynamic properties: One fraction represents the soluble pool of MAPs and is mobile with a diffusion coefficient of D = 3 X 10(-9) cm2/s. The other fraction of MAPs is associated with the microtubules and is essentially immobile on the time scale of FPR experiments. However, it showed slow fluorescence recovery with an apparent half time of approximately 5 min. The slow recovery of fluorescence on defined photobleached microtubules occurred most probably by the incorporation of AF-MAPs from the soluble cytoplasmic pool into the bleached area. The bleached spot on defined microtubules remained essentially immobile during the slow recovery phase. These results suggest that MAPs can associate in vivo with microtubules of diverse cell types and that treadmilling of MAP2-containing microtubules in vivo, if it exists, is slower than 4 micron/h. PMID:6547721

  3. Global up-regulation of microtubule dynamics and polarity reversal during regeneration of an axon from a dendrite.

    PubMed

    Stone, Michelle C; Nguyen, Michelle M; Tao, Juan; Allender, Dana L; Rolls, Melissa M

    2010-03-01

    Axon regeneration is crucial for recovery after trauma to the nervous system. For neurons to recover from complete axon removal they must respecify a dendrite as an axon: a complete reversal of polarity. We show that Drosophila neurons in vivo can convert a dendrite to a regenerating axon and that this process involves rebuilding the entire neuronal microtubule cytoskeleton. Two major microtubule rearrangements are specifically induced by axon and not dendrite removal: 1) 10-fold up-regulation of the number of growing microtubules and 2) microtubule polarity reversal. After one dendrite reverses its microtubules, it initiates tip growth and takes on morphological and molecular characteristics of an axon. Only neurons with a single dendrite that reverses polarity are able to initiate tip growth, and normal microtubule plus-end dynamics are required to initiate this growth. In addition, we find that JNK signaling is required for both the up-regulation of microtubule dynamics and microtubule polarity reversal initiated by axon injury. We conclude that regulation of microtubule dynamics and polarity in response to JNK signaling is key to initiating regeneration of an axon from a dendrite.

  4. Global Up-Regulation of Microtubule Dynamics and Polarity Reversal during Regeneration of an Axon from a Dendrite

    PubMed Central

    Stone, Michelle C.; Nguyen, Michelle M.; Tao, Juan; Allender, Dana L.

    2010-01-01

    Axon regeneration is crucial for recovery after trauma to the nervous system. For neurons to recover from complete axon removal they must respecify a dendrite as an axon: a complete reversal of polarity. We show that Drosophila neurons in vivo can convert a dendrite to a regenerating axon and that this process involves rebuilding the entire neuronal microtubule cytoskeleton. Two major microtubule rearrangements are specifically induced by axon and not dendrite removal: 1) 10-fold up-regulation of the number of growing microtubules and 2) microtubule polarity reversal. After one dendrite reverses its microtubules, it initiates tip growth and takes on morphological and molecular characteristics of an axon. Only neurons with a single dendrite that reverses polarity are able to initiate tip growth, and normal microtubule plus-end dynamics are required to initiate this growth. In addition, we find that JNK signaling is required for both the up-regulation of microtubule dynamics and microtubule polarity reversal initiated by axon injury. We conclude that regulation of microtubule dynamics and polarity in response to JNK signaling is key to initiating regeneration of an axon from a dendrite. PMID:20053676

  5. 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.

  6. Alterations in Ovarian Cancer Cell Adhesion Drive Taxol Resistance by Increasing Microtubule Dynamics in a FAK-dependent Manner

    PubMed Central

    McGrail, Daniel J.; Khambhati, Niti N.; Qi, Mark X.; Patel, Krishan S.; Ravikumar, Nithin; Brandenburg, Chandler P.; Dawson, Michelle R.

    2015-01-01

    Chemorefractory ovarian cancer patients show extremely poor prognosis. Microtubule-stabilizing Taxol (paclitaxel) is a first-line treatment against ovarian cancer. Despite the close interplay between microtubules and cell adhesion, it remains unknown if chemoresistance alters the way cells adhere to their extracellular environment, a process critical for cancer metastasis. To investigate this, we isolated Taxol-resistant populations of OVCAR3 and SKOV3 ovarian cancer cell lines. Though Taxol-resistant cells neither effluxed more drug nor gained resistance to other chemotherapeutics, they did display increased microtubule dynamics. These changes in microtubule dynamics coincided with faster attachment rates and decreased adhesion strength, which correlated with increased surface β1-integrin expression and decreased focal adhesion formation, respectively. Adhesion strength correlated best with Taxol-sensitivity, and was found to be independent of microtubule polymerization but dependent on focal adhesion kinase (FAK), which was up-regulated in Taxol-resistant cells. FAK inhibition also decreased microtubule dynamics to equal levels in both populations, indicating alterations in adhesive signaling are up-stream of microtubule dynamics. Taken together, this work demonstrates that Taxol-resistance dramatically alters how ovarian cancer cells adhere to their extracellular environment causing down-stream increases in microtubule dynamics, providing a therapeutic target that may improve prognosis by not only recovering drug sensitivity, but also decreasing metastasis. PMID:25886093

  7. Alterations in ovarian cancer cell adhesion drive taxol resistance by increasing microtubule dynamics in a FAK-dependent manner.

    PubMed

    McGrail, Daniel J; Khambhati, Niti N; Qi, Mark X; Patel, Krishan S; Ravikumar, Nithin; Brandenburg, Chandler P; Dawson, Michelle R

    2015-04-17

    Chemorefractory ovarian cancer patients show extremely poor prognosis. Microtubule-stabilizing Taxol (paclitaxel) is a first-line treatment against ovarian cancer. Despite the close interplay between microtubules and cell adhesion, it remains unknown if chemoresistance alters the way cells adhere to their extracellular environment, a process critical for cancer metastasis. To investigate this, we isolated Taxol-resistant populations of OVCAR3 and SKOV3 ovarian cancer cell lines. Though Taxol-resistant cells neither effluxed more drug nor gained resistance to other chemotherapeutics, they did display increased microtubule dynamics. These changes in microtubule dynamics coincided with faster attachment rates and decreased adhesion strength, which correlated with increased surface β1-integrin expression and decreased focal adhesion formation, respectively. Adhesion strength correlated best with Taxol-sensitivity, and was found to be independent of microtubule polymerization but dependent on focal adhesion kinase (FAK), which was up-regulated in Taxol-resistant cells. FAK inhibition also decreased microtubule dynamics to equal levels in both populations, indicating alterations in adhesive signaling are up-stream of microtubule dynamics. Taken together, this work demonstrates that Taxol-resistance dramatically alters how ovarian cancer cells adhere to their extracellular environment causing down-stream increases in microtubule dynamics, providing a therapeutic target that may improve prognosis by not only recovering drug sensitivity, but also decreasing metastasis.

  8. Modulation of microtubule dynamics by a TIR domain protein from the intracellular pathogen Brucella melitensis.

    PubMed

    Radhakrishnan, Girish K; Harms, Jerome S; Splitter, Gary A

    2011-10-01

    TIR (Toll/interleukin-1 receptor) domain-containing proteins play a crucial role in innate immunity in eukaryotes. Brucella is a highly infectious intracellular bacterium that encodes a TIR domain protein (TcpB) to subvert host innate immune responses to establish a beneficial niche for pathogenesis. TcpB inhibits NF-κB (nuclear factor κB) activation and pro-inflammatory cytokine secretions mediated by TLR (Toll-like receptor) 2 and TLR4. In the present study, we have demonstrated that TcpB modulates microtubule dynamics by acting as a stabilization factor. TcpB increased the rate of nucleation as well as the polymerization phases of microtubule formation in a similar manner to paclitaxel. TcpB could efficiently inhibit nocodazole- or cold-induced microtubule disassembly. Microtubule stabilization by TcpB is attributed to the BB-loop region of the TIR domain, and a point mutation affected the microtubule stabilization as well as the TLR-suppression properties of TcpB.

  9. RSK2 signals through stathmin to promote microtubule dynamics and tumor metastasis.

    PubMed

    Alesi, G N; Jin, L; Li, D; Magliocca, K R; Kang, Y; Chen, Z G; Shin, D M; Khuri, F R; Kang, S

    2016-10-13

    Metastasis is responsible for >90% of cancer-related deaths. Complex signaling in cancer cells orchestrates the progression from a primary to a metastatic cancer. However, the mechanisms of these cellular changes remain elusive. We previously demonstrated that p90 ribosomal S6 kinase 2 (RSK2) promotes tumor metastasis. Here we investigated the role of RSK2 in the regulation of microtubule dynamics and its potential implication in cancer cell invasion and tumor metastasis. Stable knockdown of RSK2 disrupted microtubule stability and decreased phosphorylation of stathmin, a microtubule-destabilizing protein, at serine 16 in metastatic human cancer cells. We found that RSK2 directly binds and phosphorylates stathmin at the leading edge of cancer cells. Phosphorylation of stathmin by RSK2 reduced stathmin-mediated microtubule depolymerization. Moreover, overexpression of phospho-mimetic mutant stathmin S16D significantly rescued the decreased invasive and metastatic potential mediated by RSK2 knockdown in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, stathmin phosphorylation positively correlated with RSK2 expression and metastatic cancer progression in primary patient tumor samples. Our finding demonstrates that RSK2 directly phosphorylates stathmin and regulates microtubule polymerization to provide a pro-invasive and pro-metastatic advantage to cancer cells. Therefore, the RSK2-stathmin pathway represents a promising therapeutic target and a prognostic marker for metastatic human cancers.

  10. Label-Free Imaging of Single Microtubule Dynamics Using Spatial Light Interference Microscopy.

    PubMed

    Kandel, Mikhail E; Teng, Kai Wen; Selvin, Paul R; Popescu, Gabriel

    2017-01-24

    Due to their diameter, of only 24 nm, single microtubules are extremely challenging to image without the use of extrinsic contrast agents. As a result, fluorescence tagging is the common method to visualize their motility. However, such investigation is limited by photobleaching and phototoxicity. We experimentally demonstrate the capability of combining label-free spatial light interference microscopy (SLIM) with numerical processing for imaging single microtubules in a gliding assay. SLIM combines four different intensity images to obtain the optical path length map associated with the sample. Because of the use of broadband fields, the sensitivity to path length is better than 1 nm without (temporal) averaging and better than 0.1 nm upon averaging. Our results indicate that SLIM can image the dynamics of microtubules in a full field of view, of 200 × 200 μm(2), over many hours. Modeling the microtubule transport via the diffusion-advection equation, we found that the dispersion relation yields the standard deviation of the velocity distribution, without the need for tracking individual tubes. Interestingly, during a 2 h window, the microtubules begin to decelerate, at 100 pm/s(2) over a 20 min period. Thus, SLIM is likely to serve as a useful tool for understanding molecular motor activity, especially over large time scales, where fluorescence methods are of limited utility.

  11. 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.

  12. Dynein and mast/orbit/CLASP have antagonistic roles in regulating kinetochore-microtubule plus-end dynamics.

    PubMed

    Reis, Rita; Feijão, Tália; Gouveia, Susana; Pereira, António J; Matos, Irina; Sampaio, Paula; Maiato, Helder; Sunkel, Claudio E

    2009-07-15

    Establishment and maintenance of the mitotic spindle requires the balanced activity of microtubule-associated proteins and motors. In this study we have addressed how the microtubule plus-end tracking protein mast/orbit/CLASP and cytoplasmic dynein regulate this process in Drosophila melanogaster embryos and S2 cells. We show that mast accumulates at kinetochores early in mitosis, which is followed by a poleward streaming upon microtubule attachment. This leads to a reduction of mast levels at kinetochores during metaphase and anaphase that depends largely on the microtubule minus end-directed motor cytoplasmic dynein. Surprisingly, we also found that co-depletion of dynein rescues spindle bipolarity in mast-depleted cells, while restoring normal microtubule poleward flux. Our results suggest that mast and dynein have antagonistic roles in the local regulation of microtubule plus-end dynamics at kinetochores, which are important for the maintenance of spindle bipolarity and normal spindle length.

  13. Brownian dynamics of subunit addition-loss kinetics and thermodynamics in linear polymer self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Castle, Brian T; Odde, David J

    2013-12-03

    The structure and free energy of multistranded linear polymer ends evolves as individual subunits are added and lost. Thus, the energetic state of the polymer end is not constant, as assembly theory has assumed. Here we utilize a Brownian dynamics approach to simulate the addition and loss of individual subunits at the polymer tip. Using the microtubule as a primary example, we examined how the structure of the polymer tip dictates the rate at which units are added to and lost from individual protofilaments. We find that freely diffusing subunits arrive less frequently to lagging protofilaments but bind more efficiently, such that there is no kinetic difference between leading and lagging protofilaments within a tapered tip. However, local structure at the nanoscale has up to an order-of-magnitude effect on the rate of addition. Thus, the kinetic on-rate constant, integrated across the microtubule tip (kon,MT), is an ensemble average of the varying individual protofilament on-rate constants (kon,PF). Our findings have implications for both catastrophe and rescue of the dynamic microtubule end, and provide a subnanoscale framework for understanding the mechanism of action of microtubule-associated proteins and microtubule-directed drugs. Although we utilize the specific example of the microtubule here, the findings are applicable to multistranded polymers generally.

  14. 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

  15. Signaling Scaffold Protein IQGAP1 Interacts with Microtubule Plus-end Tracking Protein SKAP and Links Dynamic Microtubule Plus-end to Steer Cell Migration*

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Dan; Su, Zeqi; Wang, Wenwen; Wu, Huihui; Liu, Xing; Akram, Saima; Qin, Bo; Zhou, Jiajia; Zhuang, Xiaoxuan; Adams, Gregory; Jin, Changjiang; Wang, Xiwei; Liu, Lifang; Hill, Donald L.; Wang, Dongmei; Ding, Xia; Yao, Xuebiao

    2015-01-01

    Cell migration is orchestrated by dynamic interaction of microtubules with the plasma membrane cortex. However, the regulatory mechanisms underlying the cortical actin cytoskeleton and microtubule dynamics are less characterized. Our earlier study showed that small GTPase-activating proteins, IQGAPs, regulate polarized secretion in epithelial cells (1). Here, we show that IQGAP1 links dynamic microtubules to steer cell migration via interacting with the plus-end tracking protein, SKAP. Biochemical characterizations revealed that IQGAP1 and SKAP form a cognate complex and that their binding interfaces map to the WWIQ motif and the C-terminal of SKAP, respectively. The WWIQ peptide disrupts the biochemical interaction between IQGAP1 and SKAP in vitro, and perturbation of the IQGAP1-SKAP interaction in vivo using a membrane-permeable TAT-WWIQ peptide results in inhibition of directional cell migration elicited by EGF. Mechanistically, the N-terminal of SKAP binds to EB1, and its C terminus binds to IQGAP1 in migrating cells. Thus, we reason that a novel IQGAP1 complex orchestrates directional cell migration via coupling dynamic microtubule plus-ends to the cell cortex. PMID:26242911

  16. An array of nuclear microtubules reorganizes the budding yeast nucleus during quiescence

    PubMed Central

    Laporte, Damien; Courtout, Fabien; Salin, Bénédicte; Ceschin, Johanna

    2013-01-01

    The microtubule cytoskeleton is a highly dynamic network. In dividing cells, its complex architecture not only influences cell shape and movement but is also crucial for chromosome segregation. Curiously, nothing is known about the behavior of this cellular machinery in quiescent cells. Here we show that, upon quiescence entry, the Saccharomyces cerevisiae microtubule cytoskeleton is drastically remodeled. Indeed, while cytoplasmic microtubules vanish, the spindle pole body (SPB) assembles a long and stable monopolar array of nuclear microtubules that spans the entire nucleus. Consequently, the nucleolus is displaced. Kinetochores remain attached to microtubule tips but lose SPB clustering and distribute along the microtubule array, leading to a large reorganization of the nucleus. When cells exit quiescence, the nuclear microtubule array slowly depolymerizes and, by pulling attached centromeres back to the SPB, allows the recovery of a typical Rabl-like configuration. Finally, mutants that do not assemble a nuclear array of microtubules are impaired for both quiescence survival and exit. PMID:24247429

  17. plusTipTracker: Quantitative image analysis software for the measurement of microtubule dynamics.

    PubMed

    Applegate, Kathryn T; Besson, Sebastien; Matov, Alexandre; Bagonis, Maria H; Jaqaman, Khuloud; Danuser, Gaudenz

    2011-11-01

    Here we introduce plusTipTracker, a Matlab-based open source software package that combines automated tracking, data analysis, and visualization tools for movies of fluorescently-labeled microtubule (MT) plus end binding proteins (+TIPs). Although +TIPs mark only phases of MT growth, the plusTipTracker software allows inference of additional MT dynamics, including phases of pause and shrinkage, by linking collinear, sequential growth tracks. The algorithm underlying the reconstruction of full MT trajectories relies on the spatially and temporally global tracking framework described in Jaqaman et al. (2008). Post-processing of track populations yields a wealth of quantitative phenotypic information about MT network architecture that can be explored using several visualization modalities and bioinformatics tools included in plusTipTracker. Graphical user interfaces enable novice Matlab users to track thousands of MTs in minutes. In this paper, we describe the algorithms used by plusTipTracker and show how the package can be used to study regional differences in the relative proportion of MT subpopulations within a single cell. The strategy of grouping +TIP growth tracks for the analysis of MT dynamics has been introduced before (Matov et al., 2010). The numerical methods and analytical functionality incorporated in plusTipTracker substantially advance this previous work in terms of flexibility and robustness. To illustrate the enhanced performance of the new software we thus compare computer-assembled +TIP-marked trajectories to manually-traced MT trajectories from the same movie used in Matov et al. (2010). Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. 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

  19. Maytansinoid-Antibody Conjugates Induce Mitotic Arrest by Suppressing Microtubule Dynamic Instability

    PubMed Central

    Oroudjev, Emin; Lopus, Manu; Wilson, Leslie; Audette, Charlene; Provenzano, Carmela; Erickson, Hans; Kovtun, Yelena; Chari, Ravi; Jordan, Mary Ann

    2010-01-01

    Maytansine and its analogs (maytansinoids) are potent microtubule-targeted compounds that inhibit proliferation of cells at mitosis. Antibody-maytansinoid conjugates consisting of maytansinoids (DM1 and DM4) attached to tumor-specific antibodies have shown promising clinical results. To determine the mechanism by which the antibody-DM1 conjugates inhibit cell proliferation, we examined the effects of the cleavable anti-EpCAM -SPP-DM1 and uncleavable anti-EpCAM-SMCC-DM1 conjugates on MCF7 human breast tumor cells. We also examined the effects of the free maytansinoids, maytansine and S-methyl DM1 (a version of DM1 that is stable in cell culture medium) for comparison. Both the conjugates and free maytansinoids potently inhibited MCF7 cell proliferation at nanomolar and subnanomolar concentrations, respectively, by arresting the cells in mitotic prometaphase/metaphase. Arrest occurred in concert with the internalization and intracellular processing of both conjugates under conditions that induced abnormal spindle organization and suppressed microtubule dynamic instability. Microtubule depolymerization occurred only at significantly higher drug concentrations. The results indicate that free maytansinoids, antibody-maytansinoid conjugates, and their metabolites exert their potent antimitotic effects via a common mechanism involving suppression of microtubule dynamic instability. PMID:20937595

  20. 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

  1. Hydrogen peroxide modulates the dynamic microtubule cytoskeleton during the defence responses to Verticillium dahliae toxins in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Yao, Lin-Lin; Zhou, Qun; Pei, Bao-Lei; Li, Ying-Zhang

    2011-09-01

    The molecular mechanisms of signal transduction of plants in response to infection by Verticillium dahliae (VD) are not well understood. We previously showed that NO may act as an upstream signalling molecule to trigger the depolymerization of cortical microtubules in Arabidopsis. In the present study, we used the wild-type, and atrbohD and atrbohF mutants of Arabidopsis to explore the mechanisms of action of H(2)O(2) signals and the dynamic microtubule cytoskeleton in defence responses. We demonstrated that H(2)O(2) may also act as an upstream signalling molecule to regulate cortical microtubule depolymerization. The depolymerization of the cortical microtubules played a functional role in the signalling pathway to mediate the expression of defence genes. The results indicate that H(2)O(2) modulates the dynamic microtubule cytoskeleton to trigger the expression of defence genes against V. dahliae toxins (VD-toxins) in Arabidopsis.

  2. CHK2-BRCA1 tumor-suppressor axis restrains oncogenic Aurora-A kinase to ensure proper mitotic microtubule assembly.

    PubMed

    Ertych, Norman; Stolz, Ailine; Valerius, Oliver; Braus, Gerhard H; Bastians, Holger

    2016-02-16

    BRCA1 (breast cancer type 1 susceptibility protein) is a multifunctional tumor suppressor involved in DNA damage response, DNA repair, chromatin regulation, and mitotic chromosome segregation. Although the nuclear functions of BRCA1 have been investigated in detail, its role during mitosis is little understood. It is clear, however, that loss of BRCA1 in human cancer cells leads to chromosomal instability (CIN), which is defined as a perpetual gain or loss of whole chromosomes during mitosis. Moreover, our recent work has revealed that the mitotic function of BRCA1 depends on its phosphorylation by the tumor-suppressor kinase Chk2 (checkpoint kinase 2) and that this regulation is required to ensure normal microtubule plus end assembly rates within mitotic spindles. Intriguingly, loss of the positive regulation of BRCA1 leads to increased oncogenic Aurora-A activity, which acts as a mediator for abnormal mitotic microtubule assembly resulting in chromosome missegregation and CIN. However, how the CHK2-BRCA1 tumor suppressor axis restrains oncogenic Aurora-A during mitosis to ensure karyotype stability remained an open question. Here we uncover a dual molecular mechanism by which the CHK2-BRCA1 axis restrains oncogenic Aurora-A activity during mitosis and identify BRCA1 itself as a target for Aurora-A relevant for CIN. In fact, Chk2-mediated phosphorylation of BRCA1 is required to recruit the PP6C-SAPS3 phosphatase, which acts as a T-loop phosphatase inhibiting Aurora-A bound to BRCA1. Consequently, loss of CHK2 or PP6C-SAPS3 promotes Aurora-A activity associated with BRCA1 in mitosis. Aurora-A, in turn, then phosphorylates BRCA1 itself, thereby inhibiting the mitotic function of BRCA1 and promoting mitotic microtubule assembly, chromosome missegregation, and CIN.

  3. 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

  4. Erucin, the major isothiocyanate in arugula (Eruca sativa), inhibits proliferation of MCF7 tumor cells by suppressing microtubule dynamics.

    PubMed

    Azarenko, Olga; Jordan, Mary Ann; Wilson, Leslie

    2014-01-01

    Consumption of cruciferous vegetables is associated with reduced risk of various types of cancer. Isothiocyanates including sulforaphane and erucin are believed to be responsible for this activity. Erucin [1-isothiocyanato-4-(methylthio)butane], which is metabolically and structurally related to sulforaphane, is present in large quantities in arugula (Eruca sativa, Mill.), kohlrabi and Chinese cabbage. However, its cancer preventive mechanisms remain poorly understood. We found that erucin inhibits proliferation of MCF7 breast cancer cells (IC50 = 28 µM) in parallel with cell cycle arrest at mitosis (IC50 = 13 µM) and apoptosis, by a mechanism consistent with impairment of microtubule dynamics. Concentrations of 5-15 µM erucin suppressed the dynamic instability of microtubules during interphase in the cells. Most dynamic instability parameters were inhibited, including the rates and extents of growing and shortening, the switching frequencies between growing and shortening, and the overall dynamicity. Much higher erucin concentrations were required to reduce the microtubule polymer mass. In addition, erucin suppressed dynamic instability of microtubules reassembled from purified tubulin in similar fashion. The effects of erucin on microtubule dynamics, like those of sulforaphane, are similar qualitatively to those of much more powerful clinically-used microtubule-targeting anticancer drugs, including taxanes and the vinca alkaloids. The results suggest that suppression of microtubule dynamics by erucin and the resulting impairment of critically important microtubule-dependent cell functions such as mitosis, cell migration and microtubule-based transport may be important in its cancer preventive activities.

  5. 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.

  6. Microtubule-associated protein/microtubule affinity-regulating kinase (p110mark). A novel protein kinase that regulates tau-microtubule interactions and dynamic instability by phosphorylation at the Alzheimer-specific site serine 262.

    PubMed

    Drewes, G; Trinczek, B; Illenberger, S; Biernat, J; Schmitt-Ulms, G; Meyer, H E; Mandelkow, E M; Mandelkow, E

    1995-03-31

    Aberrant phosphorylation of the microtubule-associated protein tau is one of the pathological features of neuronal degeneration in Alzheimer's disease. The phosphorylation of Ser-262 within the microtubule binding region of tau is of particular interest because so far it is observed only in Alzheimer's disease (Hasegawa, M., Morishima-Kawashima, M., Takio, K., Suzuki, M., Titani, K., and Ihara, Y. (1992) J. Biol. Chem. 26, 17047-17054) and because phosphorylation of this site alone dramatically reduces the affinity for microtubules in vitro (Biernat, J., Gustke, N., Drewes, G., Mandelkow, E.-M., and Mandelkow, E. (1993) Neuron 11, 153-163). Here we describe the purification and characterization of a protein-serine kinase from brain tissue with an apparent molecular mass of 110 kDa on SDS gels. This kinase specifically phosphorylates tau on its KIGS or KCGS motifs in the repeat domain, whereas no significant phosphorylation outside this region was detected. Phosphorylation occurs mainly on Ser-262 located in the first repeat. This largely abolishes tau's binding to microtubules and makes them dynamically unstable, in contrast to other protein kinases that phosphorylate tau at or near the repeat domain. The data suggest a role for this novel kinase in cellular events involving rearrangement of the microtuble-associated proteins/microtubule arrays and their pathological degeneration in Alzheimer's disease.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

    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. Ochratoxin A: apoptosis and aberrant exit from mitosis due to perturbation of microtubule dynamics?

    PubMed

    Rached, Eva; Pfeiffer, Erika; Dekant, Wolfgang; Mally, Angela

    2006-07-01

    Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a potent nephrotoxin and causes high incidences of renal tumors in rodents. The molecular events leading to tumor formation by OTA are not well defined. Early pathological changes observed in kidneys of rats treated with OTA in vivo include frequent mitotic and abnormally enlarged cells, detachment of tubule cells, and apoptosis within the S3 segment of the proximal tubule, suggesting that OTA may interfere with molecules involved in the regulation of cell division and apoptosis. In this study, treatment of immortalized human kidney epithelial (IHKE) cells with OTA (0-50 microM) resulted in a time- and dose-dependent increase in apoptosis and activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase. At the same time, OTA blocked metaphase/anaphase transition and led to the formation of aberrant mitotic figures and giant cells with abnormally enlarged and/or multiple nuclei, sometimes still connected by chromatin bridges. Immunostaining of the mitotic apparatus using an alpha-tubulin antibody revealed defects in spindle formation. In addition, OTA inhibited microtubule assembly in a concentration-dependent manner in a cell-free, in vitro assay. Interestingly, treatment with OTA also resulted in activation of the transcription factor nuclear factor kappa B (NFkappaB), which has recently been shown to promote cell survival during mitotic cell cycle arrest. Based on these observations, we hypothesize that the mechanism by which OTA promotes tumor formation involves interference with microtubuli dynamics and mitotic spindle formation, resulting in apoptosis or-in the presence of survival signals such as stimulation of the NFkappaB pathway-premature exit from mitosis. Aberrant exit from mitosis resulting in blocked or asymmetric cell division may favor the occurrence of cytogenetic abnormalities and may therefore play a critical role in renal tumor formation by OTA.

  9. Shortstop recruits EB1/APC1 and promotes microtubule assembly at the muscle-tendon junction.

    PubMed

    Subramanian, Arul; Prokop, Andreas; Yamamoto, Misato; Sugimura, Kaoru; Uemura, Tadashi; Betschinger, Joerg; Knoblich, Juergen A; Volk, Talila

    2003-07-01

    Shot (previously named Kakapo), is a Drosophila Plakin family member containing both Actin binding and microtubule binding domains. In Drosophila, it is required for a wide range of processes, including axon extension, dendrite formation, axonal terminal arborization at the neuromuscular junction, tendon cell development, and adhesion of wing epithelium. To address how Shot exerts its activity at the molecular level, we investigated the molecular interactions of Shot with candidate proteins in mature larval tendon cells. We show that Shot colocalizes with EB1/APC1 and with a compact microtubule array extending between the muscle-tendon junction and the cuticle. Shot forms a protein complex with EB1 via its C-terminal EF-hands and GAS2-containing domains. In tendon cells with reduced Shot activity, EB1/APC1 dissociate from the muscle-tendon junction, and the microtubule array elongates. The resulting tendon cell, although associated with the muscle and the cuticle ends, loses its stress resistance and elongates. Our results suggest that Shot mediates tendon stress resistance by the organization of a compact microtubule network at the muscle-tendon junction. This is achieved by Shot association with the cytoplasmic faces of the basal hemiadherens junction and with the EB1/APC1 complex.

  10. Structural differences between brain beta 1- and beta 2-tubulins: implications for microtubule assembly and colchicine binding.

    PubMed Central

    Little, M; Ludueña, R F

    1985-01-01

    Brain beta 1- and beta 2-tubulins are the major and minor beta-tubulin components of chordate brain tissue, respectively. Two cysteines of beta 1, but not beta 2, can be specifically cross-linked with the bifunctional sulfhydryl reagent N,N'-ethylenebis(iodoacetamide) (EBI). They are in positions 239 and 354. Although separated by 115 amino acid residues along the beta 1-chain, the two sulfur atoms are maximally 9 A apart in the beta 1 tertiary structure. The failure of beta 2 to form a similar cross-bridge is due to the absence of a cysteine in position 239. At least 10 other sequence differences are also present between beta 1 and beta 2. Positions 239 and 354 of beta 1 probably occupy a key part of the tubulin molecule. The microtubule assembly inhibitors colchicine and podophyllotoxin appear to bind on or near this site and EBI is a potent inhibitor of microtubule assembly. Furthermore, the beta 1-cysteine in position 239 appears to be the most reactive in brain tubulin under the given conditions. The marked difference between beta 1 and beta 2 in this critical region suggests that they may have different functions in brain tissue. Images Fig. 1. PMID:4018027

  11. 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.

  12. Analysis of microtubule growth dynamics arising from altered actin network structure and contractility in breast tumor cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ory, Eleanor C.; Bhandary, Lekhana; E Boggs, Amanda; Chakrabarti, Kristi R.; Parker, Joshua; Losert, Wolfgang; Martin, Stuart S.

    2017-04-01

    The periphery of epithelial cells is shaped by opposing cytoskeletal physical forces generated predominately by two dynamic force generating systems—growing microtubule ends push against the boundary from the cell center, and the actin cortex contracts the attached plasma membrane. Here we investigate how changes to the structure and dynamics of the actin cortex alter the dynamics of microtubules. Current drugs target actin polymerization and contraction to reduce cell division and invasiveness; however, the impacts on microtubule dynamics remain incompletely understood. Using human MCF-7 breast tumor cells expressing GFP-tagged microtubule end-binding-protein-1 (EB1) and coexpression of cytoplasmic fluorescent protein mCherry, we map the trajectories of growing microtubule ends and cytoplasmic boundary respectively. Based on EB1 tracks and cytoplasmic boundary outlines, we calculate the speed, distance from cytoplasmic boundary, and straightness of microtubule growth. Actin depolymerization with Latrunculin-A reduces EB1 growth speed as well as allows the trajectories to extend beyond the cytoplasmic boundary. Blebbistatin, a direct myosin-II inhibitor, reduced EB1 speed and yielded less straight EB1 trajectories. Inhibiting signaling upstream of myosin-II contractility via the Rho-kinase inhibitor, Y-27632, altered EB1 dynamics differently from Blebbistatin. These results indicate that reduced actin cortex integrity can induce distinct alterations in microtubule dynamics. Given recent findings that tumor stem cell characteristics are increased by drugs which reduce actin contractility or stabilize microtubules, it remains important to clearly define how cytoskeletal drugs alter the interactions between these two filament systems in tumor cells.

  13. Analysis of microtubule growth dynamics arising from altered actin network structure and contractility in breast tumor cells.

    PubMed

    Ory, Eleanor; Bhandary, Lekhana; Boggs, Amanda; Chakrabarti, Kristi; Parker, Joshua; Losert, Wolfgang; Martin, Stuart S

    2017-01-16

    The periphery of epithelial cells is shaped by opposing cytoskeletal physical forces generated predominately by two dynamic force generating systems - growing microtubule ends push against the boundary from the cell center, and the actin cortex contracts the attached plasma membrane. Here we investigate how changes to the structure and dynamics of the actin cortex alter the dynamics of microtubules. Current drugs target actin polymerization and contraction to reduce cell division and invasiveness; however, the impacts on microtubule dynamics remain incompletely understood. Using human MCF-7 breast tumor cells expressing GFP-tagged microtubule end-binding-protein-1 (EB1) and coexpression of cytoplasmic fluorescent protein mCherry, we map the trajectories of growing microtubule ends and cytoplasmic boundary respectively. Based on EB1 tracks and cytoplasmic boundary outlines, we calculate the speed, distance from cytoplasmic boundary, and straightness of microtubule growth. Actin depolymerization with Latrunculin-A reduces EB1 growth speed as well as allows the trajectories to extend beyond the cytoplasmic boundary. Blebbistatin, a direct myosin-II inhibitor, reduced EB1 speed and yielded less straight EB1 trajectories. Inhibiting signaling upstream of myosin-II contractility via the Rho-kinase inhibitor, Y-27632, altered EB1 dynamics differently from Blebbistatin. These results indicate that reduced actin cortex integrity can induce distinct alterations in microtubule dynamics. Given recent findings that tumor stem cell characteristics are increased by drugs which reduce actin contractility or stabilize microtubules, it remains important to clearly define how cytoskeletal drugs alter the interactions between these two filament systems in tumor cells.

  14. Regulation of Kif15 localization and motility by the C-terminus of TPX2 and microtubule dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Mann, Barbara J.; Balchand, Sai K.; Wadsworth, Patricia

    2017-01-01

    Mitotic motor proteins generate force to establish and maintain spindle bipolarity, but how they are temporally and spatially regulated in vivo is unclear. Prior work demonstrated that a microtubule-associated protein, TPX2, targets kinesin-5 and kinesin-12 motors to spindle microtubules. The C-terminal domain of TPX2 contributes to the localization and motility of the kinesin-5, Eg5, but it is not known whether this domain regulates kinesin-12, Kif15. We found that the C-terminal domain of TPX2 contributes to the localization of Kif15 to spindle microtubules in cells and suppresses motor walking in vitro. Kif15 and Eg5 are partially redundant motors, and overexpressed Kif15 can drive spindle formation in the absence of Eg5 activity. Kif15-dependent bipolar spindle formation in vivo requires the C-terminal domain of TPX2. In the spindle, fluorescent puncta of GFP-Kif15 move toward the equatorial region at a rate equivalent to microtubule growth. Reduction of microtubule growth with paclitaxel suppresses GFP-Kif15 motility, demonstrating that dynamic microtubules contribute to Kif15 behavior. Our results show that the C-terminal region of TPX2 regulates Kif15 in vitro, contributes to motor localization in cells, and is required for Kif15 force generation in vivo and further reveal that dynamic microtubules contribute to Kif15 behavior in vivo. PMID:27852894

  15. 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

  16. Non-equilibrium assembly of microtubules: from molecules to autonomous chemical robots.

    PubMed

    Hess, H; Ross, Jennifer L

    2017-03-22

    Biological systems have evolved to harness non-equilibrium processes from the molecular to the macro scale. It is currently a grand challenge of chemistry, materials science, and engineering to understand and mimic biological systems that have the ability to autonomously sense stimuli, process these inputs, and respond by performing mechanical work. New chemical systems are responding to the challenge and form the basis for future responsive, adaptive, and active materials. In this article, we describe a particular biochemical-biomechanical network based on the microtubule cytoskeletal filament - itself a non-equilibrium chemical system. We trace the non-equilibrium aspects of the system from molecules to networks and describe how the cell uses this system to perform active work in essential processes. Finally, we discuss how microtubule-based engineered systems can serve as testbeds for autonomous chemical robots composed of biological and synthetic components.

  17. Microtubules are essential for guard-cell function in Vicia and Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Eisinger, William; Ehrhardt, David; Briggs, Winslow

    2012-05-01

    Radially arranged cortical microtubules are a prominent feature of guard cells. Guard cells expressing GFP-tubulin showed consistent changes in the appearance of microtubules when stomata opened or closed. Guard cells showed fewer microtubule structures as stomata closed, whether induced by transfer to darkness, ABA, hydrogen peroxide, or sodium hydrogen carbonate. Guard cells kept in the dark (closed stomata) showed increases in microtubule structures and stomatal aperture on light treatment. GFP-EB1, marking microtubule growing plus ends, showed no change in number of plus ends or velocity of assembly on stomatal closure. Since the number of growing plus ends and the rate of plus-end growth did not change when microtubule structure numbers declined, microtubule instability and/or rearrangement must be responsible for the apparent loss of microtubules. Guard cells with closed stomata showed more cytosolic GFP-fluorescence than those with open stomata as cortical microtubules became disassembled, although with a large net loss in total fluorescence. Microtubule-targeted drugs blocked guard-cell function in Vicia and Arabidopsis. Oryzalin disrupted guard-cell microtubules and prevented stomatal opening and taxol stabilized guard-cell microtubules and delayed stomatal closure. Gas exchange measurements indicated that the transgenes for fluorescent-labeled proteins did not disrupt normal stomatal function. These dynamic changes in guard-cell microtubules combined with our inhibitor studies provide evidence for an active role of microtubules in guard-cell function.

  18. 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

  19. Reversible polyglutamylation of alpha- and beta-tubulin and microtubule dynamics in mouse brain neurons.

    PubMed Central

    Audebert, S; Desbruyères, E; Gruszczynski, C; Koulakoff, A; Gros, F; Denoulet, P; Eddé, B

    1993-01-01

    The relationship between microtubule dynamics and polyglutamylation of tubulin was investigated in young differentiating mouse brain neurons. Selective posttranslational labeling with [3H]glutamate and immunoblotting with a specific monoclonal antibody (GT335) enabled us to analyze polyglutamylation of both alpha and beta subunits. Nocodazole markedly inhibited incorporation of [3H]glutamate into alpha- and beta-tubulin, whereas taxol had no effect for alpha-tubulin and a stimulating effect for beta-tubulin. These results strongly suggest that microtubule polymers are the preferred substrate for polyglutamylation. Chase experiments revealed the existence of a reversal reaction that, in the case of alpha-tubulin, was not affected by microtubule drugs, suggesting that deglutamylation of this subunit can occur on both polymers and soluble tubulin. Evidence was obtained that deglutamylation of alpha-tubulin operates following two distinct rates depending on the length of the polyglutamyl chain, the distal units (4th-6th) being removed rapidly whereas the proximal ones (1st-3rd) appearing much more resistant to deglutamylation. Partition of glutamylated alpha-tubulin isoforms was also correlated with the length of the polyglutamyl chain. Forms bearing four to six units were recovered specifically in the polymeric fraction, whereas those bearing one to three units were distributed evenly between polymeric and soluble fractions. It thus appears that the slow rate component of the deglutamylation reaction offers to neurons the possibility to maintain a basal level of glutamylated alpha-tubulin in the soluble pool independently of microtubule dynamics. Finally, some differences observed in the glutamylation of alpha- and beta-tubulin suggest that distinct enzymes are involved. Images PMID:8104053

  20. The Salmonella effector SseJ disrupts microtubule dynamics when ectopically expressed in normal rat kidney cells

    PubMed Central

    Raines, Sally A.; Hodgkinson, Michael R.; Dowle, Adam A.

    2017-01-01

    Salmonella effector protein SseJ is secreted by Salmonella into the host cell cytoplasm where it can then modify host cell processes. Whilst host cell small GTPase RhoA has previously been shown to activate the acyl-transferase activity of SseJ we show here an un-described effect of SseJ protein production upon microtubule dynamism. SseJ prevents microtubule collapse and this is independent of SseJ’s acyl-transferase activity. We speculate that the effects of SseJ on microtubules would be mediated via its known interactions with the small GTPases of the Rho family. PMID:28235057

  1. Cellular inhibition of microtubule assembly by photoactivated sulphonated meso-tetraphenylporphines.

    PubMed

    Berg, K; Moan, J; Bommer, J C; Winkelman, J W

    1990-09-01

    This work relates to studies on modes of phototoxicity by sulphonated mesotetraphenylporphines on cultured cells. Toxicity appears to be related to inhibition of microtubule function. Treatment of human cervix carcinoma cells of the line NHIK 3025 incubated for 18 h with meso-tetraphenylporphine sulphonates (TPPSn where n = 2a, 2o or 4) and exposed to light, inhibits multiplication for the first hours after light exposure, a significant fraction of the cells accumulating in mitosis. The maximal number of cells in mitosis after treatment (approximately 20%) is dependent on the fluence but is similar for all three photosensitizers. For the first hours after treatment the mitotic cells were always mainly in metaphase; mainly seen as c-metaphases and three-group metaphases. During this time anaphase and telophase cells were absent or greatly reduced in number. Indirect immunofluorescence staining of beta-tubulin showed that the spindle apparatus of mitotic cells was perturbed in all cases. Results are presented which indicate that photoactivation of TPPSn located on the plasma membrane destroys microtubules in interphase cells and leads to arrest of the cells in mitosis. The localization of the dye which sensitizes the photoinduced perturbation of microtubules is further discussed.

  2. FTDP-17 mutations in Tau alter the regulation of microtubule dynamics: an "alternative core" model for normal and pathological Tau action.

    PubMed

    LeBoeuf, Adria C; Levy, Sasha F; Gaylord, Michelle; Bhattacharya, Arnab; Singh, Ambuj K; Jordan, Mary Ann; Wilson, Leslie; Feinstein, Stuart C

    2008-12-26

    Mutations affecting either the structure or regulation of the microtubule-associated protein Tau cause neuronal cell death and dementia. However, the molecular mechanisms mediating these deleterious effects remain unclear. Among the most characterized activities of Tau is the ability to regulate microtubule dynamics, known to be essential for proper cell function and viability. Here we have tested the hypothesis that Tau mutations causing neurodegeneration also alter the ability of Tau to regulate the dynamic instability behaviors of microtubules. Using in vitro microtubule dynamics assays to assess average microtubule growth rates, microtubule growth rate distributions, and catastrophe frequencies, we found that all tested mutants possessing amino acid substitutions or deletions mapping to either the repeat or interrepeat regions of Tau do indeed compromise its ability to regulate microtubule dynamics. Further mutational analyses suggest a novel mechanism of Tau regulatory action based on an "alternative core" of microtubule binding and regulatory activities composed of two repeats and the interrepeat between them. In this model, the interrepeat serves as the primary regulator of microtubule dynamics, whereas the flanking repeats serve as tethers to properly position the interrepeat on the microtubule. Importantly, since there are multiple interrepeats on each Tau molecule, there are also multiple cores on each Tau molecule, each with distinct mechanistic capabilities, thereby providing significant regulatory potential. Taken together, the data are consistent with a microtubule misregulation mechanism for Tau-mediated neuronal cell death and provide a novel mechanistic model for normal and pathological Tau action.

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

    PubMed

    Stepanek, Ludek; Pigino, Gaia

    2016-05-06

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. ATX-2, the C. elegans Ortholog of Human Ataxin-2, Regulates Centrosome Size and Microtubule Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Stubenvoll, Michael D.; Medley, Jeffrey C.; Irwin, Miranda

    2016-01-01

    Centrosomes are critical sites for orchestrating microtubule dynamics, and exhibit dynamic changes in size during the cell cycle. As cells progress to mitosis, centrosomes recruit more microtubules (MT) to form mitotic bipolar spindles that ensure proper chromosome segregation. We report a new role for ATX-2, a C. elegans ortholog of Human Ataxin-2, in regulating centrosome size and MT dynamics. ATX-2, an RNA-binding protein, forms a complex with SZY-20 in an RNA-independent fashion. Depleting ATX-2 results in embryonic lethality and cytokinesis failure, and restores centrosome duplication to zyg-1 mutants. In this pathway, SZY-20 promotes ATX-2 abundance, which inversely correlates with centrosome size. Centrosomes depleted of ATX-2 exhibit elevated levels of centrosome factors (ZYG-1, SPD-5, γ-Tubulin), increasing MT nucleating activity but impeding MT growth. We show that ATX-2 influences MT behavior through γ-Tubulin at the centrosome. Our data suggest that RNA-binding proteins play an active role in controlling MT dynamics and provide insight into the control of proper centrosome size and MT dynamics. PMID:27689799

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-21

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. Dynamic Association of the Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein as a Messenger Ribonucleoprotein between Microtubules and Polyribosomes

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Houping; Dictenberg, Jason B.; Ku, Li; Li, Wen; Bassell, Gary J.

    2008-01-01

    The fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) is a selective RNA-binding protein that regulates translation and plays essential roles in synaptic function. FMRP is bound to specific mRNA ligands, actively transported into neuronal processes in a microtubule-dependent manner, and associated with polyribosomes engaged in translation elongation. However, the biochemical relationship between FMRP–microtubule association and FMRP–polyribosome association remains elusive. Here, we report that although the majority of FMRP is incorporated into elongating polyribosomes in the soluble cytoplasm, microtubule-associated FMRP is predominantly retained in translationally dormant, polyribosome-free messenger ribonucleoprotein (mRNP) complexes. Interestingly, FMRP–microtubule association is increased when mRNPs are dynamically released from polyribosomes as a result of inhibiting translation initiation. Furthermore, the I304N mutant FMRP that fails to be incorporated into polyribosomes is associated with microtubules in mRNP particles and transported into neuronal dendrites in a microtubule-dependent, 3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine-stimulated manner with similar kinetics to that of wild-type FMRP. Hence, polyribosome-free FMRP–mRNP complexes travel on microtubules and wait for activity-dependent translational derepression at the site of function. The dual participation of FMRP in dormant mRNPs and polyribosomes suggests distinct roles of FMRP in dendritic transport and translational regulation, two distinct phases that control local protein production to accommodate synaptic plasticity. PMID:17978095

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-05-12

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. PACSIN1, a Tau-interacting protein, regulates axonal elongation and branching by facilitating microtubule instability.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yingying; Lv, Kaosheng; Li, Zenglong; Yu, Albert C H; Chen, Jianguo; Teng, Junlin

    2012-11-16

    Tau is a major member of the neuronal microtubule-associated proteins. It promotes tubulin assembly and stabilizes axonal microtubules. Previous studies have demonstrated that Tau forms cross-bridges between microtubules, with some particles located on cross-bridges, suggesting that some proteins interact with Tau and might be involved in regulating Tau-related microtubule dynamics. This study reports that PACSIN1 interacts with Tau in axon. PACSIN1 blockade results in impaired axonal elongation and a higher number of primary axonal branches in mouse dorsal root ganglia neurons, which is induced by increasing the binding ability of Tau to microtubules. In PACSIN1-blocked dorsal root ganglia neurons, a greater amount of Tau is inclined to accumulate in the central domain of growth cones, and it promotes the stability of the microtubule network. Taken together, these results suggest that PACSIN1 is an important Tau binding partner in regulating microtubule dynamics and forming axonal plasticity.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  14. Experimental Virus Evolution Reveals a Role of Plant Microtubule Dynamics and TORTIFOLIA1/SPIRAL2 in RNA Trafficking

    PubMed Central

    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

  15. 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.

  16. The von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor protein influences microtubule dynamics at the cell periphery.

    PubMed

    Lolkema, Martijn P; Mehra, Niven; Jorna, Anita S; van Beest, Moniek; Giles, Rachel H; Voest, Emile E

    2004-12-10

    The von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) protein protects microtubules (MTs) from destabilization by nocodazole treatment. Based on this fixed-cell assay with static end points, VHL has been reported to directly stabilize the MT cytoskeleton. To investigate the dynamic changes in MTs induced by VHL in living cells, we measured the influence of VHL on tubulin turnover using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP). To this end, we engineered VHL-deficient renal cell carcinoma cells to constitutively incorporate fluorescently labeled tubulin and to inducibly express VHL. Induction of VHL in these cells resulted in a decrease of tubulin turnover as measured by FRAP at the cell periphery, while minimally influencing MT dynamics around the centrosome. Our data indicates that VHL changes the behavior of MTs dependent on their subcellular localization implying a role for VHL in cellular processes such as migration, polarization, and cell-cell interactions. Here we propose a complementary method to directly measure VHL-induced subcellular changes in microtubule dynamics, which may serve as a tool to study the effect of MT binding proteins such as VHL.

  17. Microtubule dynamics in serum-starved and serum-stimulated Swiss 3T3 mouse fibroblasts: implications for the relationship between serum-induced contractility and microtubules.

    PubMed

    Danowski, B A

    1998-01-01

    It has been established that cell contractility can be stimulated with low or depolymerizing doses of microtubule (MT) poisons. In addition, low doses of nocodazole and vinblastine have recently been shown to decrease MT dynamics in vivo. In this study, investigated whether there is a direct, or reciprocal feedback-type relationship between contractility and microtubule dynamics, by examining MT dynamic behavior in live cells under conditions where contractility is known to be altered. Quiescent, serum-starved Swiss 3T3 mouse fibroblasts have been shown to be weakened in their contractility; serum stimulation increases cell contractility and causes the formation of stress fibers and adhesion plaques. Growing (control), quiescent (Go), and serum-stimulated cells were injected with rhodamine-tubulin, and MT dynamics were determined by analysis of MT length changes obtained from digitized images of the extreme periphery of the cells, where the MT ends were readily apparent. The MTs in quiescent cells were less dynamic than those in control cells: the growth and shortening rates were reduced by 30% and 45%, respectively. Dynamicity decreased by 47%, and the MTs spent more time in pause. After serum stimulation, MT growth rate, dynamicity, and time spent in pause returned to control cell levels. Although the shortening rate increased by 28%, it remained significantly lower than in control cells. In this system, the serum-induced increase in contractility was accompanied by an increase in MT dynamics. However, increased contractility stimulated with low doses of MT poisons is known to be accompanied by a decrease in MT dynamics. These results suggest that the relationship between MT dynamics and contractility is an indirect one.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Inhibition of aurora B kinase blocks chromosome segregation, overrides the spindle checkpoint, and perturbs microtubule dynamics in mitosis.

    PubMed

    Kallio, Marko J; McCleland, Mark L; Stukenberg, P Todd; Gorbsky, Gary J

    2002-06-04

    How kinetochores correct improper microtubule attachments and regulate the spindle checkpoint signal is unclear. In budding yeast, kinetochores harboring mutations in the mitotic kinase Ipl1 fail to bind chromosomes in a bipolar fashion. In C. elegans and Drosophila, inhibition of the Ipl1 homolog, Aurora B kinase, induces aberrant anaphase and cytokinesis. To study Aurora B kinase in vertebrates, we microinjected mitotic XTC cells with inhibitory antibody and found several related effects. After injection of the antibody, some chromosomes failed to congress to the metaphase plate, consistent with a conserved role for Aurora B in bipolar attachment of chromosomes. Injected cells exited mitosis with no evidence of anaphase or cytokinesis. Injection of anti-Xaurora B antibody also altered the microtubule network in mitotic cells with an extension of the astral microtubules and a reduction of kinetochore microtubules. Finally, inhibition of Aurora B in cultured cells and in cycling Xenopus egg extracts caused escape from the spindle checkpoint arrest induced by microtubule drugs. Our findings implicate Aurora B as a critical coordinator relating changes in microtubule dynamics in mitosis, chromosome movement in prometaphase and anaphase, signaling of the spindle checkpoint, and cytokinesis.

  1. The kinesin-2 family member KIF3C regulates microtubule dynamics and is required for axon growth and regeneration.

    PubMed

    Gumy, Laura F; Chew, Daniel J; Tortosa, Elena; Katrukha, Eugene A; Kapitein, Lukas C; Tolkovsky, Aviva M; Hoogenraad, Casper C; Fawcett, James W

    2013-07-10

    Axon regeneration after injury requires the extensive reconstruction, reorganization, and stabilization of the microtubule cytoskeleton in the growth cones. Here, we identify KIF3C as a key regulator of axonal growth and regeneration by controlling microtubule dynamics and organization in the growth cone. KIF3C is developmentally regulated. Rat embryonic sensory axons and growth cones contain undetectable levels of KIF3C protein that is locally translated immediately after injury. In adult neurons, KIF3C is axonally transported from the cell body and is enriched at the growth cone where it preferentially binds to tyrosinated microtubules. Functionally, the interaction of KIF3C with EB3 is necessary for its localization at the microtubule plus-ends in the growth cone. Depletion of KIF3C in adult neurons leads to an increase in stable, overgrown and looped microtubules because of a strong decrease in the microtubule frequency of catastrophes, suggesting that KIF3C functions as a microtubule-destabilizing factor. Adult axons lacking KIF3C, by RNA interference or KIF3C gene knock-out, display an impaired axonal outgrowth in vitro and a delayed regeneration after injury both in vitro and in vivo. Murine KIF3C knock-out embryonic axons grow normally but do not regenerate after injury because they are unable to locally translate KIF3C. These data show that KIF3C is an injury-specific kinesin that contributes to axon growth and regeneration by regulating and organizing the microtubule cytoskeleton in the growth cone.

  2. The human Ino80 binds to microtubule via the E-hook of tubulin: Implications for the role in spindle assembly

    SciTech Connect

    Park, Eun-Jung; Hur, Shin-Kyoung; Lee, Han-Sae; Lee, Shin-Ai; Kwon, Jongbum

    2011-12-16

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The N-terminal domain of hIno80 is important for binding to the spindle. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The hIno80 N-terminal domain binds to tubulin and microtubule in vitro. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The E-hook of tubulin is critical for hIno80 binding to tubulin and microtubule. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Tip49a does not bind to microtubule and dispensable for spindle formation. -- Abstract: The human INO80 chromatin remodeling complex, comprising the Ino80 ATPase (hIno80) and the associated proteins such as Tip49a, has been implicated in a variety of nuclear processes other than transcription. We previously have found that hIno80 interacts with tubulin and co-localizes with the mitotic spindle and is required for spindle formation. To better understand the role of hIno80 in spindle formation, we further investigated the interaction between hIno80 and microtubule. Here, we show that the N-terminal domain, dispensable for the nucleosome remodeling activity, is important for hIno80 to interact with tubulin and co-localize with the spindle. The hIno80 N-terminal domain binds to monomeric tubulin and polymerized microtubule in vitro, and the E-hook of tubulin, involved in the polymerization of microtubule, is critical for this binding. Tip49a, which has been reported to associate with the spindle, does not bind to microtubule in vitro and dispensable for spindle formation in vivo. These results suggest that hIno80 can play a direct role in the spindle assembly independent of its chromatin remodeling activity.

  3. Activation of microtubule dynamics increases neuronal growth via the nerve growth factor (NGF)- and Gαs-mediated signaling pathways.

    PubMed

    Sarma, Tulika; Koutsouris, Athanasia; Yu, Jiang Zhu; Krbanjevic, Aleksandar; Hope, Thomas J; Rasenick, Mark M

    2015-04-17

    Signals that activate the G protein Gαs and promote neuronal differentiation evoke Gαs internalization in rat pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells. These agents also significantly increase Gαs association with microtubules, resulting in an increase in microtubule dynamics because of the activation of tubulin GTPase by Gαs. To determine the function of Gαs/microtubule association in neuronal development, we used real-time trafficking of a GFP-Gαs fusion protein. GFP-Gαs concentrates at the distal end of the neurites in differentiated living PC12 cells as well as in cultured hippocampal neurons. Gαs translocates to specialized membrane compartments at tips of growing neurites. A dominant-negative Gα chimera that interferes with Gαs binding to tubulin and activation of tubulin GTPase attenuates neurite elongation and neurite number both in PC12 cells and primary hippocampal neurons. This effect is greatest on differentiation induced by activated Gαs. Together, these data suggest that activated Gαs translocates from the plasma membrane and, through interaction with tubulin/microtubules in the cytosol, is important for neurite formation, development, and outgrowth. Characterization of neuronal G protein dynamics and their contribution to microtubule dynamics is important for understanding the molecular mechanisms by which G protein-coupled receptor signaling orchestrates neuronal growth and differentiation.

  4. Visualization of the Peroxisomal Compartment in Living Mammalian Cells: Dynamic Behavior and Association with Microtubules

    PubMed Central

    Wiemer, Erik A.C.; Wenzel, Thibaut; Deerinck, Thomas J.; Ellisman, Mark H.; Subramani, Suresh

    1997-01-01

    Peroxisomes in living CV1 cells were visualized by targeting the green fluorescent protein (GFP) to this subcellular compartment through the addition of a COOH-terminal peroxisomal targeting signal 1 (GFP–PTS1). The organelle dynamics were examined and analyzed using time-lapse confocal laser scanning microscopy. Two types of movement could be distinguished: a relatively slow, random, vibration-like movement displayed by the majority (∼95%) of the peroxisomes, and a saltatory, fast directional movement displayed by a small subset (∼5%) of the peroxisomes. In the latter instance, peak velocities up to 0.75 μm/s and sustained directional velocities up to 0.45 μm/s over 11.5 μm were recorded. Only the directional type of motion appeared to be energy dependent, whereas the vibrational movement continued even after the cells were depleted of energy. Treatment of cells, transiently expressing GFP–PTS1, with microtubule-destabilizing agents such as nocodazole, vinblastine, and demecolcine clearly altered peroxisome morphology and subcellular distribution and blocked the directional movement. In contrast, the microtubule-stabilizing compound paclitaxel, or the microfilament-destabilizing drugs cytochalasin B or D, did not exert these effects. High resolution confocal analysis of cells expressing GFP–PTS1 and stained with anti-tubulin antibodies revealed that many peroxisomes were associated with microtubules. The GFP–PTS1–labeled peroxisomes were found to distribute themselves in a stochastic, rather than ordered, manner to daughter cells at the time of mitosis. PMID:9008704

  5. The Dynamic Behavior of Individual Microtubules Associated with Chromosomes In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Hunt, Alan J.; McIntosh, J. Richard

    1998-01-01

    Mitotic movements of chromosomes are usually coupled to the elongation and shortening of the microtubules to which they are bound. The lengths of kinetochore-associated microtubules change by incorporation or loss of tubulin subunits, principally at their chromosome-bound ends. We have reproduced aspects of this phenomenon in vitro, using a real-time assay that displays directly the movements of individual chromosome-associated microtubules as they elongate and shorten. Chromosomes isolated from cultured Chinese hamster ovary cells were adhered to coverslips and then allowed to bind labeled microtubules. In the presence of tubulin and GTP, these microtubules could grow at their chromosome-bound ends, causing the labeled segments to move away from the chromosomes, even in the absence of ATP. Sometimes a microtubule would switch to shortening, causing the direction of movement to change abruptly. The link between a microtubule and a chromosome was mechanically strong; 15 pN of tension was generally insufficient to detach a microtubule, even though it could add subunits at the kinetochore–microtubule junction. The behavior of the microtubules in vitro was regulated by the chromosomes to which they were bound; the frequency of transitions from polymerization to depolymerization was decreased, and the speed of depolymerization-coupled movement toward chromosomes was only one-fifth the rate of shortening for microtubules free in solution. Our results are consistent with a model in which each microtubule interacts with an increasing number of chromosome-associated binding sites as it approaches the kinetochore. PMID:9763448

  6. 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.

  7. Communication: Microphase equilibrium and assembly dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhuang, Yuan; Charbonneau, Patrick

    2017-09-01

    Despite many attempts, ordered equilibrium microphases have yet to be obtained in experimental colloidal suspensions. The recent computation of the equilibrium phase diagram of a microscopic, particle-based microphase former [Zhuang et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 098301 (2016)] has nonetheless found such mesoscale assemblies to be thermodynamically stable. Here, we consider their equilibrium and assembly dynamics. At intermediate densities above the order-disorder transition, we identify four different dynamical regimes and the structural changes that underlie the dynamical crossovers from one disordered regime to the next. Below the order-disorder transition, we also find that periodic lamellae are the most dynamically accessible of the periodic microphases. Our analysis thus offers a comprehensive view of the dynamics of disordered microphases and a route to the assembly of periodic microphases in a putative well-controlled, experimental system.

  8. 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.

  9. The dynamics of assembling food webs.

    PubMed

    Fahimipour, Ashkaan K; Hein, Andrew M

    2014-05-01

    Community assembly is central to ecology, yet ecologists have amassed little quantitative information about how food webs assemble. Theory holds that colonisation rate is a primary driver of community assembly. We present new data from a mesocosm experiment to test the hypothesis that colonisation rate also determines the assembly dynamics of food webs. By manipulating colonisation rate and measuring webs through time, we show how colonisation rate governs structural changes during assembly. Webs experiencing different colonisation rates had stable topologies despite significant species turnover, suggesting that some features of network architecture emerge early and change little through assembly. But webs experiencing low colonisation rates showed less variation in the magnitudes of trophic fluxes, and were less likely to develop coupled fast and slow resource channels--a common feature of published webs. Our results reveal that food web structure develops according to repeatable trajectories that are strongly influenced by colonisation rate. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  11. 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

  12. EB1 interacts with outwardly curved and straight regions of the microtubule lattice.

    PubMed

    Guesdon, Audrey; Bazile, Franck; Buey, Rubén M; Mohan, Renu; Monier, Solange; García, Ruddi Rodríguez; Angevin, Morgane; Heichette, Claire; Wieneke, Ralph; Tampé, Robert; Duchesne, Laurence; Akhmanova, Anna; Steinmetz, Michel O; Chrétien, Denis

    2016-10-01

    EB1 is a microtubule plus-end tracking protein that recognizes GTP-tubulin dimers in microtubules and thus represents a unique probe to investigate the architecture of the GTP cap of growing microtubule ends. Here, we conjugated EB1 to gold nanoparticles (EB1-gold) and imaged by cryo-electron tomography its interaction with dynamic microtubules assembled in vitro from purified tubulin. EB1-gold forms comets at the ends of microtubules assembled in the presence of GTP, and interacts with the outer surface of curved and straight tubulin sheets as well as closed regions of the microtubule lattice. Microtubules assembled in the presence of GTP, different GTP analogues or cell extracts display similarly curved sheets at their growing ends, which gradually straighten as their protofilament number increases until they close into a tube. Together, our data provide unique structural information on the interaction of EB1 with growing microtubule ends. They further offer insights into the conformational changes that tubulin dimers undergo during microtubule assembly and the architecture of the GTP-cap region.

  13. Multiple Domains of Human CLASP Contribute to Microtubule Dynamics and Organization In Vitro and in Xenopus Egg Extracts

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Kieren; Nogales, Eva; Heald, Rebecca

    2012-01-01

    Cytoplasmic linker associated proteins (CLASPs) comprise a class of microtubule (MT) plus end-binding proteins (+TIPs) that contribute to the dynamics and organization of MTs during many cellular processes, among them mitosis. Human CLASP proteins contain multiple MT-binding domains, including tumor over-expressed gene (TOG) domains, and a Ser-x-Ile-Pro (SxIP) motif known to target some +TIPs though interaction with end-binding protein 1 (EB1). However, how individual domains contribute to CLASP function is poorly understood. We generated full-length recombinant human CLASP1 and a series of truncation mutants and found that two N-terminal TOG domains make the strongest contribution to MT polymerization and bundling, but also identified a third TOG domain that further contributes to CLASP activity. Plus end tracking by CLASP requires the SxIP motif and interaction with EB1. The C-terminal coiled-coil domain mediates dimerization and association with many other factors, including the kinetochore motor centromere protein E (CENP-E), and the chromokinesin Xkid. Only the full-length protein was able to rescue spindle assembly in Xenopus egg extracts depleted of endogenous CLASP. Deletion of the C-terminal domain caused aberrant MT polymerization and dramatic spindle phenotypes, even with small amounts of added protein, indicating that proper localization of CLASP activity is essential to control MT polymerization during mitosis. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc PMID:22278908

  14. Molecular mechanism of action of microtubule-stabilizing anticancer agents.

    PubMed

    Prota, Andrea E; Bargsten, Katja; Zurwerra, Didier; Field, Jessica J; Díaz, José Fernando; Altmann, Karl-Heinz; Steinmetz, Michel O

    2013-02-01

    Microtubule-stabilizing agents (MSAs) are efficacious chemotherapeutic drugs widely used for the treatment of cancer. Despite the importance of MSAs for medical applications and basic research, their molecular mechanisms of action on tubulin and microtubules remain elusive. We determined high-resolution crystal structures of αβ-tubulin in complex with two unrelated MSAs, zampanolide and epothilone A. Both compounds were bound to the taxane pocket of β-tubulin and used their respective side chains to induce structuring of the M-loop into a short helix. Because the M-loop establishes lateral tubulin contacts in microtubules, these findings explain how taxane-site MSAs promote microtubule assembly and stability. Further, our results offer fundamental structural insights into the control mechanisms of microtubule dynamics.

  15. Modification of growth anisotropy and cortical microtubule dynamics in Arabidopsis hypocotyls grown under microgravity conditions in space.

    PubMed

    Soga, Kouichi; Yamazaki, Chiaki; Kamada, Motoshi; Tanigawa, Naoki; Kasahara, Haruo; Yano, Sachiko; Kojo, Kei H; Kutsuna, Natsumaro; Kato, Takehide; Hashimoto, Takashi; Kotake, Toshihisa; Wakabayashi, Kazuyuki; Hoson, Takayuki

    2017-09-01

    We carried out a space experiment, denoted as Aniso Tubule, to examine the effects of microgravity on the growth anisotropy and cortical microtubule dynamics in Arabidopsis hypocotyls, using lines in which microtubules are visualized by labelling tubulin or microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) with green fluorescent protein (GFP). In all lines, GFP-tubulin6 (TUB6)-, basic proline-rich protein1 (BPP1)-GFP- and spira1-like3 (SP1L3)-GFP-expressing using a constitutive promoter, and spiral2 (SPR2)-GFP- and GFP-65 kDa MAP-1 (MAP65-1)-expressing using a native promoter, the length of hypocotyls grown under microgravity conditions in space was longer than that grown at 1 g conditions on the ground. In contrast, the diameter of hypocotyls grown under microgravity conditions was smaller than that of the hypocotyls grown at 1 g. The percentage of cells with transverse microtubules was increased under microgravity conditions, irrespective of the lines. Also, the average angle of the microtubules with respect to the transverse cell axis was decreased in hypocotyls grown under microgravity conditions. When GFP fluorescence was quantified in hypocotyls of GFP-MAP65-1 and SPR2-GFP lines, microgravity increased the levels of MAP65-1, which appears to be involved in the maintenance of transverse microtubule orientation. However, the levels of SPR2 under microgravity conditions were comparable to those at 1 g. These results suggest that the microgravity-induced increase in the levels of MAP65-1 is involved in increase in the transverse microtubules, which may lead to modification of growth anisotropy, thereby developing longer and thinner hypocotyls under microgravity conditions in space. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Dynamic microtubule-dependent interactions position homotypic neurones in regular monolayered arrays during retinal development.

    PubMed

    Galli-Resta, Lucia; Novelli, Elena; Viegi, Alessandro

    2002-08-01

    In the vertebrate retina cell layers support serial processing, while monolayered arrays of homotypic neurones tile each layer to allow parallel processing. How neurones form layers and arrays is still largely unknown. We show that monolayered retinal arrays are dynamic structures based on dendritic interactions between the array cells. The analysis of three developing retinal arrays shows that these become regular as a net of dendritic processes links neighbouring array cells. Molecular or pharmacological perturbations of microtubules within dendrites lead to a stereotyped and reversible disruption of array organization: array cells lose their regular spacing and the arrangement in a monolayer. This leads to a micro-mechanical explanation of how monolayers of regularly spaced 'like-cells' are formed.

  19. Fluorescent microtubules break up under illumination

    PubMed Central

    1988-01-01

    We have synthesized three new fluorescent analogues of tubulin, using fluorescein or rhodamine groups attached to N-hydroxy-succinimidyl esters, and have partially characterized the properties of these analogues. We have also further characterized the tubulin derivatized with dichlorotriazinyl-aminofluorescein that has previously been used in this and other laboratories. Our results show that all four analogues assemble into microtubules which break up when exposed to light of the wavelengths that excite fluorescence. This sensitivity places severe constraints on the use of these analogues in studies of microtubule dynamics. PMID:3417772

  20. 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

  1. Downregulation of striatin leads to hyperphosphorylation of MAP2, induces depolymerization of microtubules and inhibits proliferation of HEK293T cells.

    PubMed

    Kaźmierczak-Barańska, Julia; Pęczek, Łukasz; Przygodzka, Patrycja; Cieślak, Marcin J

    2015-01-16

    Microtubules are tubular polymers of α/β-tubulin that are involved in the maintenance of cell shape, motility, and intracellular transport and in the segregation of chromosomes during cell division. Microtubules are dynamic structures, and their assembly is regulated by phosphoproteins called microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs). We propose that striatin, a protein belonging to the striatin family of proteins, is involved in regulation of microtubules. In HEK293T cells, striatin colocalizes with microtubules and stably associates with PP2Ac. Inhibition of striatin expression results in hyperphosphorylation of MAP2 and destabilizes microtubules. Striatin-induced destabilization of microtubules inhibited the proliferation of HEK293T cells and caused the accumulation of cells in the G0/G1 phase of the cell cycle. These results suggest that the PP2A/striatin complex modulates microtubule dynamics by regulating MAP2 phosphorylation.

  2. Gas7b (growth arrest specific protein 7b) regulates neuronal cell morphology by enhancing microtubule and actin filament assembly.

    PubMed

    Gotoh, Aina; Hidaka, Masafumi; Hirose, Keiko; Uchida, Takafumi

    2013-11-29

    Neurons undergo several morphological changes as a part of normal neuron maturation process. Alzheimer disease is associated with increased neuroproliferation and impaired neuronal maturation. In this study, we demonstrated that Gas7b (growth arrest specific protein 7b) expression in a neuronal cell line, Neuro 2A, induces cell maturation by facilitating formation of dendrite-like processes and/or filopodia projections and that Gas7b co-localizes with neurite microtubules. Molecular analysis was performed to evaluate whether Gas7b associates with actin filaments and microtubules, and the data revealed two novel roles of Gas7b in neurite outgrowth: we showed that Gas7b enhances bundling of several microtubule filaments and connects microtubules with actin filaments. These results suggest that Gas7b governs neural cell morphogenesis by enhancing the coordination between actin filaments and microtubules. We conclude that lower neuronal Gas7b levels may impact Alzheimer disease progression.

  3. MCAK-mediated regulation of endothelial cell microtubule dynamics is mechanosensitive to myosin-II contractility

    PubMed Central

    D’Angelo, Lauren; Myer, Nicole M.; Myers, Kenneth A.

    2017-01-01

    Compliance and dimensionality mechanosensing, the processes by which cells sense the physical attributes of the extracellular matrix (ECM), are known to drive cell branching and shape change largely through a myosin-II–mediated reorganization of the actin and microtubule (MT) cytoskeletons. Subcellular regulation of MT dynamics is spatially controlled through a Rac1–Aurora-A kinase pathway that locally inhibits the MT depolymerizing activity of mitotic centromere–associated kinesin (MCAK), thereby promoting leading-edge MT growth and cell polarization. These results suggest that the regulation of MT growth dynamics is intimately linked to physical engagement of the cell with the ECM. Here, we tested the hypothesis that MCAK contributes to compliance and dimensionality mechanosensing-mediated regulation of MT growth dynamics through a myosin-II–dependent signaling pathway. We cultured endothelial cells (ECs) on collagen-coupled stiff or compliant polyacrylamide ECMs to examine the effects of MCAK expression on MT growth dynamics and EC branching morphology. Our results identify that MCAK promotes fast MT growth speeds in ECs cultured on compliant 2D ECMs but promotes slow MT growth speeds in ECs cultured on compliant 3D ECMs, and these effects are myosin-II dependent. Furthermore, we find that 3D ECM engagement uncouples MCAK-mediated regulation of MT growth persistence from myosin-II–mediated regulation of growth persistence specifically within EC branched protrusions. PMID:28298485

  4. 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

    2014-09-07

    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).

  5. Microtubules Are Essential for Mitochondrial Dynamics-Fission, Fusion, and Motility-in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Woods, Laken C; Berbusse, Gregory W; Naylor, Kari

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondrial function is dependent upon mitochondrial structure which is in turn dependent upon mitochondrial dynamics, including fission, fusion, and motility. Here we examined the relationship between mitochondrial dynamics and the cytoskeleton in Dictyostelium discoideum. Using time-lapse analysis, we quantified mitochondrial fission, fusion, and motility in the presence of cytoskeleton disrupting pharmaceuticals and the absence of the potential mitochondria-cytoskeleton linker protein, CluA. Our results indicate that microtubules are essential for mitochondrial movement, as well as fission and fusion; actin plays a less significant role, perhaps selecting the mitochondria for transport. We also suggest that CluA is not a linker protein but plays an unidentified role in mitochondrial fission and fusion. The significance of our work is to gain further insight into the role the cytoskeleton plays in mitochondrial dynamics and function. By better understanding these processes we can better appreciate the underlying mitochondrial contributions to many neurological disorders characterized by altered mitochondrial dynamics, structure, and/or function.

  6. Structure and dynamics of self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Lengerich, Henrik; James, Richard

    2013-03-01

    We investigate structures that are composed of many identical building blocks. Of particular interest are equilibrium structures where every building block sees the same environment - we call these ``objective structures''. For example, carbon nanotubes and virus capsids are both objective structures. The dynamics of assembly is investigated through experiments and simulations. The experiment consist of a macro-scale shaker containing identical neutrally buoyant magnetic particles. Simulations model the translation and rotation of particles using Langevin dynamics. This kind of modelling is applicable to both our experiment and to molecular assembly.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-05

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. FoxO regulates microtubule dynamics and polarity to promote dendrite branching in Drosophila sensory neurons.

    PubMed

    Sears, James C; Broihier, Heather T

    2016-10-01

    The size and shape of dendrite arbors are defining features of neurons and critical determinants of neuronal function. The molecular mechanisms establishing arborization patterns during development are not well understood, though properly regulated microtubule (MT) dynamics and polarity are essential. We previously found that FoxO regulates axonal MTs, raising the question of whether it also regulates dendritic MTs and morphology. Here we demonstrate that FoxO promotes dendrite branching in all classes of Drosophila dendritic arborization (da) neurons. FoxO is required both for initiating growth of new branches and for maintaining existing branches. To elucidate FoxO function, we characterized MT organization in both foxO null and overexpressing neurons. We find that FoxO directs MT organization and dynamics in dendrites. Moreover, it is both necessary and sufficient for anterograde MT polymerization, which is known to promote dendrite branching. Lastly, FoxO promotes proper larval nociception, indicating a functional consequence of impaired da neuron morphology in foxO mutants. Together, our results indicate that FoxO regulates dendrite structure and function and suggest that FoxO-mediated pathways control MT dynamics and polarity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Five factors can reconstitute all three phases of microtubule polymerization dynamics.

    PubMed

    Moriwaki, Takashi; Goshima, Gohta

    2016-11-07

    Cytoplasmic microtubules (MTs) undergo growth, shrinkage, and pausing. However, how MT polymerization cycles are produced and spatiotemporally regulated at a molecular level is unclear, as the entire cycle has not been recapitulated in vitro with defined components. In this study, we reconstituted dynamic MT plus end behavior involving all three phases by mixing tubulin with five Drosophila melanogaster proteins (EB1, XMAP215(Msps), Sentin, kinesin-13(Klp10A), and CLASP(Mast/Orbit)). When singly mixed with tubulin, CLASP(Mast/Orbit) strongly inhibited MT catastrophe and reduced the growth rate. However, in the presence of the other four factors, CLASP(Mast/Orbit) acted as an inducer of pausing. The mitotic kinase Plk1(Polo) modulated the activity of CLASP(Mast/Orbit) and kinesin-13(Klp10A) and increased the dynamic instability of MTs, reminiscent of mitotic cells. These results suggest that five conserved proteins constitute the core factors for creating dynamic MTs in cells and that Plk1-dependent phosphorylation is a crucial event for switching from the interphase to mitotic mode.

  11. A conceptual view at microtubule plus end dynamics in neuronal axons.

    PubMed

    Voelzmann, André; Hahn, Ines; Pearce, Simon P; Sánchez-Soriano, Natalia; Prokop, Andreas

    2016-09-01

    Axons are the cable-like protrusions of neurons which wire up the nervous system. Polar bundles of microtubules (MTs) constitute their structural backbones and are highways for life-sustaining transport between proximal cell bodies and distal synapses. Any morphogenetic changes of axons during development, plastic rearrangement, regeneration or degeneration depend on dynamic changes of these MT bundles. A key mechanism for implementing such changes is the coordinated polymerisation and depolymerisation at the plus ends of MTs within these bundles. To gain an understanding of how such regulation can be achieved at the cellular level, we provide here an integrated overview of the extensive knowledge we have about the molecular mechanisms regulating MT de/polymerisation. We first summarise insights gained from work in vitro, then describe the machinery which supplies the essential tubulin building blocks, the protein complexes associating with MT plus ends, and MT shaft-based mechanisms that influence plus end dynamics. We briefly summarise the contribution of MT plus end dynamics to important cellular functions in axons, and conclude by discussing the challenges and potential strategies of integrating the existing molecular knowledge into conceptual understanding at the level of axons. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. 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

  13. Five factors can reconstitute all three phases of microtubule polymerization dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Moriwaki, Takashi

    2016-01-01

    Cytoplasmic microtubules (MTs) undergo growth, shrinkage, and pausing. However, how MT polymerization cycles are produced and spatiotemporally regulated at a molecular level is unclear, as the entire cycle has not been recapitulated in vitro with defined components. In this study, we reconstituted dynamic MT plus end behavior involving all three phases by mixing tubulin with five Drosophila melanogaster proteins (EB1, XMAP215Msps, Sentin, kinesin-13Klp10A, and CLASPMast/Orbit). When singly mixed with tubulin, CLASPMast/Orbit strongly inhibited MT catastrophe and reduced the growth rate. However, in the presence of the other four factors, CLASPMast/Orbit acted as an inducer of pausing. The mitotic kinase Plk1Polo modulated the activity of CLASPMast/Orbit and kinesin-13Klp10A and increased the dynamic instability of MTs, reminiscent of mitotic cells. These results suggest that five conserved proteins constitute the core factors for creating dynamic MTs in cells and that Plk1-dependent phosphorylation is a crucial event for switching from the interphase to mitotic mode. PMID:27799364

  14. Dynamic synchrony of local cell assembly.

    PubMed

    Sakurai, Yoshio; Takahashi, Susumu

    2008-01-01

    In the present paper, we focus on the problem of the dynamic size of a cell assembly and discuss how we can detect synchronized firing of a local cell assembly consisting of closely neighboring neurons in the working brain. A local cell assembly is difficult to detect because of the problem of spike overlapping of neighboring neurons, which cannot be overcome by ordinary spike-sorting techniques. We introduce a unique technique of spike-sorting that combines independent component analysis (ICA) and an ordinary sorting method to separate individual neighboring neurons and analyze their firing synchrony in behaving animals. One of our experiments employing this method showed that some closely neighboring neurons in the monkey prefrontal cortex have dynamic and sharp synchrony of firing reflecting local cell assemblies during working-memory processes. Another experiment showed that our other method (ICSort) of novel spike-sorting by ICA using special electrodes (dodecatrodes) can distinguish firing signals from the soma and those from the dendrites of individual neurons in behaving rats and suggests that the somatic and dendritic signals have different roles in information processing. This indicates that functional connectivity among neurons may be more dynamic and complex and spikes from the soma and dendrites of individual neurons should be considered in the investigation of the activity of local cell assemblies. We finally propose that detailed and real features of a local cell assembly consisting of closely neighboring neurons should be examined further and detection of local cell assemblies could be applied to the development of neuronal prosthetic devices, that is, brain-machine interfaces (BMIs).

  15. Polyamine Sharing between Tubulin Dimers Favours Microtubule Nucleation and Elongation via Facilitated Diffusion

    PubMed Central

    Mechulam, Alain; Chernov, Konstantin G.; Mucher, Elodie; Hamon, Loic; Curmi, Patrick A.; Pastré, David

    2009-01-01

    We suggest for the first time that the action of multivalent cations on microtubule dynamics can result from facilitated diffusion of GTP-tubulin to the microtubule ends. Facilitated diffusion can promote microtubule assembly, because, upon encountering a growing nucleus or the microtubule wall, random GTP-tubulin sliding on their surfaces will increase the probability of association to the target sites (nucleation sites or MT ends). This is an original explanation for understanding the apparent discrepancy between the high rate of microtubule elongation and the low rate of tubulin association at the microtubule ends in the viscous cytoplasm. The mechanism of facilitated diffusion requires an attraction force between two tubulins, which can result from the sharing of multivalent counterions. Natural polyamines (putrescine, spermidine, and spermine) are present in all living cells and are potent agents to trigger tubulin self-attraction. By using an analytical model, we analyze the implication of facilitated diffusion mediated by polyamines on nucleation and elongation of microtubules. In vitro experiments using pure tubulin indicate that the promotion of microtubule assembly by polyamines is typical of facilitated diffusion. The results presented here show that polyamines can be of particular importance for the regulation of the microtubule network in vivo and provide the basis for further investigations into the effects of facilitated diffusion on cytoskeleton dynamics. PMID:19119409

  16. Polyamine sharing between tubulin dimers favours microtubule nucleation and elongation via facilitated diffusion.

    PubMed

    Mechulam, Alain; Chernov, Konstantin G; Mucher, Elodie; Hamon, Loic; Curmi, Patrick A; Pastré, David

    2009-01-01

    We suggest for the first time that the action of multivalent cations on microtubule dynamics can result from facilitated diffusion of GTP-tubulin to the microtubule ends. Facilitated diffusion can promote microtubule assembly, because, upon encountering a growing nucleus or the microtubule wall, random GTP-tubulin sliding on their surfaces will increase the probability of association to the target sites (nucleation sites or MT ends). This is an original explanation for understanding the apparent discrepancy between the high rate of microtubule elongation and the low rate of tubulin association at the microtubule ends in the viscous cytoplasm. The mechanism of facilitated diffusion requires an attraction force between two tubulins, which can result from the sharing of multivalent counterions. Natural polyamines (putrescine, spermidine, and spermine) are present in all living cells and are potent agents to trigger tubulin self-attraction. By using an analytical model, we analyze the implication of facilitated diffusion mediated by polyamines on nucleation and elongation of microtubules. In vitro experiments using pure tubulin indicate that the promotion of microtubule assembly by polyamines is typical of facilitated diffusion. The results presented here show that polyamines can be of particular importance for the regulation of the microtubule network in vivo and provide the basis for further investigations into the effects of facilitated diffusion on cytoskeleton dynamics.

  17. A designed ankyrin repeat protein selected to bind to tubulin caps the microtubule plus end.

    PubMed

    Pecqueur, Ludovic; Duellberg, Christian; Dreier, Birgit; Jiang, Qiyang; Wang, Chunguang; Plückthun, Andreas; Surrey, Thomas; Gigant, Benoît; Knossow, Marcel

    2012-07-24

    Microtubules are cytoskeleton filaments consisting of αβ-tubulin heterodimers. They switch between phases of growth and shrinkage. The underlying mechanism of this property, called dynamic instability, is not fully understood. Here, we identified a designed ankyrin repeat protein (DARPin) that interferes with microtubule assembly in a unique manner. The X-ray structure of its complex with GTP-tubulin shows that it binds to the β-tubulin surface exposed at microtubule (+) ends. The details of the structure provide insight into the role of GTP in microtubule polymerization and the conformational state of tubulin at the very microtubule end. They show in particular that GTP facilitates the tubulin structural switch that accompanies microtubule assembly but does not trigger it in unpolymerized tubulin. Total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy revealed that the DARPin specifically blocks growth at the microtubule (+) end by a selective end-capping mechanism, ultimately favoring microtubule disassembly from that end. DARPins promise to become designable tools for the dissection of microtubule dynamic properties selective for either of their two different ends.

  18. Glutamylation on alpha-tubulin is not essential but affects the assembly and functions of a subset of microtubules in Tetrahymena thermophila.

    PubMed

    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

    2008-08-01

    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 alpha-tubulin subunit. By site-directed mutagenesis, we show that all six glutamates of the C-terminal tail domain of alpha-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 alpha-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 alpha-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.

  19. Dynamic regulation of cortical microtubule organization through prefoldin-DELLA interaction.

    PubMed

    Locascio, Antonella; Blázquez, Miguel A; Alabadí, David

    2013-05-06

    Plant morphogenesis relies on specific patterns of cell division and expansion. It is well established that cortical microtubules influence the direction of cell expansion, but less is known about the molecular mechanisms that regulate microtubule arrangement. Here we show that the phytohormones gibberellins (GAs) regulate microtubule orientation through physical interaction between the nuclear-localized DELLA proteins and the prefoldin complex, a cochaperone required for tubulin folding. In the presence of GA, DELLA proteins are degraded, and the prefoldin complex stays in the cytoplasm and is functional. In the absence of GA, the prefoldin complex is localized to the nucleus, which severely compromises α/β-tubulin heterodimer availability, affecting microtubule organization. The physiological relevance of this molecular mechanism was confirmed by the observation that the daily rhythm of plant growth was accompanied by coordinated oscillation of DELLA accumulation, prefoldin subcellular localization, and cortical microtubule reorientation.

  20. Assembly, stability and dynamics of virus capsids.

    PubMed

    Mateu, Mauricio G

    2013-03-01

    Most viruses use a hollow protein shell, the capsid, to enclose the viral genome. Virus capsids are large, symmetric oligomers made of many copies of one or a few types of protein subunits. Self-assembly of a viral capsid is a complex oligomerization process that proceeds along a pathway regulated by ordered interactions between the participating protein subunits, and that involves a series of (usually transient) assembly intermediates. Assembly of many virus capsids requires the assistance of scaffolding proteins or the viral nucleic acid, which interact with the capsid subunits to promote and direct the process. Once assembled, many capsids undergo a maturation reaction that involves covalent modification and/or conformational rearrangements, which may increase the stability of the particle. The final, mature capsid is a relatively robust protein complex able to protect the viral genome from physicochemical aggressions; however, it is also a metastable, dynamic structure poised to undergo controlled conformational transitions required to perform biologically critical functions during virus entry into cells, intracellular trafficking, and viral genome uncoating. This article provides an updated general overview on structural, biophysical and biochemical aspects of the assembly, stability and dynamics of virus capsids. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Identification of a novel microtubule binding and assembly domain in the developmentally regulated inter-repeat region of tau.

    PubMed

    Goode, B L; Feinstein, S C

    1994-03-01

    Tau is a developmentally regulated microtubule-associated protein that influences microtubule behavior by directly associating with tubulin. The carboxyl terminus of tau contains multiple 18-amino acid repeats that bind microtubules and are separated by 13-14-amino acid inter-repeat (IR) regions previously thought to function as "linkers." Here, we have performed a high resolution deletion analysis of tau and identified the IR region located between repeats 1 and 2 (the R1-R2 IR) as a unique microtubule binding site with more than twice the binding affinity of any individual repeat. Truncation analyses and site-directed mutagenesis reveal that the binding activity of this site is derived primarily from lys265 and lys272, with a lesser contribution from lys271. These results predict strong, discrete electrostatic interactions between the R1-R2 IR and tubulin, in contrast to the distributed array of weak interactions thought to underlie the association between 18-amino acid repeats and microtubules (Butner, K. A., and M. W. Kirschner. J. Cell Biol. 115:717-730). Moreover, competition assays suggest that the R1-R2 IR associates with microtubules at tubulin site(s) distinct from those bound by the repeats. Finally, a synthetic peptide corresponding to just 10 amino acids of the R1-R2 IR is sufficient to promote tubulin polymerization in a sequence-dependent manner. Since the R1-R2 IR is specifically expressed in adult tau, its action may underlie some of the developmental transitions observed in neuronal microtubule organization. We suggest that the R1-R2 IR may establish an adult-specific, high affinity anchor that tethers the otherwise mobile tau molecule to the tubulin lattice, thereby increasing microtubule stability. Moreover, the absence of R1-R2 IR expression during early development may allow for the cytoskeletal plasticity required of immature neurons.

  2. Identification of a novel microtubule binding and assembly domain in the developmentally regulated inter-repeat region of tau

    PubMed Central

    1994-01-01

    Tau is a developmentally regulated microtubule-associated protein that influences microtubule behavior by directly associating with tubulin. The carboxyl terminus of tau contains multiple 18-amino acid repeats that bind microtubules and are separated by 13-14-amino acid inter- repeat (IR) regions previously thought to function as "linkers." Here, we have performed a high resolution deletion analysis of tau and identified the IR region located between repeats 1 and 2 (the R1-R2 IR) as a unique microtubule binding site with more than twice the binding affinity of any individual repeat. Truncation analyses and site- directed mutagenesis reveal that the binding activity of this site is derived primarily from lys265 and lys272, with a lesser contribution from lys271. These results predict strong, discrete electrostatic interactions between the R1-R2 IR and tubulin, in contrast to the distributed array of weak interactions thought to underlie the association between 18-amino acid repeats and microtubules (Butner, K. A., and M. W. Kirschner. J. Cell Biol. 115:717-730). Moreover, competition assays suggest that the R1-R2 IR associates with microtubules at tubulin site(s) distinct from those bound by the repeats. Finally, a synthetic peptide corresponding to just 10 amino acids of the R1-R2 IR is sufficient to promote tubulin polymerization in a sequence-dependent manner. Since the R1-R2 IR is specifically expressed in adult tau, its action may underlie some of the developmental transitions observed in neuronal microtubule organization. We suggest that the R1-R2 IR may establish an adult- specific, high affinity anchor that tethers the otherwise mobile tau molecule to the tubulin lattice, thereby increasing microtubule stability. Moreover, the absence of R1-R2 IR expression during early development may allow for the cytoskeletal plasticity required of immature neurons. PMID:8120098

  3. Dynamics of centrosome translocation and microtubule organization in neocortical neurons during distinct modes of polarization.

    PubMed

    Sakakibara, Akira; Sato, Toshiyuki; Ando, Ryota; Noguchi, Namiko; Masaoka, Makoto; Miyata, Takaki

    2014-05-01

    Neuronal migration and process formation require cytoskeletal organization and remodeling. Recent studies suggest that centrosome translocation is involved in initial axon outgrowth, while the role of centrosomal positioning is not clear. Here, we examine relations between centrosomal positioning, axonogenesis, and microtubule (MT) polarization in multipolar and bipolar neocortical neurons. We monitored dynamic movements of centrosomes and MT plus ends in migratory neurons in embryonic mouse cerebral slices. In locomoting bipolar neurons, the centrosome oriented toward the pia-directed leading process. Bipolar neurons displayed dense MT plus end dynamics in leading processes, while trailing processes showed clear bidirectional MTs. In migrating multipolar neurons, new processes emerged irrespective of centrosome localization, followed by centrosome reorientations toward the dominant process. Anterograde movements of MT plus ends occurred in growing processes and retrograde movements were observed after retraction of the distal tip. In multipolar neurons, axon formed by tangential extension of a dominant process and the centrosome oriented toward the growing axon, while in locomoting neurons, an axon formed opposite to the direction of migration and the centrosome localized to the base of the leading process. Our data suggest that MT organization may alter centrosomal localization and that centrosomal positioning does not necessarily direct process formation.

  4. 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

  5. Microtubule dynamics analysis using kymographs and variable-rate particle filters.

    PubMed

    Smal, Ihor; Grigoriev, Ilya; Akhmanova, Anna; Niessen, Wiro J; Meijering, Erik

    2010-07-01

    Studying intracellular dynamics is of fundamental importance for understanding healthy life at the molecular level and for developing drugs to target disease processes. One of the key technologies to enable this research is the automated tracking and motion analysis of these objects in microscopy image sequences. To make better use of the spatiotemporal information than common frame-by-frame tracking methods, two alternative approaches have recently been proposed, based upon either Bayesian estimation or space-time segmentation. In this paper, we propose to combine the power of both approaches, and develop a new probabilistic method to segment the traces of the moving objects in kymograph representations of the image data. It is based on variable-rate particle filtering and uses multiscale trend analysis of the extracted traces to estimate the relevant kinematic parameters. Experiments on realistic synthetically generated images as well as on real biological image data demonstrate the improved potential of the new method for the analysis of microtubule dynamics in vitro.

  6. Regulation of a Dynamic Interaction between Two Microtubule-binding Proteins, EB1 and TIP150, by the Mitotic p300/CBP-associated Factor (PCAF) Orchestrates Kinetochore Microtubule Plasticity and Chromosome Stability during Mitosis*

    PubMed Central

    Ward, Tarsha; Wang, Ming; Liu, Xing; Wang, Zhikai; Xia, Peng; Chu, Youjun; Wang, Xiwei; Liu, Lifang; Jiang, Kai; Yu, Huijuan; Yan, Maomao; Wang, Jianyu; Hill, Donald L.; Huang, Yuejia; Zhu, Tongge; Yao, Xuebiao

    2013-01-01

    The microtubule cytoskeleton network orchestrates cellular dynamics and chromosome stability in mitosis. Although tubulin acetylation is essential for cellular plasticity, it has remained elusive how kinetochore microtubule plus-end dynamics are regulated by p300/CBP-associated factor (PCAF) acetylation in mitosis. Here, we demonstrate that the plus-end tracking protein, TIP150, regulates dynamic kinetochore-microtubule attachments by promoting the stability of spindle microtubule plus-ends. Suppression of TIP150 by siRNA results in metaphase alignment delays and perturbations in chromosome biorientation. TIP150 is a tetramer that binds an end-binding protein (EB1) dimer through the C-terminal domains, and overexpression of the C-terminal TIP150 or disruption of the TIP150-EB1 interface by a membrane-permeable peptide perturbs chromosome segregation. Acetylation of EB1-PCAF regulates the TIP150 interaction, and persistent acetylation perturbs EB1-TIP150 interaction and accurate metaphase alignment, resulting in spindle checkpoint activation. Suppression of the mitotic checkpoint serine/threonine protein kinase, BubR1, overrides mitotic arrest induced by impaired EB1-TIP150 interaction, but cells exhibit whole chromosome aneuploidy. Thus, the results identify a mechanism by which the TIP150-EB1 interaction governs kinetochore microtubule plus-end plasticity and establish that the temporal control of the TIP150-EB1 interaction by PCAF acetylation ensures chromosome stability in mitosis. PMID:23595990

  7. Regulation of a dynamic interaction between two microtubule-binding proteins, EB1 and TIP150, by the mitotic p300/CBP-associated factor (PCAF) orchestrates kinetochore microtubule plasticity and chromosome stability during mitosis.

    PubMed

    Ward, Tarsha; Wang, Ming; Liu, Xing; Wang, Zhikai; Xia, Peng; Chu, Youjun; Wang, Xiwei; Liu, Lifang; Jiang, Kai; Yu, Huijuan; Yan, Maomao; Wang, Jianyu; Hill, Donald L; Huang, Yuejia; Zhu, Tongge; Yao, Xuebiao

    2013-05-31

    The microtubule cytoskeleton network orchestrates cellular dynamics and chromosome stability in mitosis. Although tubulin acetylation is essential for cellular plasticity, it has remained elusive how kinetochore microtubule plus-end dynamics are regulated by p300/CBP-associated factor (PCAF) acetylation in mitosis. Here, we demonstrate that the plus-end tracking protein, TIP150, regulates dynamic kinetochore-microtubule attachments by promoting the stability of spindle microtubule plus-ends. Suppression of TIP150 by siRNA results in metaphase alignment delays and perturbations in chromosome biorientation. TIP150 is a tetramer that binds an end-binding protein (EB1) dimer through the C-terminal domains, and overexpression of the C-terminal TIP150 or disruption of the TIP150-EB1 interface by a membrane-permeable peptide perturbs chromosome segregation. Acetylation of EB1-PCAF regulates the TIP150 interaction, and persistent acetylation perturbs EB1-TIP150 interaction and accurate metaphase alignment, resulting in spindle checkpoint activation. Suppression of the mitotic checkpoint serine/threonine protein kinase, BubR1, overrides mitotic arrest induced by impaired EB1-TIP150 interaction, but cells exhibit whole chromosome aneuploidy. Thus, the results identify a mechanism by which the TIP150-EB1 interaction governs kinetochore microtubule plus-end plasticity and establish that the temporal control of the TIP150-EB1 interaction by PCAF acetylation ensures chromosome stability in mitosis.

  8. Identification of MINUS, a small polypeptide that functions as a microtubule nucleation suppressor.

    PubMed

    Fanara, P; Oback, B; Ashman, K; Podtelejnikov, A; Brandt, R

    1999-02-01

    In eukaryotic cells, tubulin polymerization must be regulated precisely during cell division and differentiation. To identify new mechanisms involved in cellular microtubule formation, we isolated an activity that suppresses microtubule nucleation in vitro. The activity was due to a small acidic polypeptide of 4.7 kDa which we named MINUS (microtubule nucleation suppressor). MINUS inhibited tau- and taxol-mediated microtubule assembly in vitro and was inactivated by dephosphorylation. The protein was purified to homogeneity from cultured neural (PC12) cells and bovine brain. Microinjection of MINUS caused a transient loss of dynamic microtubules in Vero cells. The results suggest that MINUS acts with a novel mechanism on tubulin polymerization, thus regulating microtubule formation in living cells.

  9. Dynamic microtubule organization and mitochondrial transport are regulated by distinct Kinesin-1 pathways

    PubMed Central

    Melkov, Anna; Simchoni, Yasmin; Alcalay, Yehonatan; Abdu, Uri

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The microtubule (MT) plus-end motor kinesin heavy chain (Khc) is well known for its role in long distance cargo transport. Recent evidence showed that Khc is also required for the organization of the cellular MT network by mediating MT sliding. We found that mutations in Khc and the gene of its adaptor protein, kinesin light chain (Klc) resulted in identical bristle morphology defects, with the upper part of the bristle being thinner and flatter than normal and failing to taper towards the bristle tip. We demonstrate that bristle mitochondria transport requires Khc but not Klc as a competing force to dynein heavy chain (Dhc). Surprisingly, we demonstrate for the first time that Dhc is the primary motor for both anterograde and retrograde fast mitochondria transport. We found that the upper part of Khc and Klc mutant bristles lacked stable MTs. When following dynamic MT polymerization via the use of GFP-tagged end-binding protein 1 (EB1), it was noted that at Khc and Klc mutant bristle tips, dynamic MTs significantly deviated from the bristle parallel growth axis, relative to wild-type bristles. We also observed that GFP-EB1 failed to concentrate as a focus at the tip of Khc and Klc mutant bristles. We propose that the failure of bristle tapering is due to defects in directing dynamic MTs at the growing tip. Thus, we reveal a new function for Khc and Klc in directing dynamic MTs during polarized cell growth. Moreover, we also demonstrate a novel mode of coordination in mitochondrial transport between Khc and Dhc. PMID:26581590

  10. Thirty years of search and capture: The complex simplicity of mitotic spindle assembly

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Cell division is enacted by a microtubule-based, self-assembling macromolecular machine known as the mitotic spindle. In 1986, Kirschner and Mitchison proposed that by undergoing dynamic cycles of growth and disassembly, microtubules search for chromosomes. Capture of microtubules by the kinetochores progressively connects chromosomes to the bipolar spindle. 30 years later, “search and capture” remains the cornerstone of spindle assembly. However, a variety of facilitating mechanisms such as regulation of microtubule dynamics by diffusible gradients, spatially selective motor activities, and adaptive changes in chromosome architecture have been discovered. We discuss how these mechanisms ensure that the spindle assembles rapidly and with a minimal number of errors. PMID:26668328

  11. Phosphorylation of α-Tubulin by Protein Kinase C Stimulates Microtubule Dynamics in Human Breast Cells

    PubMed Central

    De, Shatarupa; Tsimounis, Areti; Chen, Xiangyu; Rotenberg, Susan A.

    2014-01-01

    Protein kinase C (PKC) engenders motility through phosphorylation of α-tubulin at Ser-165 in non-transformed MCF-10A cells. Live cell imaging explored the impact of PKC-mediated phosphorylation on microtubule (MT) dynamics. MTs fluorescently labeled with GFP-α-tubulin were treated with diacylglycerol (DAG)-lactone (a membrane-permeable PKC activator), or co-transfected with a pseudo-phosphorylated S165D-α6-tubulin mutant. Each condition increased the dynamicity of MTs by stimulating the rate and duration of the growth phase and decreasing the frequency of catastrophe. In MDA-MB-231 metastatic breast cells where the intrinsic PKC activity is high, these MT growth parameters were also high but could be suppressed by expression of phosphorylation-resistant S165N-α6-tubulin or by treatment with a pan-PKC inhibitor (bis-indoleylmaleimide). Sub-cellular fractionation and immunofluorescence of MCF-10A cells showed that phosphorylation (via DAG-lactone) or pseudo-phosphorylation of α6-tubulin increased its partitioning into MTs as compared to controls, and produced longer, more stable MTs. Following expression of the plus-end binding protein GFP-EB1, DAG-lactone accelerated the formation and increased the number of nascent MTs. Expression of S165D-α6-tubulin promoted Rac1 activation and Rac1-dependent cell motility. These findings call attention to PKC-mediated phosphorylation of α-tubulin as a novel mechanism for controlling the dynamics of MTs that result in cell movement. PMID:24574051

  12. Mechanical Effects of Dynamic Binding between Tau Proteins on Microtubules during Axonal Injury

    PubMed Central

    Ahmadzadeh, Hossein; Smith, Douglas H.; Shenoy, Vivek B.

    2015-01-01

    The viscoelastic nature of axons plays a key role in their selective vulnerability to damage in traumatic brain injury (TBI). Experimental studies have shown that although axons can tolerate 100% strain under slow loading rates, even strain as small as 5% can rupture microtubules (MTs) during the fast loading velocities relevant to TBI. Here, we developed a computational model to examine rate-dependent behavior related to dynamic interactions between MTs and the MT-associated protein tau under varying strains and strain rates. In the model, inverted pairs of tau proteins can dynamically cross-link parallel MTs via the respective MT-binding domain of each tau. The model also incorporates realistic thermodynamic breaking and reformation of the bonds between the connected tau proteins as they respond to mechanical stretch. With simulated stretch of the axon, the model shows that despite the highly dynamic nature of binding and unbinding events, under fast loading rates relevant to TBI, large tensile forces can be transmitted to the MTs that can lead to mechanical rupture of the MT cylinder, in agreement with experimental observations and as inferred in human TBI. In contrast, at slow loading rates, the progressive breaking and reformation of the bonds between the tau proteins facilitate the extension of axons up to ∼100% strain without any microstructural damage. The model also predicts that under fast loading rates, individual MTs detach from MT bundles via sequential breaking of the tau-tau bonds. Finally, the model demonstrates that longer MTs are more susceptible to mechanical rupture, whereas short MTs are more prone to detachment from the MT bundle, leading to disintegration of the axonal MT ultrastructure. Notably, the predictions from the model are in excellent agreement with the findings of the recent in vitro mechanical testing of micropatterned neuronal cultures. PMID:26636944

  13. Kinesin-Binding Protein Controls Microtubule Dynamics and Cargo Trafficking by Regulating Kinesin Motor Activity.

    PubMed

    Kevenaar, Josta T; Bianchi, Sarah; van Spronsen, Myrrhe; Olieric, Natacha; Lipka, Joanna; Frias, Cátia P; Mikhaylova, Marina; Harterink, Martin; Keijzer, Nanda; Wulf, Phebe S; Hilbert, Manuel; Kapitein, Lukas C; de Graaff, Esther; Ahkmanova, Anna; Steinmetz, Michel O; Hoogenraad, Casper C

    2016-04-04

    Kinesin motor proteins play a fundamental role for normal neuronal development by controlling intracellular cargo transport and microtubule (MT) cytoskeleton organization. Regulating kinesin activity is important to ensure their proper functioning, and their misregulation often leads to severe human neurological disorders. Homozygous nonsense mutations in kinesin-binding protein (KBP)/KIAA1279 cause the neurological disorder Goldberg-Shprintzen syndrome (GOSHS), which is characterized by intellectual disability, microcephaly, and axonal neuropathy. Here, we show that KBP regulates kinesin activity by interacting with the motor domains of a specific subset of kinesins to prevent their association with the MT cytoskeleton. The KBP-interacting kinesins include cargo-transporting motors such as kinesin-3/KIF1A and MT-depolymerizing motor kinesin-8/KIF18A. We found that KBP blocks KIF1A/UNC-104-mediated synaptic vesicle transport in cultured hippocampal neurons and in C. elegans PVD sensory neurons. In contrast, depletion of KBP results in the accumulation of KIF1A motors and synaptic vesicles in the axonal growth cone. We also show that KBP regulates neuronal MT dynamics by controlling KIF18A activity. Our data suggest that KBP functions as a kinesin inhibitor that modulates MT-based cargo motility and depolymerizing activity of a subset of kinesin motors. We propose that misregulation of KBP-controlled kinesin motors may represent the underlying molecular mechanism that contributes to the neuropathological defects observed in GOSHS patients.

  14. Mechanical properties of a complete microtubule revealed through molecular dynamics simulation.

    PubMed

    Wells, David B; Aksimentiev, Aleksei

    2010-07-21

    Microtubules (MTs) are the largest type of cellular filament, essential in processes ranging from mitosis and meiosis to flagellar motility. Many of the processes depend critically on the mechanical properties of the MT, but the elastic moduli, notably the Young's modulus, are not directly revealed in experiment, which instead measures either flexural rigidity or response to radial deformation. Molecular dynamics (MD) is a method that allows the mechanical properties of single biomolecules to be investigated through computation. Typically, MD requires an atomic resolution structure of the molecule, which is unavailable for many systems, including MTs. By combining structural information from cryo-electron microscopy and electron crystallography, we have constructed an all-atom model of a complete MT and used MD to determine its mechanical properties. The simulations revealed nonlinear axial stress-strain behavior featuring a pronounced softening under extension, a possible plastic deformation transition under radial compression, and a distinct asymmetry in response to the two senses of twist. This work demonstrates the possibility of combining different levels of structural information to produce all-atom models suitable for quantitative MD simulations, which extends the range of systems amenable to the MD method and should enable exciting advances in our microscopic knowledge of biology. Copyright (c) 2010 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Altered microtubule dynamics and vesicular transport in mouse and human MeCP2-deficient astrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Delépine, Chloé; Meziane, Hamid; Nectoux, Juliette; Opitz, Matthieu; Smith, Amos B.; Ballatore, Carlo; Saillour, Yoann; Bennaceur-Griscelli, Annelise; Chang, Qiang; Williams, Emily Cunningham; Dahan, Maxime; Duboin, Aurélien; Billuart, Pierre; Herault, Yann; Bienvenu, Thierry

    2016-01-01

    Rett syndrome (RTT) is a rare X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder, characterized by normal post-natal development followed by a sudden deceleration in brain growth with progressive loss of acquired motor and language skills, stereotypic hand movements and severe cognitive impairment. Mutations in the methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2) cause more than 95% of classic cases. Recently, it has been shown that the loss of Mecp2 from glia negatively influences neurons in a non-cell-autonomous fashion, and that in Mecp2-null mice, re-expression of Mecp2 preferentially in astrocytes significantly improved locomotion and anxiety levels, restored respiratory abnormalities to a normal pattern and greatly prolonged lifespan compared with globally null mice. We now report that microtubule (MT)-dependent vesicle transport is altered in Mecp2-deficient astrocytes from newborn Mecp2-deficient mice compared with control wild-type littermates. Similar observation has been made in human MECP2 p.Arg294* iPSC-derived astrocytes. Importantly, administration of Epothilone D, a brain-penetrant MT-stabilizing natural product, was found to restore MT dynamics in Mecp2-deficient astrocytes and in MECP2 p.Arg294* iPSC-derived astrocytes in vitro. Finally, we report that relatively low weekly doses of Epothilone D also partially reversed the impaired exploratory behavior in Mecp2308/y male mice. These findings represent a first step toward the validation of an innovative treatment for RTT. PMID:26604147

  16. Dynamic Assembly of Magnetic Colloidal Vortices

    SciTech Connect

    Mohorič, Tomaž; Kokot, Gašper; Osterman, Natan; Snezhko, Alexey; Vilfan, Andrej; Babič, Dušan; Dobnikar, Jure

    2016-04-29

    Magnetic colloids in external time-dependent fields are subject to complex induced many-body interactions governing their self-assembly into a variety of equilibrium and out-of-equilibrium structures such as chains, networks, suspended membranes, and colloidal foams. Here, we report experiments, simulations, and theory probing the dynamic assembly of superparamagnetic colloids in precessing external magnetic fields. Within a range of field frequencies, we observe dynamic large-scale structures such as ordered phases composed of precessing chains, ribbons, and rotating fluidic vortices. We show that the structure formation is inherently coupled to the buildup of torque, which originates from internal relaxation of induced dipoles and from transient correlations among the particles as a result of short-lived chain formation. We discuss in detail the physical properties of the vortex phase and demonstrate its potential in particle-coating applications.

  17. A Dynamic Microtubule Cytoskeleton Directs Medial Actomyosin Function during Tube Formation

    PubMed Central

    Booth, Alexander J.R.; Blanchard, Guy B.; Adams, Richard J.; Röper, Katja

    2014-01-01

    Summary The cytoskeleton is a major determinant of cell-shape changes that drive the formation of complex tissues during development. Important roles for actomyosin during tissue morphogenesis have been identified, but the role of the microtubule cytoskeleton is less clear. Here, we show that during tubulogenesis of the salivary glands in the fly embryo, the microtubule cytoskeleton undergoes major rearrangements, including a 90° change in alignment relative to the apicobasal axis, loss of centrosomal attachment, and apical stabilization. Disruption of the microtubule cytoskeleton leads to failure of apical constriction in placodal cells fated to invaginate. We show that this failure is due to loss of an apical medial actomyosin network whose pulsatile behavior in wild-type embryos drives the apical constriction of the cells. The medial actomyosin network interacts with the minus ends of acentrosomal microtubule bundles through the cytolinker protein Shot, and disruption of Shot also impairs apical constriction. PMID:24914560

  18. The dynamics of nacre self-assembly

    PubMed Central

    Cartwright, Julyan H.E; Checa, Antonio G

    2006-01-01

    We show how nacre and pearl construction in bivalve and gastropod molluscs can be understood in terms of successive processes of controlled self-assembly from the molecular- to the macro-scale. This dynamics involves the physics of the formation of both solid and liquid crystals and of membranes and fluids to produce a nanostructured hierarchically constructed biological composite of polysaccharides, proteins and mineral, whose mechanical properties far surpass those of its component parts. PMID:17251136

  19. Physical basis of large microtubule aster growth

    PubMed Central

    Ishihara, Keisuke; Korolev, Kirill S; Mitchison, Timothy J

    2016-01-01

    Microtubule asters - radial arrays of microtubules organized by centrosomes - play a fundamental role in the spatial coordination of animal cells. The standard model of aster growth assumes a fixed number of microtubules originating from the centrosomes. However, aster morphology in this model does not scale with cell size, and we recently found evidence for non-centrosomal microtubule nucleation. Here, we combine autocatalytic nucleation and polymerization dynamics to develop a biophysical model of aster growth. Our model predicts that asters expand as traveling waves and recapitulates all major aspects of aster growth. With increasing nucleation rate, the model predicts an explosive transition from stationary to growing asters with a discontinuous jump of the aster velocity to a nonzero value. Experiments in frog egg extract confirm the main theoretical predictions. Our results suggest that asters observed in large fish and amphibian eggs are a meshwork of short, unstable microtubules maintained by autocatalytic nucleation and provide a paradigm for the assembly of robust and evolvable polymer networks. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19145.001 PMID:27892852

  20. Taxol Crystals Can Masquerade as Stabilized Microtubules

    PubMed Central

    Alsop, G. Bradley; Zhang, Dahong

    2008-01-01

    Taxol is a potent anti-mitotic drug used in chemotherapy, angioplastic stents, and cell biology research. By binding and stabilizing microtubules, Taxol inhibits their dynamics, crucial for cell division, motility, and survival. The drug has also been reported to induce formation of asters and bundles composed of stabilized microtubules. Surprisingly, at commonly used concentrations, Taxol forms crystals that rapidly bind fluorescent tubulin subunits, generating structures with an uncanny resemblance to microtubule asters and bundles. Kinetic and topological considerations suggest that tubulin subunits, rather than microtubules, bind the crystals. This sequestration of tubulin from the subunit pool would be expected to shift the equilibrium of free to polymerized tubulin to disfavor assembly. Our results imply that some previously reported Taxol-induced asters or bundles could include or be composed of tubulin-decorated Taxol crystals. Thus, reevaluation of certain morphological, chemical, and physical properties of Taxol-treated microtubules may be necessary. Moreover, our findings suggest a novel mechanism for chemotherapy-induced cytotoxicity in non-dividing cells, with far-reaching medical implications. PMID:18213384

  1. Electric fields generated by synchronized oscillations of microtubules, centrosomes and chromosomes regulate the dynamics of mitosis and meiosis.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yue; Zhan, Qimin

    2012-07-02

    Super-macromolecular complexes play many important roles in eukaryotic cells. Classical structural biological studies focus on their complicated molecular structures, physical interactions and biochemical modifications. Recent advances concerning intracellular electric fields generated by cell organelles and super-macromolecular complexes shed new light on the mechanisms that govern the dynamics of mitosis and meiosis. In this review we synthesize this knowledge to provide an integrated theoretical model of these cellular events. We suggest that the electric fields generated by synchronized oscillation of microtubules, centrosomes, and chromatin fibers facilitate several events during mitosis and meiosis, including centrosome trafficking, chromosome congression in mitosis and synapsis between homologous chromosomes in meiosis. These intracellular electric fields are generated under energy excitation through the synchronized electric oscillations of the dipolar structures of microtubules, centrosomes and chromosomes, three of the super-macromolecular complexes within an animal cell.

  2. The kinesin-14 Klp2 organizes microtubules into parallel bundles by an ATP-dependent sorting mechanism.

    PubMed

    Braun, Marcus; Drummond, Douglas R; Cross, Robert A; McAinsh, Andrew D

    2009-06-01

    The dynamic organization of microtubules into parallel arrays allows interphase cells to set up multi-lane highways for intracellular transport and M-phase cells to build the mitotic and meiotic spindles. Here we show that a minimally reconstituted system composed of Klp2, a kinesin-14 from the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, together with microtubules assembled from purified S. pombe tubulin, autonomously assembles bundles of parallel microtubules. Bundles form by an ATP-dependent sorting mechanism that requires the full-length Klp2 motor. By this mechanism, antiparallel-overlapped microtubules slide over one another until they dissociate from the bundles, whereas parallel-overlapped microtubules are selectively trapped by an energy-dissipating force-balance mechanism. Klp2-driven microtubule sorting provides a robust pathway for the organization of microtubules into parallel arrays. In vivo evidence indicates that Klp2 is required for the proper organization of S. pombe interphase microtubules into bipolar arrays of parallel-overlapped microtubules, suggesting that kinesin-14-dependent microtubule sorting may have wide biological importance.

  3. Physical Modeling of Microtubules Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allain, Pierre; Kervrann, Charles

    2014-10-01

    Microtubules (MT) are highly dynamic tubulin polymers that are involved in many cellular processes such as mitosis, intracellular cell organization and vesicular transport. Nevertheless, the modeling of cytoskeleton and MT dynamics based on physical properties is difficult to achieve. Using the Euler-Bernoulli beam theory, we propose to model the rigidity of microtubules on a physical basis using forces, mass and acceleration. In addition, we link microtubules growth and shrinkage to the presence of molecules (e.g. GTP-tubulin) in the cytosol. The overall model enables linking cytosol to microtubules dynamics in a constant state space thus allowing usage of data assimilation techniques.

  4. Control of myofibroblast differentiation by microtubule dynamics through a regulated localization of mDia2.

    PubMed

    Sandbo, Nathan; Ngam, Caitlyn; Torr, Elizabeth; Kregel, Steve; Kach, Jacob; Dulin, Nickolai

    2013-05-31

    Myofibroblast differentiation plays a critical role in wound healing and in the pathogenesis of fibrosis. We have previously shown that myofibroblast differentiation is mediated by the activity of serum response factor (SRF), which is tightly controlled by the actin polymerization state. In this study, we investigated the role of the microtubule cytoskeleton in modulating myofibroblast phenotype. Treatment of human lung fibroblasts with the microtubule-destabilizing agent, colchicine, resulted in a formation of numerous stress fibers and expression of myofibroblast differentiation marker proteins. These effects of colchicine were independent of Smad signaling but were mediated by Rho signaling and SRF, as they were attenuated by the Rho kinase inhibitor, Y27632, or by the SRF inhibitor, CCG-1423. TGF-β-induced myofibroblast differentiation was not accompanied by gross changes in the microtubule polymerization state. However, microtubule stabilization by paclitaxel attenuated TGF-β-induced myofibroblast differentiation. Paclitaxel had no effect on TGF-β-induced Smad activation and Smad-dependent gene transcription but inhibited actin polymerization, nuclear accumulation of megakaryoblastic leukemia-1 protein, and SRF activation. The microtubule-associated formin, mDIA2, localized to actin stress fibers upon treatment with TGF-β, and paclitaxel prevented this localization. Treatment with the formin inhibitor, SMI formin homology 2 domain, inhibited stress fiber formation and myofibroblast differentiation induced by TGF-β, without affecting Smad-phosphorylation or microtubule polymerization. Together, these data suggest that (a) TGF-β promotes association of mDia2 with actin stress fibers, which further drives stress fiber formation and myofibroblast differentiation, and (b) microtubule polymerization state controls myofibroblast differentiation through the regulation of mDia2 localization.

  5. Notch signalling in adult neurons: a potential target for microtubule stabilization.

    PubMed

    Bonini, Sara Anna; Ferrari-Toninelli, Giulia; Montinaro, Mery; Memo, Maurizio

    2013-11-01

    Cytoskeletal dysfunction has been proposed during the last decade as one of the main mechanisms involved in the aetiology of several neurodegenerative diseases. Microtubules are basic elements of the cytoskeleton and the dysregulation of microtubule stability has been demonstrated to be causative for axonal transport impairment, synaptic contact degeneration, impaired neuronal function leading finally to neuronal loss. Several pathways are implicated in the microtubule assembly/disassembly process. Emerging evidence is focusing on Notch as a microtubule dynamics regulator. We demonstrated that activation of Notch signalling results in increased microtubule stability and changes in axonal morphology and branching. By contrast, Notch inhibition leads to an increase in cytoskeleton plasticity with intense neurite remodelling. Until now, several microtubule-binding compounds have been tested and the results have provided proof of concept that microtubule-binding agents or compounds with the ability to stabilize microtubules may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, based on its key role in cytoskeletal dynamics modulation, we propose Notch as a new potential target for microtubule stabilization.

  6. Rho GTPases at the crossroad of signaling networks in mammals: impact of Rho-GTPases on microtubule organization and dynamics.

    PubMed

    Wojnacki, José; Quassollo, Gonzalo; Marzolo, María-Paz; Cáceres, Alfredo

    2014-01-01

    Microtubule (MT) organization and dynamics downstream of external cues is crucial for maintaining cellular architecture and the generation of cell asymmetries. In interphase cells RhoA, Rac, and Cdc42, conspicuous members of the family of small Rho GTPases, have major roles in modulating MT stability, and hence polarized cell behaviors. However, MTs are not mere targets of Rho GTPases, but also serve as signaling platforms coupling MT dynamics to Rho GTPase activation in a variety of cellular conditions. In this article, we review some of the key studies describing the reciprocal relationship between small Rho-GTPases and MTs during migration and polarization.

  7. Modulation of Microtubule Interprotofilament Interactions by Modified Taxanes

    PubMed Central

    Matesanz, Ruth; Rodríguez-Salarichs, Javier; Pera, Benet; Canales, Ángeles; Andreu, José Manuel; Jiménez-Barbero, Jesús; Bras, Wim; Nogales, Aurora; Fang, Wei-Shuo; Díaz, José Fernando

    2011-01-01

    Microtubules assembled with paclitaxel and docetaxel differ in their numbers of protofilaments, reflecting modification of the lateral association between αβ-tubulin molecules in the microtubule wall. These modifications of microtubule structure, through a not-yet-characterized mechanism, are most likely related to the changes in tubulin-tubulin interactions responsible for microtubule stabilization by these antitumor compounds. We have used a set of modified taxanes to study the structural mechanism of microtubule stabilization by these ligands. Using small-angle x-ray scattering, we have determined how modifications in the shape and size of the taxane substituents result in changes in the interprotofilament angles and in their number. The observed effects have been explained using NMR-aided docking and molecular dynamic simulations of taxane binding at the microtubule pore and luminal sites. Modeling results indicate that modification of the size of substituents at positions C7 and C10 of the taxane core influence the conformation of three key elements in microtubule lateral interactions (the M-loop, the S3 β-strand, and the H3 helix) that modulate the contacts between adjacent protofilaments. In addition, modifications of the substituents at position C2 slightly rearrange the ligand in the binding site, modifying the interaction of the C7 substituent with the M-loop. PMID:22208196

  8. Microtubules mediate germ-nuclear behavior after meiosis in conjugation of Paramecium caudatum.

    PubMed

    Nakajima, Yuka; Ishida, Masaki; Mikami, Kazuyuki

    2002-01-01

    Microtubule dynamics in Paramecium caudatum were investigated with an anti-alpha-tubulin antibody and a microinjection technique to determine the function of microtubules on micronuclear behavior during conjugation. After meiosis, all four haploid micronuclei were connected by microtubular filaments to the paroral region and moved close to this region. This nuclear movement was micronucleus-specific, because some small macronuclear fragments transplanted from exconjugants never moved to the region. Only one of the four germ nuclei moved into the paroral cone and was covered by microtubule assembly (the so-called first assembly of microtubules, AM-I). This nucleus survived there, while the other three not in this region degenerated. The movement of germ nucleus was inhibited by the injection of the anti-alpha-tubulin antibody. The surviving germ nucleus divided once and produced a migratory pronucleus and a stationary pronucleus. Prior to the reciprocal exchange of the migratory nuclei, microtubules assembled around the migratory pronuclei again (the so-called second assembly of microtubules, AM-II). Then, the migratory pronucleus moved into the partner cell and fused with the stationary pronucleus. Thus, microtubules appear to be indispensable for nuclear behavior: they enable migration of postmeiotic nuclei to the paroral region and they permit the survival of the nucleus at the paroral cone.

  9. Fission yeast mitochondria are distributed by dynamic microtubules in a motor-independent manner.

    PubMed

    Li, Tianpeng; Zheng, Fan; Cheung, Martin; Wang, Fengsong; Fu, Chuanhai

    2015-06-05

    The cytoskeleton plays a critical role in regulating mitochondria distribution. Similar to axonal mitochondria, the fission yeast mitochondria are distributed by the microtubule cytoskeleton, but this is regulated by a motor-independent mechanism depending on the microtubule associated protein mmb1p as the absence of mmb1p causes mitochondria aggregation. In this study, using a series of chimeric proteins to control the subcellular localization and motility of mitochondria, we show that a chimeric molecule containing a microtubule binding domain and the mitochondria outer membrane protein tom22p can restore the normal interconnected mitochondria network in mmb1-deletion (mmb1∆) cells. In contrast, increasing the motility of mitochondria by using a chimeric molecule containing a kinesin motor domain and tom22p cannot rescue mitochondria aggregation defects in mmb1∆ cells. Intriguingly a chimeric molecule carrying an actin binding domain and tom22p results in mitochondria associated with actin filaments at the actomyosin ring during mitosis, leading to cytokinesis defects. These findings suggest that the passive motor-independent microtubule-based mechanism is the major contributor to mitochondria distribution in wild type fission yeast cells. Hence, we establish that attachment to microtubules, but not kinesin-dependent movement and the actin cytoskeleton, is required and crucial for proper mitochondria distribution in fission yeast.

  10. Fission yeast mitochondria are distributed by dynamic microtubules in a motor-independent manner

    PubMed Central

    Li, Tianpeng; Zheng, Fan; Cheung, Martin; Wang, Fengsong; Fu, Chuanhai

    2015-01-01

    The cytoskeleton plays a critical role in regulating mitochondria distribution. Similar to axonal mitochondria, the fission yeast mitochondria are distributed by the microtubule cytoskeleton, but this is regulated by a motor-independent mechanism depending on the microtubule associated protein mmb1p as the absence of mmb1p causes mitochondria aggregation. In this study, using a series of chimeric proteins to control the subcellular localization and motility of mitochondria, we show that a chimeric molecule containing a microtubule binding domain and the mitochondria outer membrane protein tom22p can restore the normal interconnected mitochondria network in mmb1-deletion (mmb1∆) cells. In contrast, increasing the motility of mitochondria by using a chimeric molecule containing a kinesin motor domain and tom22p cannot rescue mitochondria aggregation defects in mmb1∆ cells. Intriguingly a chimeric molecule carrying an actin binding domain and tom22p results in mitochondria associated with actin filaments at the actomyosin ring during mitosis, leading to cytokinesis defects. These findings suggest that the passive motor-independent microtubule-based mechanism is the major contributor to mitochondria distribution in wild type fission yeast cells. Hence, we establish that attachment to microtubules, but not kinesin-dependent movement and the actin cytoskeleton, is required and crucial for proper mitochondria distribution in fission yeast. PMID:26046468

  11. Effect of Microtubule Disruption on Dynamics of Acidic Organelles in the Axons of Primary Cultured Retinal Ganglion Cells.

    PubMed

    Miyake, Seiji; Takihara, Yuji; Yokota, Satoshi; Takamura, Yoshihiro; Inatani, Masaru

    2017-09-22

    Axonal transport is fundamental to autophagy in neuronal cells. To understand its biological significance in various conditions, it is necessary to monitor the process of autophagy. However, monitoring methods are often limited to static analyses, such as protein expression and histological observations. Autophagy has multistep process and is highly dynamic; therefore, additional techniques are necessary to study autophagy. In this study, we quantified the dynamics of autophagy-related organelle transport under conditions of dynamic instability and catastrophic disruption of microtubules using in vitro live imaging. Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) were isolated from postnatal day 3 Sprague-Dawley rats by immunopanning. After 7 days of culture, acidic organelles were stained by LysoTracker. Dynamics of acidic organelles was quantified using kymographs. Colchicine was used to induce microtubule disruption. Movement of acidic organelles was observed at five time points: before, and at 6, 24, 72, and 120 h after colchicine stimulation. Ethidium homodimer-1 (EthD-1) was used to determine cell viability. The status of axonal transport of acidic organelles (n = 363) from 27 RGCs was classified into four categories: anterograde (1.4%), retrograde (90%), stationary (8.0%), and fluttering (0.28%). Six hours after the induction of microtubule disruption in 14 of 27 RGCs, almost all acidic organelles (n = 236) were stationary. All acidic components had completely stopped moving 24 h later. At 72 h after stimulation, axonal fragmentation, and shrinking and disappearance of soma were observed in 71% of RGCs. Finally, the remaining RGCs became positive for EthD-1. In the control (13 of 27 RGCs), axonal transport was maintained for 120 h and EthD-1-positive RGCs were not observed. Almost all acidic organelles were transported retrogradely along the axon, which was inhibited by colchicine. Understanding the dynamics of acidic organelles may provide useful parameters for

  12. RSV glycoprotein and genomic RNA dynamics reveal filament assembly prior to the plasma membrane.

    PubMed

    Vanover, Daryll; Smith, Daisy V; Blanchard, Emmeline L; Alonas, Eric; Kirschman, Jonathan L; Lifland, Aaron W; Zurla, Chiara; Santangelo, Philip J

    2017-09-22

    The human respiratory syncytial virus G protein plays an important role in the entry and assembly of filamentous virions. Here, we report the use of fluorescently labeled soybean agglutinin to selectively label the respiratory syncytial virus G protein in living cells without disrupting respiratory syncytial virus infectivity or filament formation and allowing for interrogations of respiratory syncytial virus virion assembly. Using this approach, we discovered that plasma membrane-bound respiratory syncytial virus G rapidly recycles from the membrane via clathrin-mediated endocytosis. This event is then followed by the dynamic formation of filamentous and branched respiratory syncytial virus particles, and assembly with genomic ribonucleoproteins and caveolae-associated vesicles prior to re-insertion into the plasma membrane. We demonstrate that these processes are halted by the disruption of microtubules and inhibition of molecular motors. Collectively, our results show that for respiratory syncytial virus assembly, viral filaments are produced and loaded with genomic RNA prior to insertion into the plasma membrane.Assembly of filamentous RSV particles is incompletely understood due to a lack of techniques suitable for live-cell imaging. Here Vanover et al. use labeled soybean agglutinin to selectively label RSV G protein and show how filamentous RSV assembly, initiated in the cytoplasm, uses G protein recycled from the plasma membrane.

  13. Asymmetric behavior of severed microtubule ends after ultraviolet-microbeam irradiation of individual microtubules in vitro

    SciTech Connect

    Walker, R.A.; Inoue, S.; Salmon, E.D.

    1989-03-01

    The molecular basis of microtubule dynamic instability is controversial, but is thought to be related to a GTP cap. A key prediction of the GTP cap model is that the proposed labile GDP-tubulin core will rapidly dissociate if the GTP-tubulin cap is lost. We have tested this prediction by using a UV microbeam to cut the ends from elongating microtubules. Phosphocellulose-purified tubulin was assembled onto the plus and minus ends of sea urchin flagellar axoneme fragments at 21-22 degrees C. The assembly dynamics of individual microtubules were recorded in real time using video microscopy. When the tip of an elongating plus end microtubule was cut off, the severed plus end microtubule always rapidly shortened back to the axoneme at the normal plus end rate. However, when the distal tip of an elongating minus end microtubule was cut off, no rapid shortening occurred. Instead, the severed minus end resumed elongation at the normal minus end rate. Our results show that some form of stabilizing cap, possibly a GTP cap, governs the transition (catastrophe) from elongation to rapid shortening at the plus end. At the minus end, a simple GTP cap is not sufficient to explain the observed behavior unless UV induces immediate recapping of minus, but not plus, ends. Another possibility is that a second step, perhaps a structural transformation, is required in addition to GTP cap loss for rapid shortening to occur. This transformation would be favored at plus, but not minus ends, to account for the asymmetric behavior of the ends.

  14. Stochastic dynamics of macromolecular-assembly networks.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saiz, Leonor; Vilar, Jose

    2006-03-01

    The formation and regulation of macromolecular complexes provides the backbone of most cellular processes, including gene regulation and signal transduction. The inherent complexity of assembling macromolecular structures makes current computational methods strongly limited for understanding how the physical interactions between cellular components give rise to systemic properties of cells. Here we present a stochastic approach to study the dynamics of networks formed by macromolecular complexes in terms of the molecular interactions of their components [1]. Exploiting key thermodynamic concepts, this approach makes it possible to both estimate reaction rates and incorporate the resulting assembly dynamics into the stochastic kinetics of cellular networks. As prototype systems, we consider the lac operon and phage λ induction switches, which rely on the formation of DNA loops by proteins [2] and on the integration of these protein-DNA complexes into intracellular networks. This cross-scale approach offers an effective starting point to move forward from network diagrams, such as those of protein-protein and DNA-protein interaction networks, to the actual dynamics of cellular processes. [1] L. Saiz and J.M.G. Vilar, submitted (2005). [2] J.M.G. Vilar and L. Saiz, Current Opinion in Genetics & Development, 15, 136-144 (2005).

  15. Correlative live-cell and superresolution microscopy reveals cargo transport dynamics at microtubule intersections

    PubMed Central

    Bálint, Štefan; Verdeny Vilanova, Ione; Sandoval Álvarez, Ángel; Lakadamyali, Melike

    2013-01-01

    Intracellular transport plays an essential role in maintaining the organization of polarized cells. Motor proteins tether and move cargos along microtubules during long-range transport to deliver them to their proper location of function. To reach their destination, cargo-bound motors must overcome barriers to their forward motion such as intersection points between microtubules. The ability to visualize how motors navigate these barriers can give important information about the mechanisms that lead to efficient transport. Here, we first develop an all-optical correlative imaging method based on single-particle tracking and superresolution microscopy to map the transport trajectories of cargos to individual microtubules with high spatiotemporal resolution. We then use this method to study the behavior of lysosomes at microtubule–microtubule intersections. Our results show that the intersection poses a significant hindrance that leads to long pauses in transport only when the separation distance of the intersecting microtubules is smaller than ∼100 nm. However, the obstructions are typically overcome by the motors with high fidelity by either switching to the intersecting microtubule or eventually passing through the intersection. Interestingly, there is a large tendency to maintain the polarity of motion (anterograde or retrograde) after the intersection, suggesting a high degree of regulation of motor activity to maintain transport in a given direction. These results give insights into the effect of the cytoskeletal geometry on cargo transport and have important implications for the mechanisms that cargo-bound motors use to maneuver through the obstructions set up by the complex cytoskeletal network. PMID:23401534

  16. Azaindole derivatives are inhibitors of microtubule dynamics, with anti-cancer and anti-angiogenic activities

    PubMed Central

    Prudent, Renaud; Vassal-Stermann, Émilie; Nguyen, Chi-Hung; Mollaret, Marjorie; Viallet, Jean; Desroches-Castan, Agnès; Martinez, Anne; Barette, Caroline; Pillet, Catherine; Valdameri, Glaucio; Soleilhac, Emmanuelle; Di Pietro, Attilio; Feige, Jean-Jacques; Billaud, Marc; Florent, Jean-Claude; Lafanechère, Laurence

    2013-01-01

    Background and Purpose Drugs targeting microtubules are commonly used for cancer treatment. However, the potency of microtubule inhibitors used clinically is limited by the emergence of resistance. We thus designed a strategy to find new cell-permeable microtubule-targeting agents. Experimental Approach Using a cell-based assay designed to probe for microtubule polymerization status, we screened a chemical library and identified two azaindole derivatives, CM01 and CM02, as cell-permeable microtubule-depolymerizing agents. The mechanism of the anti-tumour effects of these two compounds was further investigated both in vivo and in vitro. Key Results CM01 and CM02 induced G2/M cell cycle arrest and exerted potent cytostatic effects on several cancer cell lines including multidrug-resistant (MDR) cell lines. In vitro experiments revealed that the azaindole derivatives inhibited tubulin polymerization and competed with colchicines for this effect, strongly indicating that tubulin is the cellular target of these azaindole derivatives. In vivo experiments, using a chicken chorioallantoic xenograft tumour assay, established that these compounds exert a potent anti-tumour effect. Furthermore, an assay probing the growth of vessels out of endothelial cell spheroids showed that CM01 and CM02 exert anti-angiogenic activities. Conclusions and Implications CM01 and CM02 are reversible microtubule-depolymerizing agents that exert potent cytostatic effects on human cancer cells of diverse origins, including MDR cells. They were also shown to inhibit angiogenesis and tumour growth in chorioallantoic breast cancer xenografts. Hence, these azaindole derivatives are attractive candidates for further preclinical investigations. PMID:23004938

  17. Fission yeast kinesin-8 Klp5 and Klp6 are interdependent for mitotic nuclear retention and required for proper microtubule dynamics.

    PubMed

    Unsworth, Amy; Masuda, Hirohisa; Dhut, Susheela; Toda, Takashi

    2008-12-01

    Fission yeast has two kinesin-8s, Klp5 and Klp6, which associate to form a heterocomplex. Here, we show that Klp5 and Klp6 are mutually dependent on each other for nuclear mitotic localization. During interphase, they are exported to the cytoplasm. In sharp contrast, during mitosis, Klp5 and Klp6 remain in the nucleus, which requires the existence of each counterpart. Canonical nuclear localization signal (NLS) is identified in the nonkinesin C-terminal regions. Intriguingly individual NLS mutants (NLSmut) exhibit loss-of-function phenotypes, suggesting that Klp5 and Klp6 enter the nucleus separately. Indeed, although neither Klp5-NLSmut nor Klp6-NLSmut enters the nucleus, wild-type Klp6 or Klp5, respectively, does so with different kinetics. In the absence of Klp5/6, microtubule catastrophe/rescue frequency and dynamicity are suppressed, whereas growth and shrinkage rates are least affected. Remarkably, chimera strains containing only the N-terminal Klp5 kinesin domains cannot disassemble interphase microtubules during mitosis, leading to the coexistence of cytoplasmic microtubules and nuclear spindles with massive chromosome missegregation. In this strain, a marked reduction of microtubule dynamism, even higher than in klp5/6 deletions, is evident. We propose that Klp5 and Klp6 play a vital role in promoting microtubule dynamics, which is essential for the spatiotemporal control of microtubule morphogenesis.

  18. Silencing of tubulin binding cofactor C modifies microtubule dynamics and cell cycle distribution and enhances sensitivity to gemcitabine in breast cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Hage-Sleiman, Rouba; Herveau, Stéphanie; Matera, Eva-Laure; Laurier, Jean-Fabien; Dumontet, Charles

    2011-02-01

    Tubulin binding cofactor C (TBCC) is essential for the proper folding of α- and β-tubulins into microtubule polymerizable heterodimers. Because microtubules are considered major targets in the treatment of breast cancer, we investigated the influence of TBCC silencing on tubulin pools, microtubule dynamics, and cell cycle distribution of breast cancer cells by developing a variant MCF7 cells with reduced content of TBCC (MC-). MC- cells displayed decreased content in nonpolymerizable tubulins and increased content of polymerizable/microtubule tubulins when compared with control MP6 cells. Microtubules in MC- cells showed stronger dynamics than those of MP6 cells. MC- cells proliferated faster than MP6 cells and showed an altered cell cycle distribution, with a higher percentage in S-phase of the cell cycle. Consequently, MC- cells presented higher sensitivity to the S-phase-targeting agent gemcitabine than MP6 cells in vitro. Although the complete duration of mitosis was shorter in MC- cells and their microtubule dynamics was enhanced, the percentage of cells in G(2)-M phase was not altered nor was there any difference in sensitivity to antimicrotubule-targeting agents when compared with MP6 cells. Xenografts derived from TBCC variants displayed significantly enhanced tumor growth in vivo and increased sensitivity to gemcitabine in comparison to controls. These results are the first to suggest that proteins involved in the proper folding of cytoskeletal components may have an important influence on the cell cycle distribution, proliferation, and chemosensitivity of tumor cells.

  19. Fission Yeast Kinesin-8 Klp5 and Klp6 Are Interdependent for Mitotic Nuclear Retention and Required for Proper Microtubule Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Unsworth, Amy; Masuda, Hirohisa; Dhut, Susheela

    2008-01-01

    Fission yeast has two kinesin-8s, Klp5 and Klp6, which associate to form a heterocomplex. Here, we show that Klp5 and Klp6 are mutually dependent on each other for nuclear mitotic localization. During interphase, they are exported to the cytoplasm. In sharp contrast, during mitosis, Klp5 and Klp6 remain in the nucleus, which requires the existence of each counterpart. Canonical nuclear localization signal (NLS) is identified in the nonkinesin C-terminal regions. Intriguingly individual NLS mutants (NLSmut) exhibit loss-of-function phenotypes, suggesting that Klp5 and Klp6 enter the nucleus separately. Indeed, although neither Klp5-NLSmut nor Klp6-NLSmut enters the nucleus, wild-type Klp6 or Klp5, respectively, does so with different kinetics. In the absence of Klp5/6, microtubule catastrophe/rescue frequency and dynamicity are suppressed, whereas growth and shrinkage rates are least affected. Remarkably, chimera strains containing only the N-terminal Klp5 kinesin domains cannot disassemble interphase microtubules during mitosis, leading to the coexistence of cytoplasmic microtubules and nuclear spindles with massive chromosome missegregation. In this strain, a marked reduction of microtubule dynamism, even higher than in klp5/6 deletions, is evident. We propose that Klp5 and Klp6 play a vital role in promoting microtubule dynamics, which is essential for the spatiotemporal control of microtubule morphogenesis. PMID:18799626

  20. Formation of orthopoxvirus cytoplasmic A-type inclusion bodies and embedding of virions are dynamic processes requiring microtubules.

    PubMed

    Howard, Amanda R; Moss, Bernard

    2012-05-01

    In cells infected with some orthopoxviruses, numerous mature virions (MVs) become embedded within large, cytoplasmic A-type inclusions (ATIs) that can protect infectivity after cell lysis. ATIs are composed of an abundant viral protein called ATIp, which is truncated in orthopoxviruses such as vaccinia virus (VACV) that do not form ATIs. To study ATI formation and occlusion of MVs within ATIs, we used recombinant VACVs that express the cowpox full-length ATIp or we transfected plasmids encoding ATIp into cells infected with VACV, enabling ATI formation. ATI enlargement and MV embedment required continued protein synthesis and an intact microtubular network. For live imaging of ATIs and MVs, plasmids expressing mCherry fluorescent protein fused to ATIp were transfected into cells infected with VACV expressing the viral core protein A4 fused to yellow fluorescent protein. ATIs appeared as dynamic, mobile bodies that enlarged by multiple coalescence events, which could be prevented by disrupting microtubules. Coalescence of ATIs was confirmed in cells infected with cowpox virus. MVs were predominantly at the periphery of ATIs early in infection. We determined that coalescence contributed to the distribution of MVs within ATIs and that microtubule-disrupting drugs abrogated coalescence-mediated MV embedment. In addition, MVs were shown to move from viral factories at speeds consistent with microtubular transport to the peripheries of ATIs, whereas disruption of microtubules prevented such trafficking. The data indicate an important role for microtubules in the coalescence of ATIs into larger structures, transport of MVs to ATIs, and embedment of MVs within the ATI matrix.

  1. Self-organization of microtubules and motors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ndlec, F. J.; Surrey, T.; Maggs, A. C.; Leibler, S.

    1997-09-01

    Cellular structures are established and maintained through a dynamic interplay between assembly and regulatory processes. Self-organization of molecular components provides a variety of possible spatial structures: the regulatory machinery chooses the most appropriate to express a given cellular function. Here we study the extent and the characteristics of self-organization using microtubules and molecular motors as a model system. These components are known to participate in the formation of many cellular structures, such as the dynamic asters found in mitotic and meiotic spindles. Purified motors and microtubules have previously been observed to form asters in vitro. We have reproduced this result with a simple system consisting solely of multi-headed constructs of the motor protein kinesin and stabilized microtubules. We show that dynamic asters can also be obtained from a homogeneous solution of tubulin and motors. By varying the relative concentrations of the components, we obtain a variety of self-organized structures. Further, by studying this process in a constrained geometry of micro-fabricated glass chambers, we demonstrate that the same final structure can be reached through different assembly `pathways'.

  2. Interaction of microtubules with the actin cytoskeleton via cross-talk of EB1-containing +TIPs and γ-actin in epithelial cells

    PubMed Central

    Dugina, Vera; Alieva, Irina; Khromova, Natalya; Kireev, Igor; Gunning, Peter W.; Kopnin, Pavel

    2016-01-01

    Actin microfilaments and microtubules are both highly dynamic cytoskeleton components implicated in a wide range of intracellular processes as well as cell-cell and cell-substrate interactions. The interactions of actin filaments with the microtubule system play an important role in the assembly and maintenance of 3D cell structure. Here we demonstrate that cytoplasmic actins are differentially distributed in relation to the microtubule system. LSM, 3D-SIM, proximity ligation assay (PLA) and co-immunoprecipitation methods applied in combination with selective depletion of β- or γ-cytoplasmic actins revealed a selective interaction between microtubules and γ-, but not β-cytoplasmic actin via the microtubule +TIPs protein EB1. EB1-positive comet distribution analysis and quantification have shown more effective microtubule growth in the absence of β-actin. Our data represent the first demonstration that microtubule +TIPs protein EB1 interacts mainly with γ-cytoplasmic actin in epithelial cells. PMID:27683037

  3. Interaction of microtubules with the actin cytoskeleton via cross-talk of EB1-containing +TIPs and γ-actin in epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Dugina, Vera; Alieva, Irina; Khromova, Natalya; Kireev, Igor; Gunning, Peter W; Kopnin, Pavel

    2016-11-08

    Actin microfilaments and microtubules are both highly dynamic cytoskeleton components implicated in a wide range of intracellular processes as well as cell-cell and cell-substrate interactions. The interactions of actin filaments with the microtubule system play an important role in the assembly and maintenance of 3D cell structure. Here we demonstrate that cytoplasmic actins are differentially distributed in relation to the microtubule system. LSM, 3D-SIM, proximity ligation assay (PLA) and co-immunoprecipitation methods applied in combination with selective depletion of β- or γ-cytoplasmic actins revealed a selective interaction between microtubules and γ-, but not β-cytoplasmic actin via the microtubule +TIPs protein EB1. EB1-positive comet distribution analysis and quantification have shown more effective microtubule growth in the absence of β-actin. Our data represent the first demonstration that microtubule +TIPs protein EB1 interacts mainly with γ-cytoplasmic actin in epithelial cells.

  4. Dynamic assembly of molecularly imprinted polymer nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Gong, Haiyue; Hajizadeh, Solmaz; Jiang, Lingdong; Ma, Huiting; Ye, Lei

    2017-09-11

    Manipulation of specific binding and recycling of materials are two important aspects for practical applications of molecularly imprinted polymers. In this work, we developed a new approach to control the dynamic assembly of molecularly imprinted nanoparticles by surface functionalization. Molecularly imprinted polymer nanoparticles with a well-controlled core-shell structure were synthesized using precipitation polymerization. The specific binding sites were created in the core during the first step imprinting reaction. In the second polymerization step, epoxide groups were introduced into the particle shell to act asan intermediate linker to immobilize phenylboronic acids, as well as to introduce cis-diol structures on surface. The imprinted polymer nanoparticles modified with boronic acid and cis-diol structures maintained high molecular binding specificity, and the nanoparticles could be induced to form dynamic particle aggregation that responded to pH variation and chemical stimuli. The possibility of modulating molecular binding and nanoparticle assembly in a mutually independent fashion can be exploited in a number of applications where repeated use of precious nanoparticles is needed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. C-Terminal Region of MAP7 Domain Containing Protein 3 (MAP7D3) Promotes Microtubule Polymerization by Binding at the C-Terminal Tail of Tubulin

    PubMed Central

    Yadav, Saroj; Verma, Paul J.; Panda, Dulal

    2014-01-01

    MAP7 domain containing protein 3 (MAP7D3), a newly identified microtubule associated protein, has been shown to promote microtubule assembly and stability. Its microtubule binding region has been reported to consist of two coiled coil motifs located at the N-terminus. It possesses a MAP7 domain near the C-terminus and belongs to the microtubule associated protein 7 (MAP7) family. The MAP7 domain of MAP7 protein has been shown to bind to kinesin-1; however, the role of MAP7 domain in MAP7D3 remains unknown. Based on the bioinformatics analysis of MAP7D3, we hypothesized that the MAP7 domain of MAP7D3 may have microtubule binding activity. Indeed, we found that MAP7 domain of MAP7D3 bound to microtubules as well as enhanced the assembly of microtubules in vitro. Interestingly, a longer fragment MDCT that contained the MAP7 domain (MD) with the C-terminal tail (CT) of the protein promoted microtubule polymerization to a greater extent than MD and CT individually. MDCT stabilized microtubules against dilution induced disassembly. MDCT bound to reconstituted microtubules with an apparent dissociation constant of 3.0±0.5 µM. An immunostaining experiment showed that MDCT localized along the length of the preassembled microtubules. Competition experiments with tau indicated that MDCT shares its binding site on microtubules with tau. Further, we present evidence indicating that MDCT binds to the C-terminal tail of tubulin. In addition, MDCT could bind to tubulin in HeLa cell extract. Here, we report a microtubule binding region in the C-terminal region of MAP7D3 that may have a role in regulating microtubule assembly dynamics. PMID:24927501

  6. A dynamic microtubule cytoskeleton directs medial actomyosin function during tube formation.

    PubMed

    Booth, Alexander J R; Blanchard, Guy B; Adams, Richard J; Röper, Katja

    2014-06-09

    The cytoskeleton is a major determinant of cell-shape changes that drive the formation of complex tissues during development. Important roles for actomyosin during tissue morphogenesis have been identified, but the role of the microtubule cytoskeleton is less clear. Here, we show that during tubulogenesis of the salivary glands in the fly embryo, the microtubule cytoskeleton undergoes major rearrangements, including a 90° change in alignment relative to the apicobasal axis, loss of centrosomal attachment, and apical stabilization. Disruption of the microtubule cytoskeleton leads to failure of apical constriction in placodal cells fated to invaginate. We show that this failure is due to loss of an apical medial actomyosin network whose pulsatile behavior in wild-type embryos drives the apical constriction of the cells. The medial actomyosin network interacts with the minus ends of acentrosomal microtubule bundles through the cytolinker protein Shot, and disruption of Shot also impairs apical constriction. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Dynamic changes in microtubule configuration correlate with nuclear migration in the preblastoderm Drosophila embryo

    PubMed Central

    1993-01-01

    Drosophila embryogenesis is initiated by a series of syncytial mitotic divisions. The first nine of these divisions are internal, and are accompanied by two temporally distinct nuclear movements that lead to the formation of a syncytial blastoderm with a uniform monolayer of cortical nuclei. The first of these movements, which we term axial expansion, occurs during division cycles 4-6 and distributes nuclei in a hollow ellipsoid underlying the cortex. This is followed by cortical migration, during cycles 7-10, which places the nuclei in a uniform monolayer at the cortex. Here we report that these two movements differ in their geometry, velocity, cell-cycle dependence, and protein synthesis requirement. We therefore conclude that axial expansion and cortical migration are mechanistically distinct, amplifying a similar conclusion based on pharmacological data (Zalokar and Erk, 1976). We have examined microtubule organization during cortical migration and find that a network of interdigitating microtubules connects the migrating nuclei. These anti-parallel microtubule arrays are observed between migrating nuclei and yolk nuclei located deeper in the embryo. These arrays are present during nuclear movement but break down when the nuclei are not moving. We propose that cortical migration is driven by microtubule-dependent forces that repel adjacent nuclei, leading to an expansion of the nuclear ellipsoid established by axial expansion. PMID:8314839

  8. Aurora-A is a critical regulator of microtubule assembly and nuclear activity in mouse oocytes, fertilized eggs, and early embryos.

    PubMed

    Yao, Li-Juan; Zhong, Zhi-Sheng; Zhang, Li-Sheng; Chen, Da-Yuan; Schatten, Heide; Sun, Qing-Yuan

    2004-05-01

    Aurora-A is a serine/threonine protein kinase that plays a role in cell-cycle regulation. The activity of this kinase has been shown to be required for regulating multiple stages of mitotic progression in somatic cells. In this study, the changes in aurora-;A expression were revealed in mouse oocytes using Western blotting. The subcellular localization of aurora-A during oocyte meiotic maturation, fertilization, and early cleavages as well as after antibody microinjection or microtubule assembly perturbance was studied with confocal microscopy. The quantity of aurora-A protein was high in the germinal vesicle (GV) and metaphase II (MII) oocytes and remained stable during other meiotic maturation stages. Aurora-A concentrated in the GV before meiosis resumption, in the pronuclei of fertilized eggs, and in the nuclei of early embryo blastomeres. Aurora-A was localized to the spindle poles of the meiotic spindle from the metaphase I (MI) stage to metaphase II stage. During early embryo development, aurora-A was found in association with the mitotic spindle poles. Aurora-A was not found in the spindle region when colchicine or staurosporine was used to inhibit microtubule organization, while it accumulated as several dots in the cytoplasm after taxol treatment. Aurora-A antibody microinjection decreased the rate of germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) and distorted MI spindle organization. Our results indicate that aurora-A is a critical regulator of cell-cycle progression and microtubule organization during mouse oocyte meiotic maturation, fertilization, and early embryo cleavage.

  9. The control of microtubule stability in vitro and in transfected cells by MAP1B and SCG10.

    PubMed

    Bondallaz, Percy; Barbier, Anne; Soehrman, Sophia; Grenningloh, Gabriele; Riederer, Beat M

    2006-11-01

    In neurons, the regulation of microtubules plays an important role for neurite outgrowth, axonal elongation, and growth cone steering. SCG10 family proteins are the only known neuronal proteins that have a strong destabilizing effect, are highly enriched in growth cones and are thought to play an important role during axonal elongation. MAP1B, a microtubule-stabilizing protein, is found in growth cones as well, therefore it was important to test their effect on microtubules in the presence of both proteins. We used recombinant proteins in microtubule assembly assays and in transfected COS-7 cells to analyze their combined effects in vitro and in living cells, respectively. Individually, both proteins showed their expected activities in microtubule stabilization and destruction respectively. In MAP1B/SCG10 double-transfected cells, MAP1B could not protect microtubules from SCG10-induced disassembly in most cells, in particular not in cells that contained high levels of SCG10. This suggests that SCG10 is more potent to destabilize microtubules than MAP1B to rescue them. In microtubule assembly assays, MAP1B promoted microtubule formation at a ratio of 1 MAP1B per 70 tubulin dimers while a ratio of 1 SCG10 per two tubulin dimers was needed to destroy microtubules. In addition to its known binding to tubulin dimers, SCG10 binds also to purified microtubules in growth cones of dorsal root ganglion neurons in culture. In conclusion, neuronal microtubules are regulated by antagonistic effects of MAP1B and SCG10 and a fine tuning of the balance of these proteins may be critical for the regulation of microtubule dynamics in growth cones.

  10. Live visualizations of single isolated tubulin protein self-assembly via tunneling current: effect of electromagnetic pumping during spontaneous growth of microtubule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahu, Satyajit; Ghosh, Subrata; Fujita, Daisuke; Bandyopadhyay, Anirban

    2014-12-01

    As we bring tubulin protein molecules one by one into the vicinity, they self-assemble and entire event we capture live via quantum tunneling. We observe how these molecules form a linear chain and then chains self-assemble into 2D sheet, an essential for microtubule, --fundamental nano-tube in a cellular life form. Even without using GTP, or any chemical reaction, but applying particular ac signal using specially designed antenna around atomic sharp tip we could carry out the self-assembly, however, if there is no electromagnetic pumping, no self-assembly is observed. In order to verify this atomic scale observation, we have built an artificial cell-like environment with nano-scale engineering and repeated spontaneous growth of tubulin protein to its complex with and without electromagnetic signal. We used 64 combinations of plant, animal and fungi tubulins and several doping molecules used as drug, and repeatedly observed that the long reported common frequency region where protein folds mechanically and its structures vibrate electromagnetically. Under pumping, the growth process exhibits a unique organized behavior unprecedented otherwise. Thus, ``common frequency point'' is proposed as a tool to regulate protein complex related diseases in the future.

  11. Live visualizations of single isolated tubulin protein self-assembly via tunneling current: effect of electromagnetic pumping during spontaneous growth of microtubule

    PubMed Central

    Sahu, Satyajit; Ghosh, Subrata; Fujita, Daisuke; Bandyopadhyay, Anirban

    2014-01-01

    As we bring tubulin protein molecules one by one into the vicinity, they self-assemble and entire event we capture live via quantum tunneling. We observe how these molecules form a linear chain and then chains self-assemble into 2D sheet, an essential for microtubule, —fundamental nano-tube in a cellular life form. Even without using GTP, or any chemical reaction, but applying particular ac signal using specially designed antenna around atomic sharp tip we could carry out the self-assembly, however, if there is no electromagnetic pumping, no self-assembly is observed. In order to verify this atomic scale observation, we have built an artificial cell-like environment with nano-scale engineering and repeated spontaneous growth of tubulin protein to its complex with and without electromagnetic signal. We used 64 combinations of plant, animal and fungi tubulins and several doping molecules used as drug, and repeatedly observed that the long reported common frequency region where protein folds mechanically and its structures vibrate electromagnetically. Under pumping, the growth process exhibits a unique organized behavior unprecedented otherwise. Thus, “common frequency point” is proposed as a tool to regulate protein complex related diseases in the future. PMID:25466883

  12. Live visualizations of single isolated tubulin protein self-assembly via tunneling current: effect of electromagnetic pumping during spontaneous growth of microtubule.

    PubMed

    Sahu, Satyajit; Ghosh, Subrata; Fujita, Daisuke; Bandyopadhyay, Anirban

    2014-12-03

    As we bring tubulin protein molecules one by one into the vicinity, they self-assemble and entire event we capture live via quantum tunneling. We observe how these molecules form a linear chain and then chains self-assemble into 2D sheet, an essential for microtubule, --fundamental nano-tube in a cellular life form. Even without using GTP, or any chemical reaction, but applying particular ac signal using specially designed antenna around atomic sharp tip we could carry out the self-assembly, however, if there is no electromagnetic pumping, no self-assembly is observed. In order to verify this atomic scale observation, we have built an artificial cell-like environment with nano-scale engineering and repeated spontaneous growth of tubulin protein to its complex with and without electromagnetic signal. We used 64 combinations of plant, animal and fungi tubulins and several doping molecules used as drug, and repeatedly observed that the long reported common frequency region where protein folds mechanically and its structures vibrate electromagnetically. Under pumping, the growth process exhibits a unique organized behavior unprecedented otherwise. Thus, "common frequency point" is proposed as a tool to regulate protein complex related diseases in the future.

  13. Curcumin hampers the antitumor effect of vinblastine via the inhibition of microtubule dynamics and mitochondrial membrane potential in HeLa cervical cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jae-Wook; Park, Sojin; Kim, Sun Yeou; Um, Sung Hee; Moon, Eun-Yi

    2016-06-15

    Curcumin, a major component of curry powder, which is a natural polyphenol product extracted from rhizoma curcumae longae, interacts with a specific binding site on microtubules. Vinblastine is an antitumor drug that induces microtubule depolymerization. We investigated whether curcumin influences the antitumor effect of vinblastine in HeLa human cervical cancer cells. Changes in microtubule filaments were visualized by immuno-staining. Cell death was determined by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide(MTT) or water-soluble tetrazolium(WST) assay. Apoptotic cell formation was assessed by flow cytometry after staining cells with propidium iodide(PI) and/or Annexin V or with 6-diamidino-2-phenylindole(DAPI). Reactive oxygen species(ROS) were also measured by flow cytometry using dichloro-dihydro-fluorescein diacetate(DCF-DA). JC-1 was used to determine mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP). When cells were pretreated with curcumin, microtubule filaments were disordered. Vinblastine-induced microtubule depolymerization and cell death were reduced in HeLa human cervical cancer cells pretreated with curcumin compared to the control. The decrease in cell death was much greater in cells pretreated with curcumin compared to cotreatment or post-treatment. DNA condensation by vinblastine was also decreased in curcumin-pretreated cells. Curcumin reduced ROS production by vinblastine. However, no changes in vinblastine-mediated microtubule depolymerization were detected upon N-acetylcysteine(NAC) treatment. In contrast, vinblastine-induced MMP collapse was inhibited by pretreatment with curcumin or NAC. These findings suggest that vinblastine-induced tumor cell death might be inhibited by curcumin via ROS-independent microtubule dynamics and ROS-dependent MMP collapse. It also suggests that microtubule dynamics could be necessary for the optimal antitumor activity of vinblastine. Our results suggest that patients treated with vinblastine should not

  14. The smallest active fragment of microtubule-associated protein 4 and its interaction with microtubules in phosphate buffer.

    PubMed

    Hashi, Yurika; Nagase, Lisa; Matsushima, Kazuyuki; Kotani, Susumu

    2012-01-01

    To analyze the interaction between microtubule-associated protein (MAP) 4 and microtubules physicochemically, a MAP4 active site fragment was designed for nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) use. The fragment was bacterially expressed and purified to homogeneity. The buffer conditions for NMR were optimized to support microtubule assembly. The fragment was found to bind to microtubules under the optimized buffer conditions.

  15. Structural Mutants of the Spindle Pole Body Cause Distinct Alteration of Cytoplasmic Microtubules and Nuclear Dynamics in Multinucleated Hyphae

    PubMed Central

    Lang, Claudia; Grava, Sandrine; Finlayson, Mark; Trimble, Rhonda; Philippsen, Peter

    2010-01-01

    In the multinucleate fungus Ashbya gossypii, cytoplasmic microtubules (cMTs) emerge from the spindle pole body outer plaque (OP) in perpendicular and tangential directions. To elucidate the role of cMTs in forward/backward movements (oscillations) and bypassing of nuclei, we constructed mutants potentially affecting cMT nucleation or stability. Hyphae lacking the OP components AgSpc72, AgNud1, AgCnm67, or the microtubule-stabilizing factor AgStu2 grew like wild- type but showed substantial alterations in the number, length, and/or nucleation sites of cMTs. These mutants differently influenced nuclear oscillation and bypassing. In Agspc72Δ, only long cMTs were observed, which emanate tangentially from reduced OPs; nuclei mainly moved with the cytoplasmic stream but some performed rapid bypassing. Agnud1Δ and Agcnm67Δ lack OPs; short and long cMTs emerged from the spindle pole body bridge/half-bridge structures, explaining nuclear oscillation and bypassing in these mutants. In Agstu2Δ only very short cMTs emanated from structurally intact OPs; all nuclei moved with the cytoplasmic stream. Therefore, long tangential cMTs promote nuclear bypassing and short cMTs are important for nuclear oscillation. Our electron microscopy ultrastructural analysis also indicated that assembly of the OP occurs in a stepwise manner, starting with AgCnm67, followed by AgNud1 and lastly AgSpc72. PMID:20053682

  16. Tumor suppressor protein DAB2IP participates in chromosomal stability maintenance through activating spindle assembly checkpoint and stabilizing kinetochore-microtubule attachments

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Lan; Shang, Zeng-Fu; Abdisalaam, Salim; Lee, Kyung-Jong; Gupta, Arun; Hsieh, Jer-Tsong; Asaithamby, Aroumougame; Chen, Benjamin P.C.; Saha, Debabrata

    2016-01-01

    Defects in kinetochore-microtubule (KT-MT) attachment and the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) during cell division are strongly associated with chromosomal instability (CIN). CIN has been linked to carcinogenesis, metastasis, poor prognosis and resistance to cancer therapy. We previously reported that the DAB2IP is a tumor suppressor, and that loss of DAB2IP is often detected in advanced prostate cancer (PCa) and is indicative of poor prognosis. Here, we report that the loss of DAB2IP results in impaired KT-MT attachment, compromised SAC and aberrant chromosomal segregation. We discovered that DAB2IP directly interacts with Plk1 and its loss inhibits Plk1 kinase activity, thereby impairing Plk1-mediated BubR1 phosphorylation. Loss of DAB2IP decreases the localization of BubR1 at the kinetochore during mitosis progression. In addition, the reconstitution of DAB2IP enhances the sensitivity of PCa cells to microtubule stabilizing drugs (paclitaxel, docetaxel) and Plk1 inhibitor (BI2536). Our findings demonstrate a novel function of DAB2IP in the maintenance of KT-MT structure and SAC regulation during mitosis which is essential for chromosomal stability. PMID:27568005

  17. Atomic-resolution structure of the CAP-Gly domain of dynactin on polymeric microtubules determined by magic angle spinning NMR spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Yan, Si; Guo, Changmiao; Hou, Guangjin; Zhang, Huilan; Lu, Xingyu; Williams, John Charles; Polenova, Tatyana

    2015-11-24

    Microtubules and their associated proteins perform a broad array of essential physiological functions, including mitosis, polarization and differentiation, cell migration, and vesicle and organelle transport. As such, they have been extensively studied at multiple levels of resolution (e.g., from structural biology to cell biology). Despite these efforts, there remain significant gaps in our knowledge concerning how microtubule-binding proteins bind to microtubules, how dynamics connect different conformational states, and how these interactions and dynamics affect cellular processes. Structures of microtubule-associated proteins assembled on polymeric microtubules are not known at atomic resolution. Here, we report a structure of the cytoskeleton-associated protein glycine-rich (CAP-Gly) domain of dynactin motor on polymeric microtubules, solved by magic angle spinning NMR spectroscopy. We present the intermolecular interface of CAP-Gly with microtubules, derived by recording direct dipolar contacts between CAP-Gly and tubulin using double rotational echo double resonance (dREDOR)-filtered experiments. Our results indicate that the structure adopted by CAP-Gly varies, particularly around its loop regions, permitting its interaction with multiple binding partners and with the microtubules. To our knowledge, this study reports the first atomic-resolution structure of a microtubule-associated protein on polymeric microtubules. Our approach lays the foundation for atomic-resolution structural analysis of other microtubule-associated motors.

  18. Atomic-resolution structure of the CAP-Gly domain of dynactin on polymeric microtubules determined by magic angle spinning NMR spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Si; Guo, Changmiao; Hou, Guangjin; Zhang, Huilan; Lu, Xingyu; Williams, John Charles; Polenova, Tatyana

    2015-01-01

    Microtubules and their associated proteins perform a broad array of essential physiological functions, including mitosis, polarization and differentiation, cell migration, and vesicle and organelle transport. As such, they have been extensively studied at multiple levels of resolution (e.g., from structural biology to cell biology). Despite these efforts, there remain significant gaps in our knowledge concerning how microtubule-binding proteins bind to microtubules, how dynamics connect different conformational states, and how these interactions and dynamics affect cellular processes. Structures of microtubule-associated proteins assembled on polymeric microtubules are not known at atomic resolution. Here, we report a structure of the cytoskeleton-associated protein glycine-rich (CAP-Gly) domain of dynactin motor on polymeric microtubules, solved by magic angle spinning NMR spectroscopy. We present the intermolecular interface of CAP-Gly with microtubules, derived by recording direct dipolar contacts between CAP-Gly and tubulin using double rotational echo double resonance (dREDOR)-filtered experiments. Our results indicate that the structure adopted by CAP-Gly varies, particularly around its loop regions, permitting its interaction with multiple binding partners and with the microtubules. To our knowledge, this study reports the first atomic-resolution structure of a microtubule-associated protein on polymeric microtubules. Our approach lays the foundation for atomic-resolution structural analysis of other microtubule-associated motors. PMID:26604305

  19. Dynamic self-assembly of 'living' polymeric chains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, Binghui; Shi, Yunfeng

    2017-01-01

    We report a dynamic self-assembly system of 'living' polymeric chains sustained by chemistry using reactive molecular dynamics simulations. The linear polymeric chains consist of self-assembled nanoparticles connected by metastable linker molecules. As such, the polymeric chains, once assembled, undergo spontaneous dissociation driven by thermodynamics. However, with a continuous supply of linker molecules and the stored chemical energy therein, the polymeric chains can survive and maintain a steady state averaged chain length. These dynamically self-assembled polymeric chains are analogous to biological systems that both are thermodynamically metastable, yet dynamically stable upon continuous influx of matter and energy.

  20. Dynamics of Pre-replicative Complex Assembly*

    PubMed Central

    Tsakraklides, Vasiliki; Bell, Stephen P.

    2010-01-01

    The pre-replicative complex (pre-RC) is formed at all potential origins of replication through the action of the origin recognition complex (ORC), Cdc6, Cdt1, and the Mcm2-7 complex. The end result of pre-RC formation is the loading of the Mcm2-7 replicative helicase onto origin DNA. We examined pre-RC formation in vitro and found that it proceeds through separable binding events. Origin-bound ORC recruits Cdc6, and this ternary complex then promotes helicase loading in the presence of a pre-formed Mcm2-7-Cdt1 complex. Using a stepwise pre-RC assembly assay, we investigated the fate of pre-RC components during later stages of the reaction. We determined that helicase loading is accompanied by dissociation of ORC, Cdc6, and Cdt1 from origin DNA. This dissociation requires ATP hydrolysis at a late stage of pre-RC assembly. Our results indicate that pre-RC formation is a dynamic process. PMID:20097898

  1. Dynamics of magnetic nano-particle assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kondratyev, V. N.

    2010-11-01

    Ferromagnetically coupled nano-particle assembly is analyzed accounting for inter- and intra- particle electronic structures within the randomly jumping interacting moments model including quantum fluctuations due to the discrete levels and disorder. At the magnetic jump anomalies caused by quantization the magnetic state equation and phase diagram are found to indicate an existence of spinodal regions and critical points. Arrays of magnetized nano-particles with multiple magnetic response anomalies are predicted to display some specific features. In a case of weak coupling such arrays exhibit the well-separated instability regions surrounding the anomaly positions. With increasing coupling we observe further structure modification, plausibly, of bifurcation type. At strong coupling the dynamical instability region become wide while the stable regime arises as a narrow islands at small disorders. It is shown that exploring correlations of magnetic noise amplitudes represents convenient analytical tool for quantitative definition, description and study of supermagnetism, as well as self-organized criticality.

  2. [Dynamics of cytoskeleton microtubules in higher plant meiosis. II. Perinuclear band formation].

    PubMed

    Shamina, N V; Dorogova, N V; Seriukova, E G

    2003-01-01

    Analyses of correspondent meiotic abnormalities is a good tool for studying cytoskeletal rearrangements during plant cell division. The paper reports on the wheat x wheatgrass F1 hybrids, showing various abnormalities during organization of the prophase perinuclear band of microtubules (PNB) in male meiosis. Based on these data, it may be concluded that the perinuclear system of microtubules (MT) in higher plant meiosis is formed from fibrils of the radial system as a result of their translocation in the cell cytoplasm space. According to our data, at this stage the radial MT arrays pass through the following consequence of events: separating from the nuclear envelope, 2) approaching, 3) tangential orientation to the nuclear surface, 4) bending, 5) co-orientation, lateral interaction. As a result, a flat ring of well organized concentric bent MT bundles encircling the nucleus meridionally is organized.

  3. Toward Discovery of Novel Microtubule Targeting Agents: A SNAP-tag-Based High-Content Screening Assay for the Analysis of Microtubule Dynamics and Cell Cycle Progression.

    PubMed

    Berges, Nina; Arens, Katharina; Kreusch, Verena; Fischer, Rainer; Di Fiore, Stefano

    2017-04-01

    Microtubule targeting agents (MTAs) are used for the treatment of cancer. Novel MTAs could provide additional and beneficial therapeutic options. To improve the sensitivity and throughput of standard immunofluorescence assays for the characterization of MTAs, we used SNAP-tag technology to produce recombinant tubulin monomers. To visualize microtubule filaments, A549 cells transfected with SNAP-tubulin were stained with a membrane-permeable, SNAP-reactive dye. The treatment of SNAP-tubulin cells with stabilizing MTAs such as paclitaxel resulted in the formation of coarsely structured microtubule filaments, whereas depolymerizing MTAs such as nocodazole resulted in diffuse staining patterns in which the tubulin filaments were no longer distinguishable. By combining these components with automated microscopy and image analysis algorithms, we established a robust high-content screening assay for MTAs with a Z' factor of 0.7. Proof of principle was achieved by testing a panel of 10 substances, allowing us to identify MTAs and to distinguish between stabilizing and destabilizing modes of action. By extending the treatment of the cells from 2 to 20 h, our assay also detected abnormalities in cell cycle progression and in the formation of microtubule spindles, providing additional readouts for the discovery of new MTAs and facilitating their early identification during drug-screening campaigns.

  4. PSD-95 alters microtubule dynamics via an association with EB3

    PubMed Central

    Sweet, Eric S.; Previtera, Michelle L.; Fernández, Jose R.; Charych, Erik I.; Tseng, Chia-Yi; Kwon, Munjin; Starovoytov, Valentin; Zheng, James Q.; Firestein, Bonnie L.

    2011-01-01

    Little is known about how the neuronal cytoskeleton is regulated when a dendrite decides whether to branch or not. Previously, we reported that postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD-95) acts as a stop signal for dendrite branching. It is yet to be elucidated how PSD-95 affects the cytoskeleton and how this regulation relates to the dendritic arbor. Here, we show that the SH3 (src homology 3) domain of PSD-95 interacts with a proline-rich region within the microtubule end-binding protein EB3. Overexpression of PSD-95 or mutant EB3 results in a decreased lifetime of EB3 comets in dendrites. In line with these data, transfected rat neurons show that overexpression of PSD-95 results in less organized microtubules at dendritic branch points and decreased dendritogensis. The interaction between PSD-95 and EB3 elucidates a function for a novel region of EB3 and provides a new and important mechanism for the regulation of microtubules in determining dendritic morphology. PMID:21248129

  5. Cortical microtubule rearrangements and cell wall patterning

    PubMed Central

    Oda, Yoshihisa

    2015-01-01

    Plant cortical microtubules, which form a highly ordered array beneath the plasma membrane, play essential roles in determining cell shape and function by directing the arrangement of cellulosic and non-cellulosic compounds on the cell surface. Interphase transverse arrays of cortical microtubules self-organize through their dynamic instability and inter-microtubule interactions, and by branch-form microtubule nucleation and severing. Recent studies revealed that distinct spatial signals including ROP GTPase, cellular geometry, and mechanical stress regulate the behavior of cortical microtubules at the subcellular and supercellular levels, giving rise to dramatic rearrangements in the cortical microtubule array in response to internal and external cues. Increasing evidence indicates that negative regulators of microtubules also contribute to the rearrangement of the cortical microtubule array. In this review, I summarize recent insights into how the rearrangement of the cortical microtubule array leads to proper, flexible cell wall patterning. PMID:25904930

  6. Controls of interaction dynamics of orbital assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Renjeng

    1991-11-01

    Building structures and spacecraft in orbit will require technologies for positioning, docking/berthing, and joining orbital structures. A fundamental problem underlying the operation of docking and berthing is that of controlling the contact dynamics of mechanical structures actuated by active mechanisms such as robotic devices. Control systems must be designed to control these active mechanisms so that both the free space motions and contact motions are stable and satisfy specifications on position accuracy and bounds on contact forces. For the large orbital structures of the future, the problem of interactive dynamics and control is fundamentally different in several ways than it was for spacecraft docking in the past. First, future space structures must be treated as flexible structures - the operations of docking, berthing, and assembly will need to respect the vibrations of the structures. Second, the assembly of these structures will require multiple-point contact, rather than the essentially single-point positioning of conventional spacecraft docking. Third, some assembly operations require the subassemblies to be brought and held in contact so that successful joining can be accomplished. A preliminary study of contact stability and compliance control design has resulted in the development of an analytical method and a design method to analyze stability. The analytical method analyzes the problem of stability when an actively-controlled structure contacts a passive structure. This method makes it possible to accurately estimate the stiffness of the passive structures with which the contact motion will become unstable. The analytic results suggest that passivity is neither achievable in practice, nor necessary as a design concept. A contact control system need only be passive up to a certain frequency; beyond that frequency the system can be stabilized with sufficiently small gains. With this concept the Center developed a design methodology for achieving

  7. Controls of interaction dynamics of orbital assembly

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Su, Renjeng

    1991-01-01

    Building structures and spacecraft in orbit will require technologies for positioning, docking/berthing, and joining orbital structures. A fundamental problem underlying the operation of docking and berthing is that of controlling the contact dynamics of mechanical structures actuated by active mechanisms such as robotic devices. Control systems must be designed to control these active mechanisms so that both the free space motions and contact motions are stable and satisfy specifications on position accuracy and bounds on contact forces. For the large orbital structures of the future, the problem of interactive dynamics and control is fundamentally different in several ways than it was for spacecraft docking in the past. First, future space structures must be treated as flexible structures - the operations of docking, berthing, and assembly will need to respect the vibrations of the structures. Second, the assembly of these structures will require multiple-point contact, rather than the essentially single-point positioning of conventional spacecraft docking. Third, some assembly operations require the subassemblies to be brought and held in contact so that successful joining can be accomplished. A preliminary study of contact stability and compliance control design has resulted in the development of an analytical method and a design method to analyze stability. The analytical method analyzes the problem of stability when an actively-controlled structure contacts a passive structure. This method makes it possible to accurately estimate the stiffness of the passive structures with which the contact motion will become unstable. The analytic results suggest that passivity is neither achievable in practice, nor necessary as a design concept. A contact control system need only be passive up to a certain frequency; beyond that frequency the system can be stabilized with sufficiently small gains. With this concept the Center developed a design methodology for achieving

  8. Metaphase Spindle Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Kapoor, Tarun M.

    2017-01-01

    A microtubule-based bipolar spindle is required for error-free chromosome segregation during cell division. In this review I discuss the molecular mechanisms required for the assembly of this dynamic micrometer-scale structure in animal cells. PMID:28165376

  9. Revisiting the tubulin cofactors and Arl2 in the regulation of soluble αβ-tubulin pools and their effect on microtubule dynamics.

    PubMed

    Al-Bassam, Jawdat

    2017-02-01

    Soluble αβ-tubulin heterodimers are maintained at high concentration inside eukaryotic cells, forming pools that fundamentally drive microtubule dynamics. Five conserved tubulin cofactors and ADP ribosylation factor-like 2 regulate the biogenesis and degradation of αβ-tubulins to maintain concentrated soluble pools. Here I describe a revised model for the function of three tubulin cofactors and Arl2 as a multisubunit GTP-hydrolyzing catalytic chaperone that cycles to promote αβ-tubulin biogenesis and degradation. This model helps explain old and new data indicating these activities enhance microtubule dynamics in vivo via repair or removal of αβ-tubulins from the soluble pools.

  10. NO serves as a signaling intermediate downstream of H₂O₂ to modulate dynamic microtubule cytoskeleton during responses to VD-toxins in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Yao, Lin-Lin; Pei, Bao-Lei; Zhou, Qun; Li, Ying-Zhang

    2012-02-01

    Although hydrogen peroxide (H₂O₂) and nitric oxide (NO) can act as an upstream signaling molecule to modulate the dynamic microtubule cytoskeleton during the defense responses to Verticillium dahliae (VD) toxins in Arabidopsis, it is not known the relationship between these two signaling molecules. Here, we show that VD-toxin-induced NO accumulation was dependent on prior H₂O₂ production, NO is downstream of H₂O₂ in the signaling process, and that H₂O₂ acted synergistically with NO to modulate the dynamic microtubule cytoskeleton responses to VD-toxins in Arabidopsis.

  11. Centriolar CPAP/SAS-4 Imparts Slow Processive Microtubule Growth.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Ashwani; Aher, Amol; Dynes, Nicola J; Frey, Daniel; Katrukha, Eugene A; Jaussi, Rolf; Grigoriev, Ilya; Croisier, Marie; Kammerer, Richard A; Akhmanova, Anna; Gönczy, Pierre; Steinmetz, Michel O

    2016-05-23

    Centrioles are fundamental and evolutionarily conserved microtubule-based organelles whose assembly is characterized by microtubule growth rates that are orders of magnitude slower than those of cytoplasmic microtubules. Several centriolar proteins can interact with tubulin or microtubules, but how they ensure the exceptionally slow growth of centriolar microtubules has remained mysterious. Here, we bring together crystallographic, biophysical, and reconstitution assays to demonstrate that the human centriolar protein CPAP (SAS-4 in worms and flies) binds and "caps" microtubule plus ends by associating with a site of β-tubulin engaged in longitudinal tubulin-tubulin interactions. Strikingly, we uncover that CPAP activity dampens microtubule growth and stabilizes microtubules by inhibiting catastrophes and promoting rescues. We further establish that the capping function of CPAP is important to limit growth of centriolar microtubules in cells. Our results suggest that CPAP acts as a molecular lid that ensures slow assembly of centriolar microtubules and, thereby, contributes to organelle length control.

  12. Accelerated actin filament polymerization from microtubule plus-ends

    PubMed Central

    Henty-Ridilla, Jessica L.; Rankova, Aneliya; Eskin, Julian A.; Kenny, Katelyn; Goode, Bruce L.

    2016-01-01

    Microtubules govern actin network remodeling in a wide range of biological processes, yet the mechanisms underlying this cytoskeletal crosstalk have remained obscure. Here we used single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to show that the microtubule plus-end associated protein CLIP-170 binds tightly to formins to accelerate actin filament elongation. Furthermore, we observed mDia1 dimers and CLIP-170 dimers co-tracking growing filament ends for minutes. CLIP-170-mDia1 complexes promoted actin polymerization approximately 18 times faster than free barbed end growth, while simultaneously enhancing protection from capping protein. We used a microtubule-actin dynamics co-reconstitution system to observe CLIP-170-mDia1 complexes being recruited to growing microtubule ends by EB1. The complexes triggered rapid growth of actin filaments that remained attached to the microtubule surface. These activities of CLIP-170 were required in primary neurons for normal dendritic morphology. Thus, our results reveal a cellular mechanism whereby growing microtubule plus-ends direct rapid actin assembly. PMID:27199431

  13. Influence of M-phase chromatin on the anisotropy of microtubule asters

    PubMed Central

    1996-01-01

    In many eukaryotic cells going through M-phase, a bipolar spindle is formed by microtubules nucleated from centrosomes. These microtubules, in addition to being "captured" by kinetochores, may be stabilized by chromatin in two different ways: short-range stabilization effects may affect microtubules in close contact with the chromatin, while long- range stabilization effects may "guide" microtubule growth towards the chromatin (e.g., by introducing a diffusive gradient of an enzymatic activity that affects microtubule assembly). Here, we use both meiotic and mitotic extracts from Xenopus laevis eggs to study microtubule aster formation and microtubule dynamics in the presence of chromatin. In "low-speed" meiotic extracts, in the presence of salmon sperm chromatin, we find that short-range stabilization effects lead to a strong anisotropy of the microtubule asters. Analysis of the dynamic parameters of microtubule growth show that this anisotropy arises from a decrease in the catastrophe frequency, an increase in the rescue frequency and a decrease in the growth velocity. In this system we also find evidence for long-range "guidance" effects, which lead to a weak anisotropy of the asters. Statistically relevant results on these long- range effects are obtained in "high-speed" mitotic extracts in the presence of artificially constructed chromatin stripes. We find that aster anisotropy is biased in the direction of the chromatin and that the catastrophe frequency is reduced in its vicinity. In this system we also find a surprising dependence of the catastrophe and the rescue frequencies on the length of microtubules nucleated from centrosomes: the catastrophe frequency increase and the rescue frequency decreases with microtubule length. PMID:8601601

  14. CYTOPLASMIC MICROTUBULES

    PubMed Central

    Slautterback, David B.

    1963-01-01

    Small cytoplasmic tubules are present in the interstitial cells and cnidoblasts of hydra. They are referred to here as "microtubules." These tubular elements have an outside diameter of 180 A and an inside diameter of 80 A. By difference, the membranous wall is estimated to be 50 A thick. The maximum length of the microtubules cannot be determined from thin sections but is known to exceed 1.5 µ. In the interstitial cells the microtubules are found in the intercellular bridges, free in the cytoplasm and in association with the centrioles. In the cnidoblast they form a framework around the developing nematocyst and in late stages are related to the cnidocil forming a tight skein in the basal part of the cell. Especially in this cell, confluence of microtubules with small spherical vesicles of the Golgi complex has been observed. It is proposed that these tubules function in the transport of water, ions, or small molecules. PMID:14079495

  15. Mechanisms and Dynamics of Collagen Assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tao, Jinhui; Friddle, Raymond; Wang, Debin; de Yoreo, Jim

    2013-03-01

    Collagen is the major structural protein of bone, dentine and it template the nucleation of biomineral phases. Both collagen conformation and architecture on substrate are critical for its function. We studied the mechanism of collagen I assembly on mica by in-situ AFM. At acidic condition, assembled architecture evolved from random fibers to co-aligned fibers and finally to bundles as the K+ concentration increased from 100 to 300mM. XPS and NEXAFS showed the concentration of K+ within the collagen layer increased and the intensity of absorption peak due to π*(C =O) resonance decreased with higher K+concentration. The magnitude of collagen-mica (C-M) and collagen-collagen (C-C) interactions were measured by dynamic force spectroscopy. The free energy ΔGb for C-M and C-C at 200mM K+were 13.7kT and 1.4kT, while ΔGb at 300mM K+ were 5.7kT and 12.3kT, respectively. The switch from co-aligned fibers to 3D bundles is driven by the reversal in the magnitude of C-C and C-M interactions. Our results indicate K+ complex with C =O of collagen and its effect on the strength of collagen-collagen bridging is the likely source of architecture control. Authors would like to acknowledge grant no. DK61673 from the National Institutes of Health. Theoretical analysis was supported by Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract no. DE-AC02-05CH1123.

  16. Microtubule Severing Stymied by Free Tubulin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, Jennifer; Bailey, Megan

    2015-03-01

    Proper organization of the microtubule cytoskeletal network is required to perform many necessary cellular functions including mitosis, cell development, and cell motility. Network organization is achieved through filament remodeling by microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) that control microtubule dynamics. MAPs that stabilize are relatively well understood, while less is known about destabilizing MAPs, such as severing enzymes. Katanin, the first-discovered microtubule-severing enzyme, is a AAA + enzyme that oligomerizes into hexamers and uses ATP hydrolysis to sever microtubules. Using quantitative fluorescence imaging on reconstituted microtubule severing assays in vitro we investigate how katanin can regulate microtubule dynamics. Interestingly, we find microtubule dynamics inhibits katanin severing activity; dynamic microtubules are not severed. Using systematic experiments introducing free tubulin into the assays we find that free tubulin can compete for microtubule filaments for the katanin proteins. Our work indicates that katanin could function best on stabile microtubules or stabile regions of microtubules in cells in regions where free tubulin is sequesters, low, or depleted.

  17. The kinesin KIF21B regulates microtubule dynamics and is essential for neuronal morphology, synapse function and learning and memory

    PubMed Central

    Muhia, Mary; Thies, Edda; Labonté, Dorthe; Ghiretti, Amy E.; Gromova, Kira V.; Xompero, Francesca; Lappe-Siefke, Corinna; Hermans-Borgmeyer, Irm; Kuhl, Dietmar; Schweizer, Michaela; Ohana, Ora; Schwarz, Jürgen R.; Holzbaur, Erika L.F.

    2017-01-01

    SUMMARY The kinesin KIF21B is implicated in several human neurological disorders including delayed cognitive development, yet it remains unclear how KIF21B dysfunction may contribute to pathology. One limitation is that relatively little is known about KIF21B-mediated physiological mechanisms. Here, we generated Kif21b knockout mice and used cellular assays to investigate the relevance of KIF21B in neuronal and in vivo function. We show that KIF21B is a processive motor, and identify an additional role for KIF21B in regulating microtubule dynamics. In neurons lacking KIF21B, microtubules grow more slowly and persistently, leading to tighter packing in dendrites. KIF21B-deficient neurons exhibit decreased dendritic arbor complexity and reduced spine density, which correlate with deficits in synaptic transmission. Consistent with these observations, KIF21B-null mice exhibit behavioral changes involving learning and memory deficits. Collectively, our study provides insight into the cellular function of KIF21B and the basis for cognitive decline resulting from KIF21B dysregulation. PMID:27117409

  18. The acetylenic tricyclic bis(cyano enone), TBE-31, targets microtubule dynamics and cell polarity in migrating cells.

    PubMed

    Chan, Eddie; Saito, Akira; Honda, Tadashi; Di Guglielmo, Gianni M

    2016-04-01

    Cell migration is dependent on the microtubule network for structural support as well as for the proper delivery and positioning of polarity proteins at the leading edge of migrating cells. Identification of drugs that target cytoskeletal-dependent cell migration and protein transport in polarized migrating cells is important in understanding the cell biology of normal and tumor cells and can lead to new therapeutic targets in disease processes. Here, we show that the tricyclic compound TBE-31 directly binds to tubulin and interferes with microtubule dynamics, as assessed by end binding 1 (EB1) live cell imaging. Interestingly, this interference is independent of in vitro tubulin polymerization. Using immunofluorescence microscopy, we also observed that TBE-31 interferes with the polarity of migratory cells. The polarity proteins Rac1, IQGAP and Tiam1 were localized at the leading edge of DMSO-treated migrating cell, but were observed to be in multiple protrusions around the cell periphery of TBE-31-treated cells. Finally, we observed that TBE-31 inhibits the migration of Rat2 fibroblasts with an IC50 of 0.75 μM. Taken together, our results suggest that the inhibition of cell migration by TBE-31 may result from the improper maintenance of cell polarity of migrating cells.

  19. Binding of E-MAP-115 to microtubules is regulated by cell cycle- dependent phosphorylation

    PubMed Central

    1995-01-01

    Expression levels of E-MAP-115, a microtubule-associated protein that stabilizes microtubules, increase with epithelial cell polarization and differentiation (Masson and Kreis, 1993). Although polarizing cells contain significant amounts of this protein, they can still divide and thus all stabilized microtubules must disassemble at the onset of mitosis to allow formation of the dynamic mitotic spindle. We show here that binding of E-MAP-115 to microtubules is regulated by phosphorylation during the cell cycle. Immunolabeling of HeLa cells for E-MAP-115 indicates that the protein is absent from microtubules during early prophase and progressively reassociates with microtubules after late prophase. A fraction of E-MAP-115 from HeLa cells released from a block at the G1/S boundary runs with higher apparent molecular weight on SDS-PAGE, with a peak correlating with the maximal number of cells in early stages of mitosis. E-MAP-115 from nocodazole-arrested mitotic cells, which can be obtained in larger amounts, displays identical modifications and was used for further biochemical characterization. The level of incorporation of 32P into mitotic E-MAP-115 is about 15- fold higher than into the interphase protein. Specific threonine phosphorylation occurs in mitosis, and the amount of phosphate associated with serine also increases. Hyperphosphorylated E-MAP-115 from mitotic cells cannot bind stably to microtubules in vitro. These results suggest that phosphorylation of E-MAP-115 is a prerequisite for increasing the dynamic properties of the interphase microtubules which leads to the assembly of the mitotic spindle at the onset of mitosis. Microtubule-associated proteins are thus most likely key targets for kinases which control changes in microtubule dynamic properties at the G2- to M-phase transition. PMID:7490279

  20. High-resolution Time-lapse Imaging and Automated Analysis of Microtubule Dynamics in Living Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Braun, Alexander; Caesar, Nicole M.; Dang, Kyvan; Myers, Kenneth A.

    2016-01-01

    The physiological process by which new vasculature forms from existing vasculature requires specific signaling events that trigger morphological changes within individual endothelial cells (ECs). These processes are critical for homeostatic maintenance such as wound healing, and are also crucial in promoting tumor growth and metastasis. EC morphology is defined by the organization of the cytoskeleton, a tightly regulated system of actin and microtubule (MT) dynamics that is known to control EC branching, polarity and directional migration, essential components of angiogenesis. To study MT dynamics, we used high-resolution fluorescence microscopy coupled with computational image analysis of fluorescently-labeled MT plus-ends to investigate MT growth dynamics and the regulation of EC branching morphology and directional migration. Time-lapse imaging of living Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells (HUVECs) was performed following transfection with fluorescently-labeled MT End Binding protein 3 (EB3) and Mitotic Centromere Associated Kinesin (MCAK)-specific cDNA constructs to evaluate effects on MT dynamics. PlusTipTracker software was used to track EB3-labeled MT plus ends in order to measure MT growth speeds and MT growth lifetimes in time-lapse images. This methodology allows for the study of MT dynamics and the identification of how localized regulation of MT dynamics within sub-cellular regions contributes to the angiogenic processes of EC branching and migration. PMID:27584860

  1. Microtubule-associated proteins from Antarctic fishes.

    PubMed

    Detrich, H W; Neighbors, B W; Sloboda, R D; Williams, R C

    1990-01-01

    Microtubules and presumptive microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) were isolated from the brain tissues of four Antarctic fishes (Notothenia gibberifrons, N. coriiceps neglecta, Chaenocephalus aceratus, and a Chionodraco sp.) by means of a taxol-dependent, microtubule-affinity procedure (cf. Vallee: Journal of Cell Biology 92:435-442, 1982). MAPs from these fishes were similar to each other in electrophoretic pattern. Prominent in each preparation were proteins in the molecular weight ranges 410,000-430,000, 220,000-280,000, 140,000-155,000, 85,000-95,000, 40,000-45,000, and 32,000-34,000. The surfaces of MAP-rich microtubules were decorated by numerous filamentous projections. Exposure to elevated ionic strength released the MAPs from the microtubules and also removed the filamentous projections. Addition of fish MAPs to subcritical concentrations of fish tubulins at 0-5 degrees C induced the assembly of microtubules. Both the rate and the extent of this assembly increased with increasing concentrations of the MAPs. Sedimentation revealed that approximately six proteins, with apparent molecular weights between 60,000 and 300,000, became incorporated into the microtubule polymer. Bovine MAPs promoted microtubule formation by fish tubulin at 2-5 degrees C, and proteins corresponding to MAPs 1 and 2 co-sedimented with the polymer. MAPs from C. aceratus also enhanced the polymerization of bovine tubulin at 33 degrees C, but the microtubules depolymerized at 0 degrees C. We conclude that MAPs are part of the microtubules of Antarctic fishes, that these proteins promote microtubule assembly in much the same way as mammalian MAPs, and that they do not possess special capacities to promote microtubule assembly at low temperatures or to prevent cold-induced microtubule depolymerization.

  2. Intact Microtubules Preserve Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) Functionality through Receptor Binding*

    PubMed Central

    Storti, Barbara; Bizzarri, Ranieri; Cardarelli, Francesco; Beltram, Fabio

    2012-01-01

    The transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1) is a protein currently under scrutiny as a pharmacological target for pain management therapies. Recently, the role of TRPV1-microtubule interaction in transducing nociception stimuli to cells by cytoskeletal rearrangement was proposed. In this work, we investigate TRPV1-microtubule interaction in living cells under the resting or activated state of TRPV1, as well as in presence of structurally intact or depolymerized cytoskeletal microtubules. We combined a toolbox of high resolution/high sensitivity fluorescence imaging techniques (such as FRET, correlation spectroscopy, and fluorescence anisotropy) to monitor TRPV1 aggregation status, membrane mobility, and interaction with microtubules. We found that TRPV1 is a dimeric membrane protein characterized by two populations with different diffusion properties in basal condition. After stimulation with resiniferatoxin, TRPV1 dimers tetramerize. The tetramers and the slower population of TRPV1 dimers bind dynamically to intact microtubules but not to tubulin dimers. Upon microtubule disassembly, the interaction with TRPV1 is lost thereby inducing receptor self-aggregation with partial loss of functionality. Intact microtubules play an essential role in maintaining TRPV1 functionality toward activation stimuli. This previously undisclosed property mirrors the recently reported role of TRPV1 in modulating microtubule assembly/disassembly and suggests the participation of these two players in a feedback cycle linking nociception and cytoskeletal remodeling. PMID:22262838

  3. Protein Kinase C Activation Promotes Microtubule Advance in Neuronal Growth Cones by Increasing Average Microtubule Growth Lifetimes

    PubMed Central

    Kabir, Nurul; Schaefer, Andrew W.; Nakhost, Arash; Sossin, Wayne S.; Forscher, Paul

    2001-01-01

    We describe a novel mechanism for protein kinase C regulation of axonal microtubule invasion of growth cones. Activation of PKC by phorbol esters resulted in a rapid, robust advance of distal microtubules (MTs) into the F-actin rich peripheral domain of growth cones, where they are normally excluded. In contrast, inhibition of PKC activity by bisindolylmaleimide and related compounds had no perceptible effect on growth cone motility, but completely blocked phorbol ester effects. Significantly, MT advance occurred despite continued retrograde F-actin flow—a process that normally inhibits MT advance. Polymer assembly was necessary for PKC-mediated MT advance since it was highly sensitive to a range of antagonists at concentrations that specifically interfere with microtubule dynamics. Biochemical evidence is presented that PKC activation promotes formation of a highly dynamic MT pool. Direct assessment of microtubule dynamics and translocation using the fluorescent speckle microscopy microtubule marking technique indicates PKC activation results in a nearly twofold increase in the typical lifetime of a MT growth episode, accompanied by a 1.7-fold increase and twofold decrease in rescue and catastrophe frequencies, respectively. No significant effects on instantaneous microtubule growth, shortening, or sliding rates (in either anterograde or retrograde directions) were observed. MTs also spent a greater percentage of time undergoing retrograde transport after PKC activation, despite overall MT advance. These results suggest that regulation of MT assembly by PKC may be an important factor in determining neurite outgrowth and regrowth rates and may play a role in other cellular processes dependent on directed MT advance. PMID:11238458

  4. A higher-order mathematical modeling for dynamic behavior of protein microtubule shell structures including shear deformation and small-scale effects.

    PubMed

    Daneshmand, Farhang; Farokhi, Hamed; Amabili, Marco

    2014-06-01

    Microtubules in mammalian cells are cylindrical protein polymers which structurally and dynamically organize functional activities in living cells. They are important for maintaining cell structures, providing platforms for intracellular transport, and forming the spindle during mitosis, as well as other cellular processes. Various in vitro studies have shown that microtubules react to applied mechanical loading and physical environment. To investigate the mechanisms underlying such phenomena, a mathematical model based on the orthotropic higher-order shear deformation shell formulation and Hamilton's principle is presented in this paper for dynamic behavior of microtubules. The numerical results obtained by the proposed shell model are verified by the experimental data from the literature, showing great consistency. The nonlocal elasticity theory is also utilized to describe the nano-scale effects of the microtubule structure. The wave propagation and vibration characteristics of the microtubule are examined in the presence and absence of the cytosol employing proposed formulations. The effects of different system parameters such as length, small scale parameter, and cytosol viscosity on vibrational behavior of a microtubule are elucidated. The definitions of critical length and critical viscosity are introduced and the results obtained using the higher order shell model are compared with those obtained employing a first-order shear deformation theory. This comparison shows that the small scale effects become important for higher values of the wave vector and the proposed model gives more accurate results for both small and large values of wave vectors. Moreover, it is shown that for higher circumferential wave number, the torsional wave velocity obtained by the higher-order shell model tend to be higher than the one predicted by the first-order shell model.

  5. The Sudden Recruitment of γ-Tubulin to the Centrosome at the Onset of Mitosis and Its Dynamic Exchange Throughout the Cell Cycle, Do Not Require Microtubules

    PubMed Central

    Khodjakov, Alexey; Rieder, Conly L.

    1999-01-01

    γ-Tubulin is a centrosomal component involved in microtubule nucleation. To determine how this molecule behaves during the cell cycle, we have established several vertebrate somatic cell lines that constitutively express a γ-tubulin/green fluorescent protein fusion protein. Near simultaneous fluorescence and DIC light microscopy reveals that the amount of γ-tubulin associated with the centrosome remains relatively constant throughout interphase, suddenly increases during prophase, and then decreases to interphase levels as the cell exits mitosis. This mitosis-specific recruitment of γ-tubulin does not require microtubules. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) studies reveal that the centrosome possesses two populations of γ-tubulin: one that turns over rapidly and another that is more tightly bound. The dynamic exchange of centrosome-associated γ-tubulin occurs throughout the cell cycle, including mitosis, and it does not require microtubules. These data are the first to characterize the dynamics of centrosome-associated γ-tubulin in vertebrate cells in vivo and to demonstrate the microtubule-independent nature of these dynamics. They reveal that the additional γ-tubulin required for spindle formation does not accumulate progressively at the centrosome d