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Sample records for microtubule assembly dynamics

  1. Profilin connects actin assembly with microtubule dynamics.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Taxol differentially modulates the dynamics of microtubules assembled from unfractionated and purified beta-tubulin isotypes.

    PubMed

    Derry, W B; Wilson, L; Khan, I A; Luduena, R F; Jordan, M A

    1997-03-25

    Substoichiometric binding of taxol to tubulin in microtubules potently suppresses microtubule dynamics, which appears to be the most sensitive antiproliferative mechanism of taxol. To determine whether the beta-tubulin isotype composition of a microtubule can modulate sensitivity to taxol, we measured the effects of substoichiometric ratios of taxol bound to tubulin in microtubules on the dynamics of microtubules composed of purified alphabeta(II)-, alphabeta(III)-, or alphabeta(IV)-tubulin isotypes and compared the results with the effects of taxol on microtubules assembled from unfractionated tubulin. Substoichiometric ratios of bound taxol in microtubules assembled from purified beta-tubulin isotypes or unfractionated tubulin potently suppressed the shortening rates and the lengths shortened per shortening event. Correlation of the suppression of the shortening rate with the stoichiometry of bound taxol revealed that microtubules composed of purified alphabeta(II)-, alphabeta(III)-, and alphabeta(IV)-tubulin were, respectively, 1.6-, 7.4-, and 7.2-fold less sensitive to the effects of bound taxol than microtubules assembled from unfractionated tubulin. These results indicate that taxol differentially modulates microtubule dynamics depending upon the beta-tubulin isotype composition. The results are consistent with recent studies correlating taxol resistance in tumor cells with increased levels of beta(III0- and beta(IV)-tubulin expression and suggest that altered cellular expression of beta-tubulin isotypes can be an important mechanism by which tumor cells develop resistance to taxol.

  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. Microtubule Self- Assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jho, Yongseok; Choi, M. C.; Farago, O.; Kim, Mahnwon; Pincus, P. A.

    2008-03-01

    Microtubules are important structural elements for neurons. Microtubles are cylindrical pipes that are self-assembled from tubulin dimers, These structures are intimately related to the neuron transport system. Abnormal microtubule disintegration contributes to neuro-disease. For several decades, experimentalists investigated the structure of the microtubules using TEM and Cryo-EM. However, the detailed structure at a molecular level remain incompletely understood. . In this presentation, we report numerically studies of the self-assembly process using a toy model for tubulin dimers. We investigate the nature of the interactions which are essential to stabilize such the cylindrical assembly of protofilaments. We use Monte Carlo simulations to suggest the pathways for assembly and disassembly of the microtubules.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shelley, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2015-04-24

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Odde, D J

    1997-01-01

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

  15. How to measure microtubule dynamics?

    PubMed

    Straube, Anne

    2011-01-01

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

  16. 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

  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. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. A protein factor essential for microtubule assembly.

    PubMed Central

    Weingarten, M D; Lockwood, A H; Hwo, S Y; Kirschner, M W

    1975-01-01

    A heat stable protein essentail for microtubule assembly has been isolated. This protein, which we designate tau (tau), is present in association with tubulin purified from porcine brain by repeated cycles of polymerization. Tau is separated from tubulin by ion exchange chromatography on phosphocellulose. In the absence of tau, tubulin exists entirely as a 6S dimer of two polypeptide chains (alpha and beta tubulin) with a molecular weight of 120,000, which will not assemble into microtubules in vitro. Addition of tau completely restores tubule-forming capacity. Under nonpolymerizing conditions, tau converts 6S dimers to 36S rings-structures which have been implicated as intermediates in tubule formation. Hence, tau appears to act on the 6S tubulin dimer, activating it for polymerization. The unique ability of tau to restore the normal features of in vitro microtubule assembly makes it likely that tau is a major regulator of microtubule formation in cells. Images PMID:1057175

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Ohi, Ryoma; Zanic, Marija

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Microtubule catastrophe from protofilament dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.PRLTAO0031-900710.1103/PhysRevLett.73.2372 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Reelin promotes microtubule dynamics in processes of developing neurons.

    PubMed

    Meseke, Maurice; Cavus, Ersin; Förster, Eckart

    2013-02-01

    The extracellular matrix protein reelin controls radial migration and layer formation of cortical neurons, in part by modulation of cytoskeletal dynamics. A stabilizing effect of reelin on the actin cytoskeleton has been described recently. However, it is poorly understood how reelin modulates microtubule dynamics. Here, we provide evidence that reelin increases microtubule assembly. This effect is mediated, at least in part, by promoting microtubule plus end dynamics in processes of developing neurons. Thus, we treated primary neuronal cultures with nocodazole to disrupt microtubules. After nocodazole washout, we found microtubule reassembly to be accelerated in the presence of reelin. Moreover, we show that reelin treatment promoted the formation of microtubule plus end binding protein 3 (EB3) comets in developing dendrites, and that EB3 immunostaining in the developing wild-type neocortex is most intense in the reelin-rich marginal zone where leading processes of radially migrating neurons project to. This characteristic EB3 staining pattern was absent in reeler. Also reassembly of nocodazole-dispersed dendritic Golgi apparati, which are closely associated to microtubules, was accelerated by reelin treatment, though with a substantially slower time course when compared to microtubule reassembly. In support of our in vitro results, we found that the subcellular distribution of α-tubulin and acetylated tubulin in reeler cortical sections differed from wild-type and from mice lacking the very low density lipoprotein receptor (VLDLR), known to bind reelin. Taken together, our results suggest that reelin promotes microtubule assembly, at least in part, by increasing microtubule plus end dynamics. PMID:22990595

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Expression of Nucleolin Affects Microtubule Dynamics.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Expression of Nucleolin Affects Microtubule Dynamics

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

  16. Microtubule dynamics in vitro are regulated by the tubulin isotype composition.

    PubMed Central

    Panda, D; Miller, H P; Banerjee, A; Ludueña, R F; Wilson, L

    1994-01-01

    The growing and shortening dynamics of individual bovine brain microtubules at their plus ends at steady state in vitro, assembled from isotypically pure alpha beta II, alpha beta III, or alpha beta IV tubulin dimers, were determined by differential interference contrast video microscopy. Microtubules assembled from the purified alpha beta III isotype were considerably more dynamic than microtubules made from the alpha beta II or alpha beta IV isotypes or from unfractionated phosphocellulose-purified tubulin. Furthermore, increasing the proportion of the alpha beta II isotype in a mixture of the alpha beta II and alpha beta III isotypes suppressed microtubule dynamics, demonstrating that microtubule dynamics can be influenced by the tubulin isotype composition. The data support the hypothesis that cells might determine the dynamic properties and functions of its microtubules in part by altering the relative amounts of the different tubulin isotypes. Images PMID:7972064

  17. Microtubule attachment and spindle assembly checkpoint signaling at the kinetochore

    PubMed Central

    Foley, Emily A.; Kapoor, Tarun M.

    2013-01-01

    In eukaryotes, chromosome segregation during cell division is facilitated by the kinetochore, an assembly of proteins built on centromeric DNA. The kinetochore attaches chromosomes to spindle microtubules, modulates the stability of these attachments, and relays microtubule-binding status to the spindle assembly checkpoint, a cell cycle surveillance pathway that delays chromosome segregation in response to unattached kinetochores. Here, we discuss recent results that guide current thinking on how each of these kinetochore-centered processes is achieved, and how their integration ensures faithful chromosome segregation, focusing on the essential roles of kinase-phosphatase signaling and the microtubule-binding KMN protein network. PMID:23258294

  18. 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

  19. Kinetic model for colchicine inhibition of microtubule assembly

    SciTech Connect

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

    1980-10-01

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

  20. Kinetochore-microtubule attachment is sufficient to satisfy the human spindle assembly checkpoint.

    PubMed

    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

  1. 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

  2. The STARD9/Kif16a kinesin associates with mitotic microtubules and regulates spindle pole assembly.

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  4. 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

  5. The role of dynamic instability in microtubule organization

    PubMed Central

    Horio, Tetsuya; Murata, Takashi

    2014-01-01

    Microtubules are one of the three major cytoskeletal components in eukaryotic cells. Heterodimers composed of GTP-bound α- and β-tubulin molecules polymerize to form microtubule protofilaments, which associate laterally to form a hollow microtubule. Tubulin has GTPase activity and the GTP molecules associated with β-tubulin molecules are hydrolyzed shortly after being incorporated into the polymerizing microtubules. GTP hydrolysis alters the conformation of the tubulin molecules and drives the dynamic behavior of microtubules. Periods of rapid microtubule polymerization alternate with periods of shrinkage in a process known as dynamic instability. In plants, dynamic instability plays a key role in determining the organization of microtubules into arrays, and these arrays vary throughout the cell cycle. In this review, we describe the mechanisms that regulate microtubule dynamics and underlie dynamic instability, and discuss how dynamic instability may shape microtubule organization in plant cells. PMID:25339962

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Dynamics and regulation of plant interphase microtubules: a comparative view.

    PubMed

    Hashimoto, Takashi

    2003-12-01

    Microtubule and actin cytoskeletons are fundamental to a variety of cellular activities within eukaryotic organisms. Extensive information on the dynamics and functions of microtubules, as well as on their regulatory proteins, have been revealed in fungi and animals, and corresponding pictures are now slowly emerging in plants. During interphase, plant cells contain highly dynamic cortical microtubules that organize into ordered arrays, which are apparently regulated by distinct groups of microtubule regulators. Comparison with fungal and animal microtubules highlights both conserved and unique mechanisms for the regulation of the microtubule cytoskeleton in plants.

  9. Carbendazim Inhibits Cancer Cell Proliferation by Suppressing Microtubule Dynamics

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  10. Functional assemblies of nanocrystal quantum dots on microtubule scaffolds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeong, Sohee

    2005-11-01

    We assembled semiconductor nanocrystal quantum dots (NQDs) using microtubule (MT) fibers as nanoscale scaffolds and characterized structure and function of the assemblies. MTs were chosen as the biotemplate as these biomolecules, in conjunction with kinesin motor proteins, offer the potential for dynamic transport of nanoscale cargo. Ultimately, the ability to control and direct the reconfigurable assembly of nanomaterials from the nano- to the macro-scales will likely depend on the degree to which the specific interactions between artificial inorganic/organic nano-components and natural, biological components are understood. Thus, the work here addressed two fundamental issues key to this understanding: (1) The extent to which NQD stability and photophysical properties are affected by being rendered "biocompatible" and (2) The impact on "biofunction" when biomolecules are coupled with artificial nanomaterials. These issues were addressed by first investigating several strategies for transforming hydrophobic nanocrystals into water-soluble, biocompatible materials. The resulting particles were compared in terms of their optical properties (e.g., retention of high emission quantum yields) and chemical stability (using a novel fluorescence resonance energy transfer, FRET, method to study particle aggregation). Second, a previously described strategy for rendering nanocrystals water soluble by exchanging as-prepared surface ligands with bifunctional thiol ligands was studied by investigating the effect of thiols on the optical properties of NQDs as a function of time, concentration, pH and moiety. Thiolate anions were found to both passivate existing electron traps (enhancing emission) and introduce new hole traps (decreasing emission). Third, NQDs were assembled onto MT supports by way of streptavidin-biotin and electrostatic interactions. Interdot "communication" through interparticle energy transfer was then used to determine the nanoscale structure of the

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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. Measuring the Dynamic Parameters of MCF7 Cell Microtubules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winton, Carly; Shojania Feizabadi, Mitra

    2013-03-01

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

  17. Partial Depletion of Gamma-Actin Suppresses Microtubule Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Po'uha, Sela T; Honore, Stephane; Braguer, Diane; Kavallaris, Maria

    2013-01-01

    Actin and microtubule interactions are important for many cellular events, however these interactions are poorly described. Alterations in γ-actin are associated with diseases such as hearing loss and cancer. Functional investigations demonstrated that partial depletion of γ-actin affects cell polarity and induces resistance to microtubule-targeted agents. To determine whether γ-actin alterations directly affect microtubule dynamics, microtubule dynamic instability was analyzed in living cells following partial siRNA depletion of γ-actin. Partial depletion of γ-actin suppresses interphase microtubule dynamics by 17.5% due to a decrease in microtubule shortening rates and an increase in microtubule attenuation. γ-Actin partial depletion also increased distance-based microtubule catastrophe and rescue frequencies. In addition, knockdown of γ-actin delayed mitotic progression, partially blocking metaphase–anaphase transition and inhibiting cell proliferation. Interestingly, in the presence of paclitaxel, interphase microtubule dynamics were further suppressed by 24.4% in the γ-actin knockdown cells, which is comparable to 28.8% suppression observed in the control siRNA treated cells. Paclitaxel blocked metaphase–anaphase transition in both the γ-actin knockdown cells and the control siRNA cells. However, the extent of mitotic arrest was much higher in the control cells (28.4%), compared to the γ-actin depleted cells (8.5%). Therefore, suppression of microtubule dynamics by partial depletion of γ-actin is associated with marked delays in metaphase-anaphase transition and not mitotic arrest. This is the first demonstration that γ-actin can modulate microtubule dynamics by reducing the microtubule shortening rate, promoting paused/attenuated microtubules, and increasing transition frequencies suggesting a mechanistic link between γ-actin and microtubules. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc PMID:23335583

  18. 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

  19. The Microtubule-Associated Protein ASPM Regulates Spindle Assembly and Meiotic Progression in Mouse Oocytes

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Xiao-Ling; Ma, Wei; Zhu, Yu-Bo; Wang, Chao; Wang, Bing-Yuan; An, Na; An, Lei; Liu, Yan; Wu, Zhong-Hong; Tian, Jian-Hui

    2012-01-01

    The microtubule-associated protein ASPM (abnormal spindle-like microcephaly-associated) plays an important role in spindle organization and cell division in mitosis and meiosis in lower animals, but its function in mouse oocyte meiosis has not been investigated. In this study, we characterized the localization and expression dynamics of ASPM during mouse oocyte meiotic maturation and analyzed the effects of the downregulation of ASPM expression on meiotic spindle assembly and meiotic progression. Immunofluorescence analysis showed that ASPM localized to the entire spindle at metaphase I (MI) and metaphase II (MII), colocalizing with the spindle microtubule protein acetylated tubulin (Ac-tubulin). In taxol-treated oocytes, ASPM colocalized with Ac-tubulin on the excessively polymerized microtubule fibers of enlarged spindles and the numerous asters in the cytoplasm. Nocodazole treatment induced the gradual disassembly of microtubule fibers, during which ASPM remained colocalized with the dynamic Ac-tubulin. The downregulation of ASPM expression by a gene-specific morpholino resulted in an abnormal meiotic spindle and inhibited meiotic progression; most of the treated oocytes were blocked in the MI stage with elongated meiotic spindles. Furthermore, coimmunoprecipitation combined with mass spectrometry and western blot analysis revealed that ASPM interacted with calmodulin in MI oocytes and that these proteins colocalized at the spindle. Our results provide strong evidence that ASPM plays a critical role in meiotic spindle assembly and meiotic progression in mouse oocytes. PMID:23152892

  20. 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

  1. 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).

  2. Collapsin response mediator protein 4 regulates growth cone dynamics through the actin and microtubule cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Khazaei, Mohamad R; Girouard, Marie-Pier; Alchini, Ricardo; Ong Tone, Stephan; Shimada, Tadayuki; Bechstedt, Susanne; Cowan, Mitra; Guillet, Dominique; Wiseman, Paul W; Brouhard, Gary; Cloutier, Jean Francois; Fournier, Alyson E

    2014-10-24

    Coordinated control of the growth cone cytoskeleton underlies axon extension and guidance. Members of the collapsin response mediator protein (CRMP) family of cytosolic phosphoproteins regulate the microtubule and actin cytoskeleton, but their roles in regulating growth cone dynamics remain largely unexplored. Here, we examine how CRMP4 regulates the growth cone cytoskeleton. Hippocampal neurons from CRMP4-/- mice exhibited a selective decrease in axon extension and reduced growth cone area, whereas overexpression of CRMP4 enhanced the formation and length of growth cone filopodia. Biochemically, CRMP4 can impact both microtubule assembly and F-actin bundling in vitro. Through a structure function analysis of CRMP4, we found that the effects of CRMP4 on axon growth and growth cone morphology were dependent on microtubule assembly, whereas filopodial extension relied on actin bundling. Intriguingly, anterograde movement of EB3 comets, which track microtubule protrusion, slowed significantly in neurons derived from CRMP4-/- mice, and rescue of microtubule dynamics required CRMP4 activity toward both the actin and microtubule cytoskeleton. Together, this study identified a dual role for CRMP4 in regulating the actin and microtubule growth cone cytoskeleton. PMID:25225289

  3. ATP-induced gelation--contraction of microtubules assembled in vitro.

    PubMed

    Weisenberg, R C; Cianci, C

    1984-10-01

    We report here an ATP-dependent formation and contraction, or syneresis, of a microtubule gel using microtubule proteins prepared from calf brains. Gel contraction is typically observable 15-30 min after ATP addition to microtubules assembled to steady state, and is complete after approximately 60 min, at which time the gel volume is reduced by as much as 75%. In contracted gels, microtubule bundles and aster-like structures are observable. Gelation-contraction requires only microtubule proteins present after purification by three cycles of assembly and disassembly.

  4. Interaction between microtubules and the Drosophila formin Cappuccino and its effect on actin assembly.

    PubMed

    Roth-Johnson, Elizabeth A; Vizcarra, Christina L; Bois, Justin S; Quinlan, Margot E

    2014-02-14

    Formin family actin nucleators are potential coordinators of the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons, as they can both nucleate actin filaments and bind microtubules in vitro. To gain a more detailed mechanistic understanding of formin-microtubule interactions and formin-mediated actin-microtubule cross-talk, we studied microtubule binding by Cappuccino (Capu), a formin involved in regulating actin and microtubule organization during Drosophila oogenesis. We found that two distinct domains within Capu, FH2 and tail, work together to promote high-affinity microtubule binding. The tail domain appears to bind microtubules through nonspecific charge-based interactions. In contrast, distinct residues within the FH2 domain are important for microtubule binding. We also report the first visualization of a formin polymerizing actin filaments in the presence of microtubules. Interestingly, microtubules are potent inhibitors of the actin nucleation activity of Capu but appear to have little effect on Capu once it is bound to the barbed end of an elongating filament. Because Capu does not simultaneously bind microtubules and assemble actin filaments in vitro, its actin assembly and microtubule binding activities likely require spatial and/or temporal regulation within the Drosophila oocyte.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Vulevic, B; Correia, J J

    1997-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Dumontet, Charles; Jordan, Mary Ann

    2010-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Characteristics of the polar assembly and disassembly of microtubules observed in vitro by darkfield light microscopy

    PubMed Central

    1979-01-01

    We describe here the continuous observations of the polymerization of individual microtubules in vitro by darkfield microscopy. In homogeneous preparations we verify that polymerization can occur onto both ends of microtubules. The assembly of microtubules is polar, with one end growing at three times the rate of the other. The differential rate of elongation can be used to determine the polarity of growth off cellular nucleating centers. We show that the microtubules grow off the proximal end of ciliary axonemes at a growth rate equal to that of the slow growing end of free microtubules, while growth off the distal end proceeds at the same rate as the fast growing end. Applying this technique to microtubule growth from metaphase chromosomes isolated from HeLa and CHO cells, we demonstrate that chromosomes initiate polymerization with the fast growing end facing away from the chromosome nucleation site. The opposite ends of free microtubules show different sensitivities to microtubule depolymerizing agents such as low temperature, Ca++ or colchicine as measured directly by darkfield microscopy. The differing rates of assembly and disassembly of each end of a microtubule suggest that a difference in polarity of growth off nucleating sites could serve as one basis for regulating the polymerization of different groups of microtubules in the same cell. PMID:511939

  11. 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)

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Structural Basis for the Activation of Microtubule Assembly by the EB1 and p150[superscript Glued] Complex

    SciTech Connect

    Hayashi, Ikuko; Wilde, Andrew; Mal, Tapas Kumar; Ikura, Mitsuhiko

    2010-07-19

    Plus-end tracking proteins, such as EB1 and the dynein/dynactin complex, regulate microtubule dynamics. These proteins are thought to stabilize microtubules by forming a plus-end complex at microtubule growing ends with ill-defined mechanisms. Here we report the crystal structure of two plus-end complex components, the carboxy-terminal dimerization domain of EB1 and the microtubule binding (CAP-Gly) domain of the dynactin subunit p150{sup Glued}. Each molecule of the EB1 dimer contains two helices forming a conserved four-helix bundle, while also providing p150{sup Glued} binding sites in its flexible tail region. Combining crystallography, NMR, and mutational analyses, our studies reveal the critical interacting elements of both EB1 and p150{sup Glued}, whose mutation alters microtubule polymerization activity. Moreover, removal of the key flexible tail from EB1 activates microtubule assembly by EB1 alone, suggesting that the flexible tail negatively regulates EB1 activity. We, therefore, propose that EB1 possesses an autoinhibited conformation, which is relieved by p150{sup Glued} as an allosteric activator.

  15. Modulation of host microtubule dynamics by pathogenic bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Radhakrishnan, Girish K.; Splitter, Gary A.

    2013-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Cyclin B interaction with microtubule-associated protein 4 (MAP4) targets p34cdc2 kinase to microtubules and is a potential regulator of M-phase microtubule dynamics

    PubMed Central

    1995-01-01

    We previously demonstrated (Ookata et al., 1992, 1993) that the p34cdc2/cyclin B complex associates with microtubules in the mitotic spindle and premeiotic aster in starfish oocytes, and that microtubule- associated proteins (MAPs) might be responsible for this interaction. In this study, we have investigated the mechanism by which p34cdc2 kinase associates with the microtubule cytoskeleton in primate tissue culture cells whose major MAP is known to be MAP4. Double staining of primate cells with anti-cyclin B and anti-MAP4 antibodies demonstrated these two antigens were colocalized on microtubules and copartitioned following two treatments that altered MAP4 distribution. Detergent extraction before fixation removed cyclin B as well as MAP4 from the microtubules. Depolymerization of some of the cellular microtubules with nocodazole preferentially retained the microtubule localization of both cyclin B and MAP4. The association of p34cdc2/cyclin B kinase with microtubules was also shown biochemically to be mediated by MAP4. Cosedimentation of purified p34cdc2/cyclin B with purified microtubule proteins containing MAP4, but not with MAP-free microtubules, as well as binding of MAP4 to GST-cyclin B fusion proteins, demonstrated an interaction between cyclin B and MAP4. Using recombinant MAP4 fragments, we demonstrated that the Pro-rich C-terminal region of MAP4 is sufficient to mediate the cyclin B-MAP4 interaction. Since p34cdc2/cyclin B physically associated with MAP4, we examined the ability of the kinase complex to phosphorylate MAP4. Incubation of a ternary complex of p34cdc2, cyclin B, and the COOH-terminal domain of MAP4, PA4, with ATP resulted in intracomplex phosphorylation of PA4. Finally, we tested the effects of MAP4 phosphorylation on microtubule dynamics. Phosphorylation of MAP4 by p34cdc2 kinase did not prevent its binding to microtubules, but abolished its microtubule stabilizing activity. Thus, the cyclin B/MAP4 interaction we have described may be

  18. 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.

  19. Dynamics of an Idealized Model of Microtubule Growth and Catastrophe

    PubMed Central

    Antal, T.; Krapivsky, P. L.; Redner, S.; Mailman, M.; Chakraborty, B.

    2008-01-01

    We investigate a simple dynamical model of a microtubule that evolves by attachment of guanosine triphosphate (GTP) tubulin to its end, irreversible conversion of GTP to guanosine diphosphate (GDP) tubulin by hydrolysis, and detachment of GDP at the end of a microtubule. As a function of rates of these processes, the microtubule can grow steadily or its length can fluctuate wildly. In the regime where detachment can be neglected, we find exact expressions for the tubule and GTP cap length distributions, as well as power-law length distributions of GTP and GDP islands. In the opposite limit of instantaneous detachment, we find the time between catastrophes, where the microtubule shrinks to zero length, and determine the size distribution of avalanches (sequence of consecutive GDP detachment events). We obtain the phase diagram for general rates and verify our predictions by numerical simulations. PMID:17995026

  20. A dynamical model of kinesin-microtubule motility assays.

    PubMed Central

    Gibbons, F; Chauwin, J F; Despósito, M; José, J V

    2001-01-01

    A two-dimensional stochastic model for the dynamics of microtubules in gliding-assay experiments is presented here, which includes the viscous drag acting on the moving fiber and the interaction with the kinesins. For this purpose, we model kinesin as a spring, and explicitly use parameter values to characterize the model from experimental data. We numerically compute the mean attachment lifetimes of all motors, the total force exerted on the microtubules at all times, the effects of a distribution in the motor speeds, and also the mean velocity of a microtubule in a gliding assay. We find quantitative agreement with the results of J. Howard, A. J. Hudspeth, and R. D. Vale, Nature. 342:154-158. We perform additional numerical analysis of the individual motors, and show how cancellation of the forces exerted by the many motors creates a resultant longitudinal force much smaller than the maximum force that could be exerted by a single motor. We also examine the effects of inhomogeneities in the motor-speeds. Finally, we present a simple theoretical model for microtubules dynamics in gliding assays. We show that the model can be analytically solved in the limit of few motors attached to the microtubule and in the opposite limit of high motor density. We find that the speed of the microtubule goes like the mean speed of the motors in good quantitative agreement with the experimental and numerical results. PMID:11371430

  1. Active stresses and hydrodynamics of microtubule/motor-protein assemblies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shelley, Michael

    2014-03-01

    In biologically-inspired soft active materials, chemical energy (typically from ATP) is transduced to generate active stresses arising from reconiguration or forcing of the microstructure. This can lead to novel material organization, mechanical properties, and active flows. While much focus has been on active gels and motile suspensions, another important class are suspensions of microtubules (MTs) crosslinked by motile molecular motors. These are central actors in biological phenomena such as pronuclear transport and spindle formation. Here we develop a multi-scale theory for studying such systems. At the discrete level, we use Brownian dynamics of MTs with moving crosslinks to study microscopic organization and active stress development. We observe, surprisingly, that activity generated extensile stresses arise from both polarity sorting and crosslink relaxation. These simulations estimate polarity-dependent active stress coeffcients in a Doi-Onsager kinetic theory - similar to those developed previously for motile suspensions - that captures polarity sorting and induced hydrodynamic flows. In simulating recent experiments of active flows on immersed surfaces, the model exhibits turbulent-like dynamics, and the continous generation and annihilation of disclination defects associated with coherent flow structures. We can associate the system's coherent features with instabilities of aligned linear and nonlinear states.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:25728349

  9. Two protein 4.1 domains essential for mitotic spindle and aster microtubule dynamics and organization in vitro.

    PubMed

    Krauss, Sharon Wald; Lee, Gloria; Chasis, Joel Anne; Mohandas, Narla; Heald, Rebecca

    2004-06-25

    Multifunctional structural proteins belonging to the 4.1 family are components of nuclei, spindles, and centrosomes in vertebrate cells. Here we report that 4.1 is critical for spindle assembly and the formation of centrosome-nucleated and motor-dependent self-organized microtubule asters in metaphase-arrested Xenopus egg extracts. Immunodepletion of 4.1 disrupted microtubule arrays and mislocalized the spindle pole protein NuMA. Remarkably, assembly was completely rescued by supplementation with a recombinant 4.1R isoform. We identified two 4.1 domains critical for its function in microtubule polymerization and organization utilizing dominant negative peptides. The 4.1 spectrin-actin binding domain or NuMA binding C-terminal domain peptides caused morphologically disorganized structures. Control peptides with low homology or variant spectrin-actin binding domain peptides that were incapable of binding actin had no deleterious effects. Unexpectedly, the addition of C-terminal domain peptides with reduced NuMA binding caused severe microtubule destabilization in extracts, dramatically inhibiting aster and spindle assembly and also depolymerizing preformed structures. However, the mutant C-terminal peptides did not directly inhibit or destabilize microtubule polymerization from pure tubulin in a microtubule pelleting assay. Our data showing that 4.1 is a crucial factor for assembly and maintenance of mitotic spindles and self-organized and centrosome-nucleated microtubule asters indicates that 4.1 is involved in regulating both microtubule dynamics and organization. These investigations underscore an important functional context for protein 4.1 in microtubule morphogenesis and highlight a previously unappreciated role for 4.1 in cell division.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Interrelationships of tubulin-GDP and tubulin-GTP in microtubule assembly

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, C.M.; Hamel, E.

    1987-11-03

    The author previously reported that direct incorporation of GDP (i.e., without an initial hydrolysis of GTP) into microtubules occurs throughout an assembly cycle in a constant proportion. The exact proportion varied with reaction conditions, becoming greater under all conditions in which tubulin-GDP increased relative to tubulin-GTP (low Mg/sup 2 +/ and GTP concentrations, high tubulin concentrations, and in the presence of exogeneous GDP). These findings led the authors to explore further interrelationships of tubulin-GDP and tubulin-GTP in microtubule assembly. They have now determined the minimum amount of tubulin-GTP required for the initiation of microtubule assembly and the relative efficiency with which tubulin-GDP participates in microtubule elongation. When (8-/sup 14/C)GTP, (8-/sup 14/C)GDP, and tubulin concentrations were varied at a constant Mg/sup 2 +/ concentration (0.2 mM), initiation of assembly required that 35% of the nucleotide-bearing tubulin be in the form of tubulin-GTP, and incorporation of tubulin-GDP into microtubules during elongation was only 60% as efficient as would be predicted on the basis of its proportional concentration in the reaction mixtures. Very different results were obtained when the Mg/sup 2 +/ concentration was varied. In the absence of exogenous Mg/sup 2 +/, only 20% tubulin-GTP was required for initiation, and tubulin-GDP was directly incorporated into microtubules half as efficiently as would be predicted on the basis of its concentration in the reaction mixture. At the highest Mg/sup 2 +/ concentration examined (4 mM), 80% tubulin-GTP was required for initiation of assembly, and tubulin-GDP was incorporated into microtubules as efficiently as tubulin-GTP.

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

    PubMed

    Gnanambal K, Mary Elizabeth; Lakshmipathy, Shailaja Vommi

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gnanambal K, Mary Elizabeth; Lakshmipathy, Shailaja Vommi

    2016-03-01

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

  18. 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. PMID:27415303

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Microtubule plus‐end dynamics are regulated by a family of proteins called plus‐end tracking proteins (+TIPs). We recently demonstrated that the transforming acidic coiled‐coil (TACC) domain family member, TACC3, can function as a +TIP to regulate microtubule dynamics in Xenopus laevis embryonic cells. Although it has been previously reported that TACC3 is the only TACC family member that exists in Xenopus, our examination of its genome determined that Xenopus, like all other vertebrates, contains three TACC family members. Here, we investigate the localization and function of Xenopus TACC1, the founding member of the TACC family. We demonstrate that it can act as a +TIP to regulate microtubule dynamics, and that the conserved C‐terminal TACC domain is required for its localization to plus‐ends. We also show that, in Xenopus embryonic mesenchymal cells, TACC1 and TACC3 are each required for maintaining normal microtubule growth speed but exhibit some functional redundancy in the regulation of microtubule growth lifetime. Given the conservation of TACC1 in Xenopus and other vertebrates, we propose that Xenopus laevis is a useful system to investigate unexplored cell biological functions of TACC1 and other TACC family members in the regulation of microtubule dynamics. © 2015 The Authors. Cytoskeleton, Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26012630

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

    PubMed

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

    1980-09-01

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

  4. MCAK and Paclitaxel Have Differential Effects on Spindle Microtubule Organization and Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Rizk, Rania S.; Bohannon, Kevin P.; Wetzel, Laura A.; Powers, James; Shaw, Sidney L.

    2009-01-01

    Within the mitotic spindle, there are multiple populations of microtubules with different turnover dynamics, but how these different dynamics are maintained is not fully understood. MCAK is a member of the kinesin-13 family of microtubule-destabilizing enzymes that is required for proper establishment and maintenance of the spindle. Using quantitative immunofluorescence and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching, we compared the differences in spindle organization caused by global suppression of microtubule dynamics, by treating cells with low levels of paclitaxel, versus specific perturbation of spindle microtubule subsets by MCAK inhibition. Paclitaxel treatment caused a disruption in spindle microtubule organization marked by a significant increase in microtubules near the poles and a reduction in K-fiber fluorescence intensity. This was correlated with a faster t1/2 of both spindle and K-fiber microtubules. In contrast, MCAK inhibition caused a dramatic reorganization of spindle microtubules with a significant increase in astral microtubules and reduction in K-fiber fluorescence intensity, which correlated with a slower t1/2 of K-fibers but no change in the t1/2 of spindle microtubules. Our data support the model that MCAK perturbs spindle organization by acting preferentially on a subset of microtubules, and they support the overall hypothesis that microtubule dynamics is differentially regulated in the spindle. PMID:19158381

  5. Microtubule converging centers-implications for microtubule dynamics in higher plants

    SciTech Connect

    Bajer, A.S.; Mole-Bajer, J.

    1993-12-31

    The reorganization of the microtubular cytoskeleton was studied during telophase-interphase transition and interphase in Haemanthus endosperm cells, and in cell fragments (cytoplasts). This report concerns the role of microtubule (MT) converging centers (MTCCs) in the reorganization of the higher plant cytoskeleton. Microtubules (MTs) were visualized with the immunogold and immunogold-silver enhanced methods. Cells were fixed at room temperature (21{degrees}-24{degrees}C) and after high (35{degrees}-37{degrees}C) and low (4{degrees}-7{degrees}C) temperature shocks. The temperature shocks modify behavior of MTCCs. During early prophase and telophase-interphase transition, the formation of MTCCs is greatly enhanced at elevated temperature. These are stages when a pronounced reorganization of the cytoskeleton takes place. MTCCs are polar structures with remarkably different dynamics and properties at the diverging and converging ends. The indirect evidence shows that the converging tip of MTCC is (-) and the diverging end is (+). Our data imply that the reorganization of the higher plant cytoskeleton is basically a competitive sorting of MTs intrinsic polarity, with MTCCs as principal structural components.

  6. Analysis of dynamic instability of steady-state microtubules in vitro by video-enhanced differential interference contrast microscopy with an appendix by Emin Oroudjev.

    PubMed

    Yenjerla, Mythili; Lopus, Manu; Wilson, Leslie

    2010-01-01

    Microtubules are major constituents of the cytoskeleton which display dynamic properties. They exhibit dynamic instability which is defined as the stochastic switching between growing and shortening at microtubule ends. Dynamic instability plays an important role in diverse cellular functions including cell migration and mitosis. Many successful antimitotic drugs and microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) are known to modulate microtubule dynamics, and it is important to analyze the in vitro dynamic instability of microtubules to study the mechanism of action of microtubule-targeted therapeutics and MAPs. In this chapter, we describe a method to analyze the in vitro dynamic instability of microtubules at steady state using video-enhanced differential contrast (VE-DIC) microscopy in detail. In this method, microtubules are assembled to steady state at 30 degrees C with MAP-free tubulin in a slide chamber in the presence of GTP, using sea urchin axonemes as nucleating seeds. Images of microtubules are enhanced and recorded in real time by a video camera and an image processor connected to a DIC microscope which is maintained at 30 degrees C. We use two software programs to track and analyze the growing and shortening of plus or minus ends of microtubules in the real-time images recorded using VE-DIC. In this chapter, we describe the instructions to use the tracking software Real Time Measurement II (RTM II) program. The instructions to use the analysis software Microtubule Life History Analysis Procedures (MT-LHAP) in Igor Pro software have been described in detail in an appendix (Oroudjev, 2010) following this chapter.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Tubulin assembly, taxoid site binding, and cellular effects of the microtubule-stabilizing agent dictyostatin.

    PubMed

    Madiraju, Charitha; Edler, Michael C; Hamel, Ernest; Raccor, Brianne S; Balachandran, Raghavan; Zhu, Guangyu; Giuliano, Kenneth A; Vogt, Andreas; Shin, Youseung; Fournier, Jean-Hugues; Fukui, Yoshikazu; Brückner, Arndt M; Curran, Dennis P; Day, Billy W

    2005-11-15

    (-)-Dictyostatin is a sponge-derived, 22-member macrolactone natural product shown to cause cells to accumulate in the G2/M phase of the cell cycle, with changes in intracellular microtubules analogous to those observed with paclitaxel treatment. Dictyostatin also induces assembly of purified tubulin more rapidly than does paclitaxel, and nearly as vigorously as does dictyostatin's close structural congener, (+)-discodermolide (Isbrucker et al. (2003), Biochem. Pharmacol. 65, 75-82). We used synthetic (-)-dictyostatin to study its biochemical and cytological activities in greater detail. The antiproliferative activity of dictyostatin did not differ greatly from that of paclitaxel or discodermolide. Like discodermolide, dictyostatin retained antiproliferative activity against human ovarian carcinoma cells resistant to paclitaxel due to beta-tubulin mutations and caused conversion of cellular soluble tubulin pools to microtubules. Detailed comparison of the abilities of dictyostatin and discodermolide to induce tubulin assembly demonstrated that the compounds had similar potencies. Dictyostatin inhibited the binding of radiolabeled discodermolide to microtubules more potently than any other compound examined, and dictyostatin and discodermolide had equivalent activity as inhibitors of the binding of both radiolabeled epothilone B and paclitaxel to microtubules. These results are consistent with the idea that the macrocyclic structure of dictyostatin represents the template for the bioactive conformation of discodermolide.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Activation of tubulin assembly into microtubules upon a series of repeated femtosecond laser impulses

    SciTech Connect

    Tulub, Alexander A.; Stefanov, Vasily E.

    2004-12-08

    Tubulin, a globular protein, mostly distributed in nature in the dimeric {alpha}, {beta} form, can polymerize in vivo and in vitro into microtubules--longitudinal dynamic assemblies, involved in numerous cellular functions, including cell division and signaling. Tubulin polymerization starts upon binding Mg{sup 2+} with the tubulin guanosine triphosphate (GTP) site. In the current study we show that a series of repeated femtosecond laser impulses activate the same site without adding Mg{sup 2+}. GTP site activation (without GTP no polymerization occurs) produces hydrated electrons (they are detected by the UV spectra), which are trapped in the shell of biological water, surrounding the tubulin. These electrons generate an additional, nonlinear by nature, polarization effect, responsible for the second harmonic generation at {lambda}=365 nm (the first harmonic is centered at {lambda}=730 nm) and manyfold increase in strength of the initial electric field. The results are supported by model calculations, based on the assumption of positive (negative) feedback, appearing on interaction of charge transfer exciton dipoles with the applied electromagnetic field.

  19. Tunable dynamics of microtubule-based active isotropic gels

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    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.

  2. Cationic membranes complexed with oppositely charged microtubules: hierarchical self-assembly leading to bio-nanotubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raviv, Uri; Needleman, Daniel J.; Safinya, Cyrus R.

    2006-07-01

    The self-assembly of microtubules and charged membranes has been studied, using x-ray diffraction and electron microscopy. Polyelectrolyte lipid complexes usually form structures templated by the lipid phase, when the polyelectrolyte curvature is much larger than the membrane spontaneous curvature. When the polyelectrolyte curvature approaches the membrane spontaneous curvature, as in microtubules, two types of new structures emerge. Depending on the conditions, vesicles either adsorb onto the microtubule, forming a 'beads on a rod' structure, or coat the microtubule, which now forms the template. Tubulin oligomers then coat the external lipid layer, forming a lipid protein nanotube. The tubulin oligomer coverage at the external layer is determined by the membrane charge density. The energy barrier between the beads on a rod and the lipid-protein nanotube states depends on the membrane bending rigidity and membrane charge density. By controlling the lipid/tubulin stoichiometry we can switch between lipid-protein nanotubes with open ends to lipid-protein nanotubes with closed end with lipid cups. This forms the basis for controlled drug encapsulation and release.

  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

    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

    2014-11-01

    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.

  4. Lysophosphatidic acid and microtubule-destabilizing agents stimulate fibronectin matrix assembly through Rho-dependent actin stress fiber formation and cell contraction.

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Q; Magnusson, M K; Mosher, D F

    1997-01-01

    Fibronectin (FN) matrix assembly is a cell-dependent process mediated by cell surface-binding sites for the 70-kDa amino-terminal region of FN. We have shown recently that lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a stimulator of FN matrix assembly. Disruption of microtubules has been shown to mimic some of the intracellular effects of LPA including the formation of actin stress fibers and myosin light chain phosphorylation. We compared the effects of microtubule disruption and LPA on FN binding and actin cytoskeleton organization. The disruption of microtubules by nocodazole or vinblastine increased FN binding to adherent cells. The modulation of binding sites was rapid, dynamic, and reversible. Enhanced binding was due to increases in both the number and affinity of binding sites. These effects are similar to the effects of LPA on FN binding. Binding induced by nocodazole was inhibited by the microtubule-stabilizing agent Taxol but not by pretreatment with a concentration of phospholipase B that totally abolished the stimulatory effect of LPA. Fluorescence microscopy revealed a close correlation among actin stress fiber formation, cell contraction, and FN binding. Blockage of the small GTP binding protein Rho or actin-myosin interactions inhibited the effects of both nocodazole and LPA on FN binding. These observations demonstrate that Rho-dependent actin stress fiber formation and cell contraction induce increased FN binding and represent a rapid labile way that cells can modulate FN matrix assembly. Images PMID:9285815

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

  7. Nonlinear dynamics of microtubules —A longitudinal model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zdravković, S.; Satarić, M. V.; Zeković, S.

    2013-05-01

    In the present letter we describe a model of nonlinear dynamics of microtubules (MTs) assuming a single longitudinal degree of freedom per tubulin dimer. This is a longitudinal displacement of a dimer at a certain position with respect to the neighbouring one. A nonlinear partial differential equation, describing dimer's dynamics within MT, is solved both analytically and numerically. It is shown that such a nonlinear model can lead to the existence of kink solitons moving along the MTs. The internal electrical field strength is calculated using two procedures and a perfect agreement between the results is demonstrated. This enabled the estimation of the total energy, kink velocity and kink width. To simplify the calculation of the total energy we stated and proved a useful auxiliary theorem.

  8. Microtubule dynamics reconstituted in vitro and imaged by single-molecule fluorescence microscopy.

    PubMed

    Gell, Christopher; Bormuth, Volker; Brouhard, Gary J; Cohen, Daniel N; Diez, Stefan; Friel, Claire T; Helenius, Jonne; Nitzsche, Bert; Petzold, Heike; Ribbe, Jan; Schäffer, Erik; Stear, Jeffrey H; Trushko, Anastasiya; Varga, Vladimir; Widlund, Per O; Zanic, Marija; Howard, Jonathon

    2010-01-01

    In vitro assays that reconstitute the dynamic behavior of microtubules provide insight into the roles of microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) in regulating the growth, shrinkage, and catastrophe of microtubules. The use of total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy with fluorescently labeled tubulin and MAPs has allowed us to study microtubule dynamics at the resolution of single molecules. In this chapter we present a practical overview of how these assays are performed in our laboratory: fluorescent labeling methods, strategies to prolong the time to photo-bleaching, preparation of stabilized microtubules, flow-cells, microtubule immobilization, and finally an overview of the workflow that we follow when performing the experiments. At all stages, we focus on practical tips and highlight potential stumbling blocks.

  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. Dimethyl sulfoxide can initiate cell divisions of arrested callus protoplasts by promoting cortical microtubule assembly

    PubMed Central

    Hahne, Günther; Hoffmann, Franz

    1984-01-01

    A serious problem in the technology of plant cell culture is that isolated protoplasts from many species are reluctant to divide. We have succeeded in inducing consecutive divisions in a “naturally” arrested system—i.e., protoplasts from a hibiscus cell line, which do not divide under standard conditions—and in an artificially arrested system—i.e., colchicine-inhibited callus protoplasts of Nicotiana glutinosa, which do readily divide in the absence of colchicine. In both cases, the reinstallation of a net of cortical microtubules, which had been affected either by colchicine or by the protoplast isolation procedure, resulted in continuous divisions of the formerly arrested protoplasts. Several compounds known to support microtubule assembly in vitro were tested for their ability to promote microtubule assembly in vivo. Best results were obtained by addition of dimethyl sulfoxide to the culture medium. Unlimited amounts of callus could be produced with the dimethyl sulfoxide method from protoplasts which never developed a single callus in control experiments. Images PMID:16593508

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Phase transition analysis of the dynamic instability of microtubules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yarahmadian, Shantia; Yari, Masoud

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Steering microtubule shuttle transport with dynamically controlled magnetic fields

    DOE PAGES

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

    2016-03-23

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-28

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-11

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Functional Specialization of Stable and Dynamic Microtubules in Protein Traffic in WIF-B Cells

    PubMed Central

    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.

    1998-01-01

    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. PMID:9660870

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    King, Stephen M; Patel-King, Ramila S

    2015-03-20

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Microtubule dynamics control HGF-induced lung endothelial barrier enhancement.

    PubMed

    Tian, Xinyong; Tian, Yufeng; Moldobaeva, Nurgul; Sarich, Nicolene; Birukova, Anna A

    2014-01-01

    Microtubules (MT) play a vital role in many cellular functions, but their role in peripheral actin cytoskeletal dynamics which is essential for control of endothelial barrier and monolayer integrity is less understood. We have previously described the enhancement of lung endothelial cell (EC) barrier by hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) which was associated with Rac1-mediated remodeling of actin cytoskeleton. This study investigated involvement of MT-dependent mechanisms in the HGF-induced enhancement of EC barrier. HGF-induced Rac1 activation was accompanied by phosphorylation of stathmin, a regulator of MT dynamics. HGF also stimulated MT peripheral growth monitored by time lapse imaging and tracking analysis of EB-1-decorated MT growing tips, and increased the pool of acetylated tubulin. These effects were abolished by EC pretreatment with HGF receptor inhibitor, downregulation of Rac1 pathway, or by expression of a stathmin-S63A phosphorylation deficient mutant. Expression of stathmin-S63A abolished the HGF protective effects against thrombin-induced activation of RhoA cascade, permeability increase, and EC barrier dysfunction. These results demonstrate a novel MT-dependent mechanism of HGF-induced EC barrier regulation via Rac1/PAK1/stathmin-dependent control of MT dynamics. PMID:25198505

  7. PI(4,5)P2-dependent microdomain assemblies capture microtubules to promote and control leading edge motility.

    PubMed

    Golub, Tamara; Caroni, Pico

    2005-04-11

    The lipid second messenger PI(4,5)P(2) modulates actin dynamics, and its local accumulation at plasmalemmal microdomains (rafts) might mediate regulation of protrusive motility. However, how PI(4,5)P(2)-rich rafts regulate surface motility is not well understood. Here, we show that upon signals promoting cell surface motility, PI(4,5)P(2) directs the assembly of dynamic raft-rich plasmalemmal patches, which promote and sustain protrusive motility. The accumulation of PI(4,5)P(2) at rafts, together with Cdc42, promotes patch assembly through N-WASP. The patches exhibit locally regulated PI(4,5)P(2) turnover and reduced diffusion-mediated exchange with their environment. Patches capture microtubules (MTs) through patch IQGAP1, to stabilize MTs at the leading edge. Captured MTs in turn deliver PKA to patches to promote patch clustering through further PI(4,5)P(2) accumulation in response to cAMP. Patch clustering restricts, spatially confines, and polarizes protrusive motility. Thus, PI(4,5)P(2)-dependent raft-rich patches enhance local signaling for motility, and their assembly into clusters is regulated through captured MTs and PKA, coupling local regulation of motility to cell polarity, and organization.

  8. The Lattice As Allosteric Effector: Structural Studies of Alphabeta- And Gamma-Tubulin Clarify the Role of GTP in Microtubule Assembly

    SciTech Connect

    Rice, L.M.; Montabana, E.A.; Agard, D.A.

    2009-05-21

    GTP-dependent microtubule polymerization dynamics are required for cell division and are accompanied by domain rearrangements in the polymerizing subunit, alpha-tubulin. Two opposing models describe the role of GTP and its relationship to conformational change in alpha-tubulin. The allosteric model posits that unpolymerized alpha-tubulin adopts a more polymerization-competent conformation upon GTP binding. The lattice model posits that conformational changes occur only upon recruitment into the growing lattice. Published data support a lattice model, but are largely indirect and so the allosteric model has prevailed. We present two independent solution probes of the conformation of alpha-tubulin, the 2.3 A crystal structure of gamma-tubulin bound to GDP, and kinetic simulations to interpret the functional consequences of the structural data. These results (with our previous gamma-tubulin:GTPgammaS structure) support the lattice model by demonstrating that major domain rearrangements do not occur in eukaryotic tubulins in response to GTP binding, and that the unpolymerized conformation of alpha-tubulin differs significantly from the polymerized one. Thus, geometric constraints of lateral self-assembly must drive alpha-tubulin conformational changes, whereas GTP plays a secondary role to tune the strength of longitudinal contacts within the microtubule lattice. alpha-Tubulin behaves like a bent spring, resisting straightening until forced to do so by GTP-mediated interactions with the growing microtubule. Kinetic simulations demonstrate that resistance to straightening opposes microtubule initiation by specifically destabilizing early assembly intermediates that are especially sensitive to the strength of lateral interactions. These data provide new insights into the molecular origins of dynamic microtubule behavior.

  9. A mutation uncouples the tubulin conformational and GTPase cycles, revealing allosteric control of microtubule dynamics.

    PubMed

    Geyer, Elisabeth A; Burns, Alexander; Lalonde, Beth A; Ye, Xuecheng; Piedra, Felipe-Andres; Huffaker, Tim C; Rice, Luke M

    2015-10-06

    Microtubule dynamic instability depends on the GTPase activity of the polymerizing αβ-tubulin subunits, which cycle through at least three distinct conformations as they move into and out of microtubules. How this conformational cycle contributes to microtubule growing, shrinking, and switching remains unknown. Here, we report that a buried mutation in αβ-tubulin yields microtubules with dramatically reduced shrinking rate and catastrophe frequency. The mutation causes these effects by suppressing a conformational change that normally occurs in response to GTP hydrolysis in the lattice, without detectably changing the conformation of unpolymerized αβ-tubulin. Thus, the mutation weakens the coupling between the conformational and GTPase cycles of αβ-tubulin. By showing that the mutation predominantly affects post-GTPase conformational and dynamic properties of microtubules, our data reveal that the strength of the allosteric response to GDP in the lattice dictates the frequency of catastrophe and the severity of rapid shrinking.

  10. The role of divalent cations in the regulation of microtubule assembly. In vivo studies on microtubules of the heliozoan axopodium using the ionophore A23187.

    PubMed

    Schliwa, M

    1976-09-01

    Low concentrations of calcium and magnesium ions have been shown to influence microtubule assembly in vitro. To test whether these cations also have an effect on microtubules in vivo, specimens of Actinosphaerium eichhorni were exposed to different concentrations of Ca++ and Mg++ and the divalent cation ionophore A23187. Experimental degradation and reformation of axopodia were studied by light and electron microscopy. In the presence of Ca++ and the ionophore axopodia gradually shorten, the rate of shortening depending on the concentrations of Ca++ and the ionophore used. Retraction of axopodia was observed with a concentration of Ca++ as low as 0.01 mM. After transfer to a Ca++-free solution containing EGTA, axopodia re-extend; the initial length is reached after about 2 h. Likewise, reformation of axopodia of cold-treated organisms is observed only in solutions of EGTA or Mg++, whereas it is completely inhibited in a Ca++ solution. Electron microscope studies demonstrate degradation of the axonemal microtubular array in organisms treated with Ca++ and A23187. No alteration was observed in organisms treated with Mg++ or EGTA plus ionophore. The results suggest that, in the presence of the ionophore, formation of axonemal microtubules can be regulated by varying the Ca++ concentration in the medium. Since A23187 tends to equilibrate the concentrations of divalent cations between external medium and cell interior, it is likely that microtubule formation invivo is influenced by micromolar concentrations of Ca++. These concentrations are low enough to be of physiological significance for a role in the regulation of microtubule assembly in vivo.

  11. Real-time observations of microtubule dynamic instability in living cells

    PubMed Central

    1988-01-01

    Individual microtubule dynamics were observed in real time in primary cultures of newt lung epithelium using video-enhanced differential interference contrast microscopy and digital image processing. The linear filaments observed in cells corresponded to microtubules based on three criteria: (a) small particles translocated along them; (b) the majority of them disappeared after incubation in nocodazole; (c) and the distribution observed by differential interference contrast correlated with anti-tubulin immunofluorescence staining of the same cell. Microtubules were most clearly observed at the leading edge of cells located at the periphery of the epithelial sheet. Microtubules exhibited dynamic instability behavior: individual microtubules existed in persistent phases of elongation or rapid shortening. Microtubules elongated at a velocity of 7.2 micron/min +/- 0.3 SEM (n = 42) and rapidly shortened at a velocity of 17.3 micron/min +/- 0.7 SEM (n = 35). The transitions between elongation and rapid shortening occurred abruptly and stochastically with a transition frequency of 0.014 s-1 for catastrophe and 0.044 s-1 for rescue. Approximately 70% of the rapidly shortening microtubules were rescued and resumed elongation within the 35 x 35 micron microscopic field. A portion of the microtubule population appeared differentially stable and did not display any measurable elongation or shortening during 10-15-min observations. PMID:3198684

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    1998-10-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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 included

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    Sanchez, I; Cohen, W D

    1994-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  6. Filopodial actin bundles are not necessary for microtubule advance into the peripheral domain of Aplysia neuronal growth cones.

    PubMed

    Burnette, Dylan T; Schaefer, Andrew W; Ji, Lin; Danuser, Gaudenz; Forscher, Paul

    2007-12-01

    Filopodial actin bundles guide microtubule assembly in the growth cone peripheral (P) domain and retrograde actin-network flow simultaneously transports microtubules rearward. Therefore, microtubule-end position is determined by the sum of microtubule assembly and retrograde transport rates. However, how filopodia actually affect microtubule assembly dynamics is unknown. To address this issue we quantitatively assessed microtubule and actin dynamics before and after selective removal of filopodia. Filopodium removal had surprisingly little effect on retrograde actin-flow rates or underlying network structures, but resulted in an approximate doubling of peripheral microtubule density and deeper penetration of microtubules into the P domain. The latter stemmed from less efficient coupling of microtubules to remaining actin networks and not from a change in microtubule polymer dynamics. Loss of filopodia also resulted in increased lateral microtubule movements and a more randomized microtubule distribution in the P domain. In summary, filopodia do not seem to be formally required for microtubule advance; however, their presence ensures radial distribution of microtubules in the P domain and facilitates microtubule transport by retrograde flow. The resulting dynamic steady state has interesting implications for rapid microtubule-positioning responses in the P domain.

  7. BetaIII-tubulin induces paclitaxel resistance in association with reduced effects on microtubule dynamic instability.

    PubMed

    Kamath, Kathy; Wilson, Leslie; Cabral, Fernando; Jordan, Mary Ann

    2005-04-01

    The development of resistance to paclitaxel in tumors is one of the most significant obstacles to successful therapy. Overexpression of the betaIII-tubulin isotype has been associated with paclitaxel resistance in a number of cancer cell lines and in tumors, but the mechanism of resistance has remained unclear. Paclitaxel inhibits cancer cell proliferation by binding to the beta-subunit of tubulin in microtubules and suppressing microtubule dynamic instability, leading to mitotic arrest and cell death. We hypothesized that betaIII-tubulin overexpression induces resistance to paclitaxel either by constitutively enhancing microtubule dynamic instability in resistant cells or by rendering the microtubules less sensitive to the suppression of dynamics by paclitaxel. Using Chinese hamster ovary cells that inducibly overexpress either betaI- or betaIII-tubulin, we analyzed microtubule dynamic instability during interphase by microinjection of rhodamine-labeled tubulin and time-lapse fluorescence microscopy. In the absence of paclitaxel, there were no differences in any aspect of dynamic instability between the two beta-tubulin-overexpressing cell types. However, in the presence of 150 nm paclitaxel, dynamic instability was suppressed to a significantly lesser extent (suppressed only 12%) in cells overexpressing betaIII-tubulin than in cells overexpressing similar levels of betaI-tubulin (suppressed 47%). The results suggest that overexpression of betaIII-tubulin induces paclitaxel resistance by reducing the ability of paclitaxel to suppress microtubule dynamics. The results also suggest that endogenous regulators of microtubule dynamics may differentially interact with individual tubulin isotypes, supporting the idea that differential expression of tubulin isotypes has functional consequences in cells.

  8. Stimulation by Insulin of Cell Elongation and Microtubule Assembly in Embryonic Chick-Lens Epithelia

    PubMed Central

    Piatigorsky, Joram; Rothschild, Sonia S.; Wollberg, Miriam

    1973-01-01

    Both fetal-calf serum and insulin cause cell elongation in explanted chick-lens epithelia from 6-day-old embryos. We show that 1 μg/ml of insulin, like serum, stimulates a doubling of cell length and an assembly of longitudinally oriented microtubules; colchicine treatment inhibits this cell elongation. In contrast to serum, insulin neither promotes further lens-cell elongation nor appreciably stimulates the synthesis of bulk proteins or of delta crystallin under the present conditions. These data indicate that the early morphological events of lens fiber differentiation can be initiated by insulin in a chemically defined, serum-free medium without significant affects upon protein synthesis. Images PMID:4515617

  9. Nucleation and Dynamics of Golgi-derived Microtubules

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1995-12-01

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

  12. 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

    2009-01-01

    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.

  13. Dynamics of microtubule asters in microfabricated chambers: The role of catastrophes

    PubMed Central

    Faivre-Moskalenko, Cendrine; Dogterom, Marileen

    2002-01-01

    Recent in vivo as well as in vitro experiments have indicated that microtubule pushing alone is sufficient to position a microtubule-organizing center within a cell. Here, we investigate the effect of catastrophes on the dynamics of microtubule asters within microfabricated chambers that mimic the confining geometry of living cells. The use of a glass bead as the microtubule-organizing center allows us to manipulate the aster by using optical tweezers. In the case in which microtubules preexist, we show that because of microtubule buckling, repositioning almost never occurs after relocation with the optical tweezers, although initial microtubule growth always leads the aster to the geometrical center of the chamber. When a catastrophe promoter is added, we find instead that the aster is able to efficiently explore the chamber geometry even after being relocated with the optical tweezers. As predicted by theoretical calculations, the results of our in vitro experiments clearly demonstrate the need for catastrophes for proper positioning in a confining geometry. These findings correlate with recent observations of nuclear positioning in fission yeast cells. PMID:12486218

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  15. Diffusion and formation of microtubule asters: physical processes versus biochemical regulation.

    PubMed Central

    Dogterom, M; Maggs, A C; Leibler, S

    1995-01-01

    Microtubule asters forming the mitotic spindle are assembled around two centrosomes through the process of dynamic instability in which microtubules alternate between growing and shrinking states. By modifying the dynamics of this assembly process, cell cycle enzymes, such as cdc2 cyclin kinases, regulate length distributions in the asters. It is believed that the same enzymes control the number of assembled microtubules by changing the "nucleating activity" of the centrosomes. Here we show that assembly of microtubule asters may be strongly altered by effects connected with diffusion of tubulin monomers. Theoretical analysis of a simple model describing assembly of microtubule asters clearly shows the existence of a region surrounding the centrosome depleted in GTP tubulin. The number of assembled microtubules may in some cases be limited by this depletion effect rather than by the number of available nucleation sites on the centrosome. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 PMID:7624308

  16. Mammalian microtubule P-body dynamics are mediated by nesprin-1.

    PubMed

    Rajgor, Dipen; Mellad, Jason A; Soong, Daniel; Rattner, Jerome B; Fritzler, Marvin J; Shanahan, Catherine M

    2014-05-26

    Nesprins are a multi-isomeric family of spectrin-repeat (SR) proteins, predominantly known as nuclear envelope scaffolds. However, isoforms that function beyond the nuclear envelope remain poorly examined. Here, we characterize p50(Nesp1), a 50-kD isoform that localizes to processing bodies (PBs), where it acts as a microtubule-associated protein capable of linking mRNP complexes to microtubules. Overexpression of dominant-negative p50(Nesp1) caused Rck/p54, but not GW182, displacement from microtubules, resulting in reduced PB movement and cross talk with stress granules (SGs). These cells disassembled canonical SGs induced by sodium arsenite, but not those induced by hydrogen peroxide, leading to cell death and revealing PB-microtubule attachment is required for hydrogen peroxide-induced SG anti-apoptotic functions. Furthermore, p50(Nesp1) was required for miRNA-mediated silencing and interacted with core miRISC silencers Ago2 and Rck/p54 in an RNA-dependent manner and with GW182 in a microtubule-dependent manner. These data identify p50(Nesp1) as a multi-functional PB component and microtubule scaffold necessary for RNA granule dynamics and provides evidence for PB and SG micro-heterogeneity. PMID:24862572

  17. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zelinski, Björn; Kierfeld, Jan

    2013-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Flexural Rigidity of MCF-7 Microtubules Measured from Thermal Fluctuations in Shape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shojania Feizabadi, Mitra; Mutafopulos, Kiryako; Behr, Adam

    2011-03-01

    Microtubules play a key role in the mechanical and elastic properties of eukaryotic cells. For this reason, measuring the flexural rigidity of bovine brain microtubules have been extensively investigated through different methods of measurement. Beta tubulin isotypes, a noticeable trait to consider as we transfer from mammalian neural microtubules to mammalian non-neural microtubules, are assembled differently in distributions among various types of microtubules. Different studies have shown that microtubules made from different beta-tubulin isotypes express unique polymerization and dynamic behavior. This study focuses on measuring mechanical properties of one of non-neural microtubules, MCF-7. We will discuss the structure differences between brain bovine microtubules and MCF-7, along with the rigidity of single microtubules polymerized from MCF-7 tubulin through monitoring the curvature of microtubule due to thermal fluctuations.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  2. 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

    1999-03-01

    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 (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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

    George, Anuja A; Walworth, Nancy C

    2015-12-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Brouhard, Gary J.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  11. Dynamics of branched tissue assembly

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    The assembly of cells into tissues is a complex process controlled by numerous signaling pathways to ensure the fidelity of the final structure. Tissue assembly is also very dynamic, as exemplified by the formation of branched organs. Here we present two examples of tissue assembly in branched systems that highlight this dynamic nature: formation of the tracheal network in Drosophila melanogaster and the ducts of the mammary gland in mice. Extension of the branches during tracheal development is a stereotyped process that produces identical organ geometries across individuals, whereas elongation of the ducts of the pubertal mammary gland is a non-stereotyped process that produces unique patterns. By studying these two organs, we can begin to understand the dynamic nature of development of other stereotyped and non-stereotyped branching systems, including the lung, kidney, and salivary gland. PMID:23114096

  12. 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.

  13. KATNAL1 Regulation of Sertoli Cell Microtubule Dynamics Is Essential for Spermiogenesis and Male Fertility

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Lee B.; Milne, Laura; Nelson, Nancy; Eddie, Sharon; Brown, Pamela; Atanassova, Nina; O'Bryan, Moira K.; O'Donnell, Liza; Rhodes, Danielle; Wells, Sara; Napper, Diane; Nolan, Patrick; Lalanne, Zuzanna; Cheeseman, Michael; Peters, Josephine

    2012-01-01

    Spermatogenesis is a complex process reliant upon interactions between germ cells (GC) and supporting somatic cells. Testicular Sertoli cells (SC) support GCs during maturation through physical attachment, the provision of nutrients, and protection from immunological attack. This role is facilitated by an active cytoskeleton of parallel microtubule arrays that permit transport of nutrients to GCs, as well as translocation of spermatids through the seminiferous epithelium during maturation. It is well established that chemical perturbation of SC microtubule remodelling leads to premature GC exfoliation demonstrating that microtubule remodelling is an essential component of male fertility, yet the genes responsible for this process remain unknown. Using a random ENU mutagenesis approach, we have identified a novel mouse line displaying male-specific infertility, due to a point mutation in the highly conserved ATPase domain of the novel KATANIN p60-related microtubule severing protein Katanin p60 subunit A-like1 (KATNAL1). We demonstrate that Katnal1 is expressed in testicular Sertoli cells (SC) from 15.5 days post-coitum (dpc) and that, consistent with chemical disruption models, loss of function of KATNAL1 leads to male-specific infertility through disruption of SC microtubule dynamics and premature exfoliation of spermatids from the seminiferous epithelium. The identification of KATNAL1 as an essential regulator of male fertility provides a significant novel entry point into advancing our understanding of how SC microtubule dynamics promotes male fertility. Such information will have resonance both for future treatment of male fertility and the development of non-hormonal male contraceptives. PMID:22654668

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Synergistic suppression of microtubule dynamics by discodermolide and paclitaxel in non-small cell lung carcinoma cells.

    PubMed

    Honore, Stéphane; Kamath, Kathy; Braguer, Diane; Horwitz, Susan Band; Wilson, Leslie; Briand, Claudette; Jordan, Mary Ann

    2004-07-15

    Discodermolide is a new microtubule-targeted antimitotic drug in Phase I clinical trials that, like paclitaxel, stabilizes microtubule dynamics and enhances microtubule polymer mass in vitro and in cells. Despite their apparently similar binding sites on microtubules, discodermolide acts synergistically with paclitaxel to inhibit proliferation of A549 human lung cancer cells (L. Martello et al., Clin. Cancer Res., 6: 1978-1987, 2000). To understand their synergy, we examined the effects of the two drugs singly and in combination in A549 cells and found that, surprisingly, their antiproliferative synergy is related to their ability to synergistically inhibit microtubule dynamic instability and mitosis. The combination of discodermolide and paclitaxel at their antiproliferative IC(50)s (7 nm for discodermolide and 2 nm for paclitaxel) altered all of the parameters of dynamic instability synergistically except the time-based rescue frequency. For example, together the drugs inhibited overall microtubule dynamicity by 71%, but each drug individually inhibited dynamicity by only 24%, giving a combination index (CI) of 0.23. Discodermolide and paclitaxel also synergistically blocked cell cycle progression at G(2)-M (41, 9.6, and 16% for both drugs together, for discodermolide alone, and for paclitaxel alone, respectively; CI = 0.59), and they synergistically enhanced apoptosis (CI = 0.85). Microtubules are unique receptors for drugs. The results suggest that ligands that bind to large numbers of binding sites on an individual microtubule can interact in a poorly understood manner to synergistically suppress microtubule dynamic instability and inhibit both mitosis and cell proliferation, with important consequences for combination clinical therapy with microtubule-targeted drugs.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-24

    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.

  19. 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

  20. Maytansinoid-antibody conjugates induce mitotic arrest by suppressing microtubule dynamic instability.

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

    Maytansine and its analogues (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 through a common mechanism involving suppression of microtubule dynamic instability.

  1. 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

  2. Microtubule Dynamicity Is More Important than Stability in Memory Formation: an In Vivo Study.

    PubMed

    Atarod, Deyhim; Eskandari-Sedighi, Ghazaleh; Pazhoohi, Farid; Karimian, Seyed Morteza; Khajeloo, Mojtaba; Riazi, Gholam Hossein

    2015-06-01

    It has been shown that microtubule (MT) activity and dynamics can have huge impacts on synaptic plasticity and memory formation. This is mainly due to various functions of MTs in neurons; MTs are involved in dendritic spine formation, axonal transportation, neuronal polarity, and receptor trafficking. Recent studies from our group and other labs have suggested the possible role of brain MT dynamicity and activity in memory; however, there is a need for more detailed studies regarding this aspect. In this study, we have tried to evaluate the importance of microtubule dynamicity rather than stability in memory formation in vivo. In order to investigate the role of MT stability in memory formation, we treated mice with paclitaxel-a classic microtubule-stabilizing agent. We then studied the behavior of treated animals using Morris water maze (MWM) test. To measure the effect of injected paclitaxel on MT polymerization kinetics, we conducted polymerization assays on brain extracts of the same paclitaxel-treated animals. Our results show that paclitaxel treatment affects animals' memory in a negative way and treated animals behave poorly in MWM compared to control group. In addition, our kinetics studies show that MT stability is significantly increased in brain extracts from paclitaxel-treated mice, but MT dynamics is reduced. Thus, we suggest that dynamicity is a very important feature of MT protein structures, and regarding memory formation, dynamicity is more important than stability and high activity.

  3. Microfilaments and microtubules: the news from yeast.

    PubMed

    Schott, Daniel; Huffaker, Tim; Bretscher, Anthony

    2002-12-01

    New evidence that cortical actin patches and the endocytic machinery share components supports the idea that actin patches are in fact transient membrane coats at the initial stage of endocytosis. Recent studies of actin cables have identified formins as the core of a novel actin-filament-assembling machine. Meanwhile, microtubule-binding proteins have been found in the kinetochore, and factors affecting microtubule dynamic instability have been identified. PMID:12457699

  4. Microtubules Regulate Focal Adhesion Dynamics through MAP4K4

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Microtubules regulate focal adhesion dynamics through MAP4K4.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  6. Inhibition of microtubule dynamics affects podosome belt formation during osteoclast induction.

    PubMed

    Ti, Yunfan; Zhou, Lingjun; Wang, Rui; Zhao, Jianning

    2015-03-01

    Osteoclast is the only cell that can degrade bone tissue in vivo. Recent studies have shown the important role of cytoskeleton dynamics in osteolysis and the formation of podosome belt in osteoclasts. This process is regulated by the dynamic microtubule (MT) network. We treated osteoclast precursor cells Raw264.7 with low concentration of nocodazole (10 nM) and antineoplastic drug taxol (10 nM) to block MT turnover, and used end binding protein 1 fused to GFP to track the movement of microtubules in induced osteoclasts. We show that low concentrations of nocodazole and taxol interfere with the formation of podosome belt, and reduce TRAP activity of induced osteoclasts. These results suggest that the effect of taxol on MT dynamics may be used clinically to reduce osteoclast activity and potentially prevent development of osteoporosis and other metabolic bone diseases.

  7. Erucin, the Major Isothiocyanate in Arugula (Eruca sativa), Inhibits Proliferation of MCF7 Tumor Cells by Suppressing Microtubule Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24950293

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Plasma Membrane Factor XIIIA Transglutaminase Activity Regulates Osteoblast Matrix Secretion and Deposition by Affecting Microtubule Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Al-Jallad, Hadil F.; Myneni, Vamsee D.; Piercy-Kotb, Sarah A.; Chabot, Nicolas; Mulani, Amina; Keillor, Jeffrey W.; Kaartinen, Mari T.

    2011-01-01

    Transglutaminase activity, arising potentially from transglutaminase 2 (TG2) and Factor XIIIA (FXIIIA), has been linked to osteoblast differentiation where it is required for type I collagen and fibronectin matrix deposition. In this study we have used an irreversible TG-inhibitor to ‘block –and-track’ enzyme(s) targeted during osteoblast differentiation. We show that the irreversible TG-inhibitor is highly potent in inhibiting osteoblast differentiation and mineralization and reduces secretion of both fibronectin and type I collagen and their release from the cell surface. Tracking of the dansyl probe by Western blotting and immunofluorescence microscopy demonstrated that the inhibitor targets plasma membrane-associated FXIIIA. TG2 appears not to contribute to crosslinking activity on the osteoblast surface. Inhibition of FXIIIA with NC9 resulted in defective secretory vesicle delivery to the plasma membrane which was attributable to a disorganized microtubule network and decreased microtubule association with the plasma membrane. NC9 inhibition of FXIIIA resulted in destabilization of microtubules as assessed by cellular Glu-tubulin levels. Furthermore, NC9 blocked modification of Glu-tubulin into 150 kDa high-molecular weight Glu-tubulin form which was specifically localized to the plasma membrane. FXIIIA enzyme and its crosslinking activity were colocalized with plasma membrane-associated tubulin, and thus, it appears that FXIIIA crosslinking activity is directed towards stabilizing the interaction of microtubules with the plasma membrane. Our work provides the first mechanistic cues as to how transglutaminase activity could affect protein secretion and matrix deposition in osteoblasts and suggests a novel function for plasma membrane FXIIIA in microtubule dynamics. PMID:21283799

  14. Structural evidence for cooperative microtubule stabilization by Taxol and the endogenous dynamics regulator MAP4

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Hui; Wang, Hui; Zhang, Xuechun; Tu, Zongcai; Bulinski, Chloë; Khrapunovich-Baine, Marina; Angeletti, Ruth Hogue; Horwitz, Susan Band

    2012-01-01

    Microtubules (MTs) composed of αβ-tubulin heterodimers are highly dynamic polymers, whose stability can be regulated by numerous endogenous and exogenous factors. Both the anti-mitotic drug, Taxol, and microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) stabilize this dynamicity by binding to and altering the conformation of MTs. In the current study, amide hydrogen/deuterium exchange coupled with mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) was used to examine the structural and dynamic properties of the MT complex with the microtubule binding domain of MAP4 (MTB-MAP4) in the presence and absence of Taxol. The changes in the HDX levels indicate that MTB-MAP4 may bind to both the outside and the luminal surfaces of the MTs, and that Taxol reduces both of these interactions. The MTB-MAP4 binding induces conformational rearrangements of α- and β-tubulin that promote an overall stabilization of MTs. Paradoxically, despite Taxol’s negative effects on MAP4 interactions with the MTs, its binding to the MTB-MAP4-MT complex further reduces the overall deuterium incorporation, suggesting that a more stable complex is formed in the presence of the drug. PMID:22270553

  15. Thalidomide (5HPP-33) suppresses microtubule dynamics and depolymerizes the microtubule network by binding at the vinblastine binding site on tubulin.

    PubMed

    Rashid, Aijaz; Kuppa, Annapurna; Kunwar, Ambarish; Panda, Dulal

    2015-03-31

    Thalidomides were initially thought to be broad-range drugs specifically for curing insomnia and relieving morning sickness in pregnant women. However, its use was discontinued because of a major drawback of causing teratogenicity. In this study, we found that a thalidomide derivative, 5-hydroxy-2-(2,6-diisopropylphenyl)-1H-isoindole-1,3-dione (5HPP-33), inhibited the proliferation of MCF-7 with a half-maximal inhibitory concentration of 4.5 ± 0.4 μM. 5HPP-33 depolymerized microtubules and inhibited the reassembly of cold-depolymerized microtubules in MCF-7 cells. Using time-lapse imaging, the effect of 5HPP-33 on the dynamics of individual microtubules in live MCF-7 cells was analyzed. 5HPP-33 (5 μM) decreased the rates of growth and shortening excursions by 34 and 33%, respectively, and increased the time microtubules spent in the pause state by 92% as compared to that of the vehicle-treated MCF-7 cells. 5HPP-33 (5 μM) reduced the dynamicity of microtubules by 62% compared to the control. 5HPP-33 treatment reduced the distance between the two poles of a bipolar spindle, induced multipolarity in some of the treated cells, and blocked cells at mitosis. In vitro, 5HPP-33 bound to tubulin with a weak affinity. Vinblastine inhibited the binding of 5HPP-33 to tubulin, and 5HPP-33 inhibited the binding of BODIPY FL-vinblastine to tubulin. Further, a molecular docking analysis suggested that 5HPP-33 shares its binding site on tubulin with vinblastine. The results provided significant insight into the antimitotic mechanism of action of 5HPP-33 and also suggest a possible mechanism for the teratogenicity of thalidomides.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-02-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Mathematical modeling of the intracellular protein dynamics: the importance of active transport along microtubules.

    PubMed

    Szymańska, Zuzanna; Parisot, Martin; Lachowicz, Mirosław

    2014-12-21

    In this paper we propose a mathematical model of protein and mRNA transport inside a cell. The spatio-temporal model takes into account the active transport along microtubules in the cytoplasm as well as diffusion and is able to reproduce the oscillatory changes in protein concentration observed in many experimental data. In the model the protein and the mRNA interact with each other that allows us to classify the model as a simple gene regulatory network. The proposed model is generic and may be adapted to specific signaling pathways. On the basis of numerical simulations, we formulate a new hypothesis that the oscillatory dynamics is allowed by the mRNA active transport along microtubules from the nucleus to distant locations.

  1. Dynamic changes in microtubules and early development of reconstructed embryos after somatic cell nuclear transfer in a non-human primate.

    PubMed

    Chen, Naiqing; Liow, Swee-Lian; Yip, Wan-Yue; Tan, Lay-Geok; Tong, Guo-Qing; Ng, Soon-Chye

    2006-01-01

    In order to improve somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) efficiency and to understand cellular changes in SCNT, the dynamic changes in microtubules/DNA and early development of SCNT embryos with single or multiple pronuclei were investigated, along with activation timing on efficiency of SCNT, were studied in the Cynomolgus monkey. The confocal images showed that microtubules assembled around condensed DNA at 1h after cell injection; normal or abnormal reconstructed spindle formed at 2 h after cell injection; and reconstructed spindle separated at 2 h after activation. The results of nuclear formation showed that 61.3% of the reconstructed embryos did not form pronuclei; 19.3% formed a single nucleus, and 11.9% and 7.5% formed two and more than two reconstructed pronuclei, respectively. The cleavage and 8-cell development rates of SCNT embryos with pronuclei were significantly higher than those without pronuclei, but there was no difference in development rates among NT embryos with single, two and more then two pronuclei. Activation at 2 h after cell injection yielded more embryos with pronuclei and yielded 8-cell NT embryos more reliably than did activation at 3-4 h. In conclusion, microtubules assembled around condensed DNA at 1-2 h after cell injection, and formed a spindle at 2 h after SCNT, which separated at 2 h after activation; early development was affected by activation time, but no different between single and multiple pronuclei.

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

    PubMed

    Stepanek, Ludek; Pigino, Gaia

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Stepanek, Ludek; Pigino, Gaia

    2016-05-01

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

  5. Models of assembly and disassembly of individual microtubules: stochastic and averaged equations.

    PubMed

    Bolterauer, H; Limbach, H J; Tuszyński, J A

    1999-03-01

    In this paper we present solutions of the master equations for the microtubule length and show that the local probability for rescues or catastrophes can lead to bell-shaped length histograms. Conversely, as already known, non-local probabilities for these events result in exponential length histograms. We also derive master equations for a stabilizing cap and obtain a new boundary condition which provides an explanation of the results obtained in dilution and cutting experiments.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-15

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Integrin Dynamics and Matrix Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Pankov, Roumen; Cukierman, Edna; Katz, Ben-Zion; Matsumoto, Kazue; Lin, Diane C.; Lin, Shin; Hahn, Cornelia; Yamada, Kenneth M.

    2000-01-01

    Fibronectin matrix assembly is a multistep, integrin-dependent process. To investigate the role of integrin dynamics in fibronectin fibrillogenesis, we developed an antibody-chasing technique for simultaneous tracking of two integrin populations by different antibodies. We established that whereas the vitronectin receptor αvβ3 remains within focal contacts, the fibronectin receptor α5β1 translocates from focal contacts into and along extracellular matrix (ECM) contacts. This escalator-like translocation occurs relative to the focal contacts at 6.5 ± 0.7 μm/h and is independent of cell migration. It is induced by ligation of α5β1 integrins and depends on interactions with a functional actin cytoskeleton and vitronectin receptor ligation. During cell spreading, translocation of ligand-occupied α5β1 integrins away from focal contacts and along bundles of actin filaments generates ECM contacts. Tensin is a primary cytoskeletal component of these ECM contacts, and a novel dominant-negative inhibitor of tensin blocked ECM contact formation, integrin translocation, and fibronectin fibrillogenesis without affecting focal contacts. We propose that translocating α5β1 integrins induce initial fibronectin fibrillogenesis by transmitting cytoskeleton-generated tension to extracellular fibronectin molecules. Blocking this integrin translocation by a variety of treatments prevents the formation of ECM contacts and fibronectin fibrillogenesis. These studies identify a localized, directional, integrin translocation mechanism for matrix assembly. PMID:10704455

  13. 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

  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. Optically Resolving Individual Microtubules in Live Axons

    PubMed Central

    Mudrakola, Harsha V.; Zhang, Kai; Cui, Bianxiao

    2010-01-01

    Summary Microtubules are essential cytoskeletal tracks for cargo transportation in axons and also serve as the primary structural scaffold of neurons. Structural assembly, stability, and dynamics of axonal microtubules are of great interest for understanding neuronal functions and pathologies. However, microtubules are so densely packed in axons that their separations are well below the diffraction limit of light, which precludes using optical microscopy for live-cell studies. Here, we present a single-molecule imaging method capable of resolving individual microtubules in live axons. In our method, unlabeled microtubules are revealed by following individual axonal cargos that travel along them. We resolved more than six microtubules in a 1 μm diameter axon by real-time tracking of endosomes containing quantum dots. Our live-cell study also provided direct evidence that endosomes switch between microtubules while traveling along axons, which has been proposed to be the primary means for axonal cargos to effectively navigate through the crowded axoplasmic environment. PMID:19913478

  16. Suppression of microtubule dynamics by discodermolide by a novel mechanism is associated with mitotic arrest and inhibition of tumor cell proliferation.

    PubMed

    Honore, Stéphane; Kamath, Kathy; Braguer, Diane; Wilson, Leslie; Briand, Claudette; Jordan, Mary Ann

    2003-12-01

    Discodermolide is a new microtubule-targeted drug in Phase I clinical trials that inhibits tumor growth and induces G(2)-M cell cycle arrest. It is effective against paclitaxel-resistant cell lines and acts synergistically in combination with paclitaxel. Suppression of microtubule dynamics by microtubule-targeted drugs has been hypothesized to be responsible for their ability to inhibit mitotic progression and cell proliferation. To determine whether discodermolide blocks mitosis by an effect on microtubule dynamics, we analyzed the effects of discodermolide on microtubule dynamics in living A549 human lung cancer cells during interphase at concentrations that block mitosis and inhibit cell proliferation. We found that discodermolide (7-166 nM) significantly suppressed microtubule dynamic instability. At the IC(50) for proliferation (7 nM discodermolide, 72 h), overall dynamicity was reduced by 23%. The principal parameters of dynamic instability suppressed by discodermolide were the microtubule shortening rate and length shortened. In addition, discodermolide markedly increased the frequency of rescued catastrophes. At the discodermolide concentration that resulted in 50% of maximal mitotic block (83 nM, 20 h), most microtubules were completely non-dynamic, no anaphases occurred, and all spindles were abnormal. The dynamicity of the remaining dynamic microtubules was reduced by 62%. The results indicate that a principal mechanism of inhibition of cell proliferation and mitotic block by discodermolide is suppression of microtubule dynamics. Importantly, the results indicate significant additional stabilizing effects of discodermolide on microtubule dynamics as compared with those of paclitaxel that may in turn reflect differences in their binding sites and their effects on tubulin conformation.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-15

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

  20. 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

  1. Extragenic bypass suppressors of mutations in the essential gene BLD2 promote assembly of basal bodies with abnormal microtubules in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

    PubMed Central

    Preble, A M; Giddings, T H; Dutcher, S K

    2001-01-01

    bld2-1 mutant Chlamydomonas reinhardtii strains assemble basal bodies with singlet microtubules; bld2-1 cells display flagellar assembly defects as well as positioning defects of the mitotic spindle and cleavage furrow. To further understand the role of the BLD2 gene, we have isolated three new bld2 alleles and three partially dominant extragenic suppressors, rgn1-1, rgn1-2, and rgn1-3. bld2 rgn1-1 strains have phenotypes intermediate between those of bld2 and wild-type strains with respect to flagellar number, microtubule rootlet organization, cleavage furrow positioning, and basal body structural phenotypes. Instead of the triplet microtubules of wild-type cells, bld2 rgn1-1 basal bodies have mixtures of no, singlet, doublet, and triplet microtubules. The bld2-4 allele was made by insertional mutagenesis and identified in a noncomplementation screen in a diploid strain. The bld2-4 allele has a lethal phenotype based on mitotic segregation in diploid strains and in haploid strains generated by meiotic recombination. The lethal phenotype in haploid strains is suppressed by rgn1-1; these suppressed strains have similar phenotypes to other bld2 rgn1-1 double mutants. It is likely that BLD2 is an essential gene that is needed for basal body assembly and function. PMID:11139500

  2. Hoxb1b controls oriented cell division, cell shape and microtubule dynamics in neural tube morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Žigman, Mihaela; Laumann-Lipp, Nico; Titus, Tom; Postlethwait, John; Moens, Cecilia B.

    2014-01-01

    Hox genes are classically ascribed to function in patterning the anterior-posterior axis of bilaterian animals; however, their role in directing molecular mechanisms underlying morphogenesis at the cellular level remains largely unstudied. We unveil a non-classical role for the zebrafish hoxb1b gene, which shares ancestral functions with mammalian Hoxa1, in controlling progenitor cell shape and oriented cell division during zebrafish anterior hindbrain neural tube morphogenesis. This is likely distinct from its role in cell fate acquisition and segment boundary formation. We show that, without affecting major components of apico-basal or planar cell polarity, Hoxb1b regulates mitotic spindle rotation during the oriented neural keel symmetric mitoses that are required for normal neural tube lumen formation in the zebrafish. This function correlates with a non-cell-autonomous requirement for Hoxb1b in regulating microtubule plus-end dynamics in progenitor cells in interphase. We propose that Hox genes can influence global tissue morphogenesis by control of microtubule dynamics in individual cells in vivo. PMID:24449840

  3. Hoxb1b controls oriented cell division, cell shape and microtubule dynamics in neural tube morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Zigman, Mihaela; Laumann-Lipp, Nico; Titus, Tom; Postlethwait, John; Moens, Cecilia B

    2014-02-01

    Hox genes are classically ascribed to function in patterning the anterior-posterior axis of bilaterian animals; however, their role in directing molecular mechanisms underlying morphogenesis at the cellular level remains largely unstudied. We unveil a non-classical role for the zebrafish hoxb1b gene, which shares ancestral functions with mammalian Hoxa1, in controlling progenitor cell shape and oriented cell division during zebrafish anterior hindbrain neural tube morphogenesis. This is likely distinct from its role in cell fate acquisition and segment boundary formation. We show that, without affecting major components of apico-basal or planar cell polarity, Hoxb1b regulates mitotic spindle rotation during the oriented neural keel symmetric mitoses that are required for normal neural tube lumen formation in the zebrafish. This function correlates with a non-cell-autonomous requirement for Hoxb1b in regulating microtubule plus-end dynamics in progenitor cells in interphase. We propose that Hox genes can influence global tissue morphogenesis by control of microtubule dynamics in individual cells in vivo.

  4. 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.

  5. Dynamic Pathways for Viral Capsid Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Hagan, Michael F.; Chandler, David

    2006-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Polymeric microtubules that breathe: CO2 -driven polymer controlled-self-assembly and shape transformation.

    PubMed

    Yan, Qiang; Zhao, Yue

    2013-09-16

    Tubular breathing motion: Polymer tubules self-assembled from a gas-sensitive triblock copolymer can undergo shape evolution. A sequence from microtubes through submicroscopic vesicles to nanosized spherical micelles is modulated by CO2 stimulation levels.

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-16

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

  10. Kinetic stabilization of microtubule dynamics by indanocine perturbs EB1 localization, induces defects in cell polarity and inhibits migration of MDA-MB-231 cells.

    PubMed

    Kapoor, Sonia; Panda, Dulal

    2012-06-01

    Cell motility is an essential aspect of metastatic spread of cancer. Microtubule-targeted agents exhibit anti-metastatic properties, the underlying mechanism of which remains understudied. In this study, we have investigated the role of microtubule dynamics in migration of cancer cells using indanocine, a synthetic small molecule inhibitor of tubulin. We found that indanocine, at concentrations that did not visibly affect microtubule organization, suppressed dynamic instability of microtubules and reduced the rate of migration of highly metastatic MDA-MB-231 cells. Indanocine-treated cells were defective in lamellipodium formation and could not develop polarized morphology. The kinetic stabilization of microtubules was associated with a marked increase in their acetylation level and a perturbation in the localization of EB1, a microtubule plus end binding protein. Using standard scratch wound healing assay and immunofluorescence analysis; we found that microtubule acetylation occurred in the direction of migration in vehicle-treated cells, whereas indanocine treatment led to a global acetylation of microtubules. The results together suggested that selective stabilization of microtubules was perturbed in the presence of indanocine that possibly resulted in lack of cell polarization and a concurrent reduction in migration of cells. Moreover, microtubule stabilization by indanocine affected adhesion turnover and impaired the polarized pattern of adhesion sites in cells. Together the results indicated that the regulation of microtubule dynamics is required to coordinate cell polarization as well as adhesion asymmetry and support the hypothesis that the perturbation of microtubule dynamics by tubulin-targeted agents can be exploited to restrict the migration of tumor cells.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopez, Benjamin

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1986-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1985-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Septin GTPases spatially guide microtubule organization and plus end dynamics in polarizing epithelia

    PubMed Central

    Bowen, Jonathan R.; Hwang, Daniel; Bai, Xiaobo; Roy, Dheeraj

    2011-01-01

    Establishment of epithelial polarity requires the reorganization of the microtubule (MT) cytoskeleton from a radial array into a network positioned along the apicobasal axis of the cell. Little is known about the mechanisms that spatially guide the remodeling of MTs during epithelial polarization. Septins are filamentous guanine triphosphatases (GTPases) that associate with MTs, but the function of septins in MT organization and dynamics is poorly understood. In this paper, we show that in polarizing epithelia, septins guide the directionality of MT plus end movement by suppressing MT catastrophe. By enabling persistent MT growth, two spatially distinct populations of septins, perinuclear and peripheral filaments, steer the growth and capture of MT plus ends. This navigation mechanism is essential for the maintenance of perinuclear MT bundles and for the orientation of peripheral MTs as well as for the apicobasal positioning of MTs. Our results suggest that septins provide the directional guidance cues necessary for polarizing the epithelial MT network. PMID:21788367

  16. Kinetics of microtubule catastrophe assessed by probabilistic analysis.

    PubMed

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

    1995-09-01

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

  17. Kinetics of microtubule catastrophe assessed by probabilistic analysis.

    PubMed Central

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

    1995-01-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Expression of recombinant alpha and beta tubulins from the yew Taxus cuspidata and analysis of the microtubule assembly in the presence of taxol.

    PubMed

    Kudo, Yuma; Abe, Akihiro; Ito, Kumiko; Cho, Yuko; Yotsu-Yamashita, Mari; Konoki, Keiichi

    2014-01-01

    Taxol was originally isolated from the yew Taxus brevifolia. Because taxol inhibits the depolymerization of microtubules, the presence of a self-resistance mechanism in Taxus spp. was hypothesized. The cloning of the cDNA for alpha and beta tubulins from Taxus cuspidata and those from the human embryonic kidney cell line HEK293T revealed that the (26)Asp, (359)Arg, and (361)Leu residues in the human beta tubulin, which are important for taxol binding, were replaced with Glu, Trp, and Met in the beta tubulin of T. cuspidata, respectively. The microtubule assembly of the recombinant alpha and beta tubulins was monitored turbidimetrically, and the results clearly demonstrated that the microtubule from T. cuspidata is less sensitive to taxol than that from HEK293T cells. The Taxus microtubule composed of the wild-type alpha tubulin and the beta tubulin with the E26D mutation restored the sensitivity to taxol. We thus postulated that the mutation identified in the beta tubulin of T. cuspidata plays a role in the self-resistance of this species against taxol.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  5. 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

  6. Microtubule Dynamic Instability Controls Podosome Patterning in Osteoclasts through EB1, Cortactin, and Src

    PubMed Central

    Biosse Duplan, Martin; Zalli, Detina; Stephens, Sebastien; Zenger, Serhan; Neff, Lynn; Oelkers, J. Margit; Lai, Frank P. L.; Horne, William; Rottner, Klemens

    2014-01-01

    In osteoclasts (OCs) podosomes are organized in a belt, a feature critical for bone resorption. Although microtubules (MTs) promote the formation and stability of the belt, the MT and/or podosome molecules that mediate the interaction of the two systems are not identified. Because the growing “plus” ends of MTs point toward the podosome belt, plus-end tracking proteins (+TIPs) might regulate podosome patterning. Among the +TIPs, EB1 increased as OCs matured and was enriched in the podosome belt, and EB1-positive MTs targeted podosomes. Suppression of MT dynamic instability, displacement of EB1 from MT ends, or EB1 depletion resulted in the loss of the podosome belt. We identified cortactin as an Src-dependent interacting partner of EB1. Cortactin-deficient OCs presented a defective MT targeting to, and patterning of, podosomes and reduced bone resorption. Suppression of MT dynamic instability or EB1 depletion increased cortactin phosphorylation, decreasing its acetylation and affecting its interaction with EB1. Thus, dynamic MTs and podosomes interact to control bone resorption. PMID:24144981

  7. Effects of eribulin on microtubule binding and dynamic instability are strengthened in the absence of the βIII tubulin isotype.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Leslie; Lopus, Manu; Miller, Herbert P; Azarenko, Olga; Riffle, Stephen; Smith, Jennifer A; Jordan, Mary Ann

    2015-10-27

    Eribulin mesylate (Halaven) is a microtubule-targeted anticancer drug used to treat patients with metastatic breast cancer who have previously received a taxane and an anthracycline. It binds at the plus ends of microtubules and has been shown to suppress plus end growth selectively. Because the class III β tubulin isotype is associated with resistance to microtubule targeting drugs, we sought to determine how βIII tubulin might mechanistically influence the effects of eribulin on microtubules. We found that while [(3)H]eribulin bound to bovine brain soluble tubulin depleted of βIII tubulin in a manner similar to that of unfractionated tubulin, it bound to plus ends of microtubules that were depleted of βIII-depleted tubulin with a maximal stoichiometry (20 ± 3 molecules per microtubule) higher than that of unfractionated microtubules (9 ± 2 molecules per microtubule). In addition, eribulin suppressed the dynamic instability behavior of βIII-depleted microtubules more strongly than and in a manner different from that of microtubules containing βIII tubulin. Specifically, with βIII tubulin present in the microtubules, 100 nM eribulin suppressed the growth rate by 32% and marginally reduced the catastrophe frequency (by 17%) but did not modulate the rescue frequency. However, in the absence of βIII tubulin, eribulin not only reduced the growth rate but also strongly reduced the shortening rate (by 43%) and the catastrophe and the rescue frequencies (by 49 and 32%, respectively). Thus, when present in microtubules, βIII tubulin substantially weakens the effects of eribulin.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-20

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Amanda J.; Hunter, Craig P.

    2003-01-01

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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Gierke, Sarah; Wittmann, Torsten

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Assembly and dynamics of synthetic cilia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchez, Tim

    2012-02-01

    From motility of simple protists to determining the handedness of complex vertebrates, highly conserved eukaryotic cilia and flagella are essential for the reproduction and survival of many biological organisms. Despite extensive studies, the exact mechanism by which individual components coordinate to produce ciliary beating patterns remains unknown. We describe a novel approach towards studying ciliary beating. Instead of deconstructing a fully functional organelle from the top-down, we describe a process by which synthetic cilia-like structures are assembled from the bottom-up. We find that simple mixtures of microtubules, kinesin clusters, and a bundling agent produce spontaneous oscillations in MT bundles, suggesting that self-organized beating may be a generic feature of internally driven bundles. Furthermore, bundles in close proximity spontaneously coordinate their beating to generate metachronal traveling waves, reminiscent of the waves seen in ciliary fields. These findings and future refinements of the system can potentially provide insights into general design principles required for engineering synthetic cilia as well as understanding the biological analogues.

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

    PubMed

    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 Mecp2(308/y) male mice. These findings represent a first step toward the validation of an innovative treatment for RTT.

  17. Regulation of microtubule dynamics by DIAPH3 influences amoeboid tumor cell mechanics and sensitivity to taxanes

    PubMed Central

    Morley, Samantha; You, Sungyong; Pollan, Sara; Choi, Jiyoung; Zhou, Bo; Hager, Martin H.; Steadman, Kenneth; Spinelli, Cristiana; Rajendran, Kavitha; Gertych, Arkadiusz; Kim, Jayoung; Adam, Rosalyn M.; Yang, Wei; Krishnan, Ramaswamy; Knudsen, Beatrice S.; Di Vizio, Dolores; Freeman, Michael R.

    2015-01-01

    Taxanes are widely employed chemotherapies for patients with metastatic prostate and breast cancer. Here, we show that loss of Diaphanous-related formin-3 (DIAPH3), frequently associated with metastatic breast and prostate cancers, correlates with increased sensitivity to taxanes. DIAPH3 interacted with microtubules (MT), and its loss altered several parameters of MT dynamics as well as decreased polarized force generation, contractility, and response to substrate stiffness. Silencing of DIAPH3 increased the cytotoxic response to taxanes in prostate and breast cancer cell lines. Analysis of drug activity for tubulin-targeted agents in the NCI-60 cell line panel revealed a uniform positive correlation between reduced DIAPH3 expression and drug sensitivity. Low DIAPH3 expression correlated with improved relapse-free survival in breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapeutic regimens containing taxanes. Our results suggest that inhibition of MT stability arising from DIAPH3 downregulation enhances susceptibility to MT poisons, and that the DIAPH3 network potentially reports taxane sensitivity in human tumors. PMID:26179371

  18. Tension-dependent dynamic microtubule model for metaphase and anaphase phenomena

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banigan, Edward; Lampson, Michael; Liu, Andrea

    2013-03-01

    During cell division, 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. Pairs later separate as shrinking MTs pull each chromosome toward its respective cell pole. We present a minimal model for these processes. We use the measured tension-dependence of single MT kinetics and extrapolate for compressed MTs. We apply these to a stochastic many MT model, which we solve numerically and with master equations. We find that tension dependence enhances the speed of chromosome pulling by retracting MTs. 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. Unlike other models, our model also captures breathing oscillations. We also explore how various components control chromosome dynamics through MT rate constants alone.

  19. Multispecies population dynamics of prebiotic compositional assemblies.

    PubMed

    Markovitch, Omer; Lancet, Doron

    2014-09-21

    Present life portrays a two-tier phenomenology: molecules compose supramolecular structures, such as cells or organisms, which in turn portray population behaviors, including selection, evolution and ecological dynamics. Prebiotic models have often focused on evolution in populations of self-replicating molecules, without explicitly invoking the intermediate molecular-to-supramolecular transition. Here, we explore a prebiotic model that allows one to relate parameters of chemical interaction networks within molecular assemblies to emergent population dynamics. We use the graded autocatalysis replication domain (GARD) model, which simulates the network dynamics within amphiphile-containing molecular assemblies, and exhibits quasi-stationary compositional states termed compotype species. These grow by catalyzed accretion, divide and propagate their compositional information to progeny in a replication-like manner. The model allows us to ask how molecular network parameters influence assembly evolution and population dynamics parameters. In 1000 computer simulations, each embodying different parameter set of the global chemical interaction network parameters, we observed a wide range of behaviors. These were analyzed by a multi species logistic model often used for analyzing population ecology (r-K or Lotka-Volterra competition model). We found that compotypes with a larger intrinsic molecular repertoire show a higher intrinsic growth (r) and lower carrying capacity (K), as well as lower replication fidelity. This supports a prebiotic scenario initiated by fast-replicating assemblies with a high molecular diversity, evolving into more faithful replicators with narrower molecular repertoires. PMID:24831416

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

    PubMed

    Heald, Rebecca; Khodjakov, Alexey

    2015-12-21

    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

  1. γ-Tubulin complexes in microtubule nucleation and beyond.

    PubMed

    Oakley, Berl R; Paolillo, Vitoria; Zheng, Yixian

    2015-09-01

    Tremendous progress has been made in understanding the functions of γ-tubulin and, in particular, its role in microtubule nucleation since the publication of its discovery in 1989. The structure of γ-tubulin has been determined, and the components of γ-tubulin complexes have been identified. Significant progress in understanding the structure of the γ-tubulin ring complex and its components has led to a persuasive model for how these complexes nucleate microtubule assembly. At the same time, data have accumulated that γ-tubulin has important but less well understood functions that are not simply a consequence of its function in microtubule nucleation. These include roles in the regulation of plus-end microtubule dynamics, gene regulation, and mitotic and cell cycle regulation. Finally, evidence is emerging that γ-tubulin mutations or alterations of γ-tubulin expression play an important role in certain types of cancer and in other diseases.

  2. γ-Tubulin complexes in microtubule nucleation and beyond

    PubMed Central

    Oakley, Berl R.; Paolillo, Vitoria; Zheng, Yixian

    2015-01-01

    Tremendous progress has been made in understanding the functions of γ-tubulin and, in particular, its role in microtubule nucleation since the publication of its discovery in 1989. The structure of γ-tubulin has been determined, and the components of γ-tubulin complexes have been identified. Significant progress in understanding the structure of the γ-tubulin ring complex and its components has led to a persuasive model for how these complexes nucleate microtubule assembly. At the same time, data have accumulated that γ-tubulin has important but less well understood functions that are not simply a consequence of its function in microtubule nucleation. These include roles in the regulation of plus-end microtubule dynamics, gene regulation, and mitotic and cell cycle regulation. Finally, evidence is emerging that γ-tubulin mutations or alterations of γ-tubulin expression play an important role in certain types of cancer and in other diseases. PMID:26316498

  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. 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

  5. Dynein interacts with the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM180) to tether dynamic microtubules and maintain synaptic density in cortical neurons.

    PubMed

    Perlson, Eran; Hendricks, Adam G; Lazarus, Jacob E; Ben-Yaakov, Keren; Gradus, Tal; Tokito, Mariko; Holzbaur, Erika L F

    2013-09-27

    Cytoplasmic dynein is well characterized as an organelle motor, but dynein also acts to tether and stabilize dynamic microtubule plus-ends in vitro. Here we identify a novel and direct interaction between dynein and the 180-kDa isoform of the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM). Optical trapping experiments indicate that dynein bound to beads via the NCAM180 interaction domain can tether projecting microtubule plus-ends. Live cell assays indicate that the NCAM180-dependent recruitment of dynein to the cortex leads to the selective stabilization of microtubules projecting to NCAM180 patches at the cell periphery. The dynein-NCAM180 interaction also enhances cell-cell adhesion in heterologous cell assays. Dynein and NCAM180 co-precipitate from mouse brain extract and from synaptosomal fractions, consistent with an endogenous interaction in neurons. Thus, we examined microtubule dynamics and synaptic density in primary cortical neurons. We find that depletion of NCAM, inhibition of the dynein-NCAM180 interaction, or dampening of microtubule dynamics with low dose nocodazole all result in significantly decreased in synaptic density. Based on these observations, we propose a working model for the role of dynein at the synapse, in which the anchoring of the motor to the cortex via binding to an adhesion molecule mediates the tethering of dynamic microtubule plus-ends to potentiate synaptic stabilization.

  6. The Membrane-Associated Sec1/Munc18 KEULE is Required for Phragmoplast Microtubule Reorganization During Cytokinesis in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Steiner, Alexander; Müller, Lin; Rybak, Katarzyna; Vodermaier, Vera; Facher, Eva; Thellmann, Martha; Ravikumar, Raksha; Wanner, Gerhard; Hauser, Marie-Theres; Assaad, Farhah F

    2016-04-01

    Cytokinesis, the partitioning of the cytoplasm following nuclear division, requires extensive coordination between membrane trafficking and cytoskeletal dynamics. In plants, the onset of cytokinesis is characterized by the assembly of a bipolar microtubule array, the phragmoplast, and of a transient membrane compartment, the cell plate. Little is known about the coordination between membrane deposition at the cell plate and the dynamics of phragmoplast microtubules. In this study, we monitor the localization dynamics of microtubule and membrane markers throughout cytokinesis. Our spatiotemporal resolution is consistent with the general view that microtubule dynamics drive membrane movements. Nonetheless, we provide evidence for active sorting at the cell plate and show that this is, at least in part, mediated by the TRAPPII tethering complex. We also characterize phragmoplast microtubule organization and cell plate formation in a suite of cytokinesis-defective mutants. Of four mutant lines with defects in phragmoplast microtubule organization, only mor1 microtubule-associated mutants exhibited aberrant cell plates. Conversely, the mutants with the strongest impairment in phragmoplast microtubule reorganization are keule alleles, which have a primary defect in membrane fusion. Our findings identify the SEC1/Munc18 protein KEULE as a central regulatory node in the coordination of membrane and microtubule dynamics during plant cytokinesis. PMID:26700031

  7. 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. PMID:11908901

  8. N-terminus-modified Hec1 suppresses tumour growth by interfering with kinetochore-microtubule dynamics.

    PubMed

    Orticello, M; Fiore, M; Totta, P; Desideri, M; Barisic, M; Passeri, D; Lenzi, J; Rosa, A; Orlandi, A; Maiato, H; Del Bufalo, D; Degrassi, F

    2015-06-01

    Mitotic proteins are attractive targets to develop molecular cancer therapeutics due to the intimate interdependence between cell proliferation and mitosis. In this work, we have explored the therapeutic potential of the kinetochore (KT) protein Hec1 (Highly Expressed in Cancer protein 1) as a molecular target to produce massive chromosome missegregation and cell death in cancer cells. Hec1 is a constituent of the Ndc80 complex, which mediates KT-microtubule (MT) attachments at mitosis and is upregulated in various cancer types. We expressed Hec1 fused with enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) at its N-terminus MT-interaction domain in HeLa cells and showed that expression of this modified Hec1, which localized at KTs, blocked cell proliferation and promoted apoptosis in tumour cells. EGFP-Hec1 was extremely potent in tumour cell killing and more efficient than siRNA-induced Hec1 depletion. In striking contrast, normal cells showed no apparent cell proliferation defects or cell death following EGFP-Hec1 expression. Live-cell imaging demonstrated that cancer cell death was associated with massive chromosome missegregation within multipolar spindles after a prolonged mitotic arrest. Moreover, EGFP-Hec1 expression was found to increase KT-MT attachment stability, providing a molecular explanation for the abnormal spindle architecture and the cytotoxic activity of this modified protein. Consistent with cell culture data, EGFP-Hec1 expression was found to strongly inhibit tumour growth in a mouse xenograft model by disrupting mitosis and inducing multipolar spindles. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that stimulation of massive chromosome segregation defects can be used as an anti-cancer strategy through the activation of mitotic catastrophe after a multipolar mitosis. Importantly, this study represents a clear proof of concept that targeting KT proteins required for proper KT-MT attachment dynamics constitutes a powerful approach in cancer therapy.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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. PMID:18799626

  12. Dynamic Assembly of Magnetic Colloidal Vortices.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-24

    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. PMID:27128501

  13. 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'.

  14. Mal3 masks catastrophe events in Schizosaccharomyces pombe microtubules by inhibiting shrinkage and promoting rescue.

    PubMed

    Katsuki, Miho; Drummond, Douglas R; Osei, Michael; Cross, Robert A

    2009-10-23

    Schizosaccharomyces pombe Mal3 is a member of the EB family of proteins, which are proposed to be core elements in a tip-tracking network that regulates microtubule dynamics in cells. How Mal3 itself influences microtubule dynamics is unclear. We tested the effects of full-length recombinant Mal3 on dynamic microtubules assembled in vitro from purified S. pombe tubulin, using dark field video microscopy to avoid fluorescent tagging and data-averaging techniques to improve spatiotemporal resolution. We find that catastrophe occurs stochastically as a fast (<2.2 s) transition from constant speed growth to constant speed shrinkage with a constant probability that is independent of the Mal3 concentration. This implies that Mal3 neither stabilizes nor destabilizes microtubule tips. Mal3 does, however, stabilize the main part of the microtubule lattice, inhibiting shrinkage and increasing the frequency of rescues, consistent with recent models in which Mal3 on the lattice forms stabilizing lateral links between neighboring protofilaments. At high concentrations, Mal3 can entirely block shrinkage and induce very rapid rescue, making catastrophes impossible to detect, which may account for the apparent suppression of catastrophe by Mal3 and other EBs in vivo. Overall, we find that Mal3 stabilizes microtubules not by preventing catastrophe at the microtubule tip but by inhibiting lattice depolymerization and enhancing rescue. We argue that this implies that Mal3 binds microtubules in different modes at the tip and on the lattice. PMID:19740752

  15. Distinctions between dynamic characteristics of the single EG5 motor protein along neural vs. cancerous microtubules.

    PubMed

    Feizabadi, Mitra Shojania; Jun, Yonggun; Reddy, J N Babu

    2016-09-30

    The kinesin 5 motor contributes critically to mitosis, and is often upregulated in cancer. In vitro motility studies of kinesin 5 moving along bovine brain microtubules indicate that the motors have limited processivity. Cancer cells have abnormal mitotic behavior, so one might wonder whether the functional properties of kinesin 5 change in such a background. Because there could be multiple unknown changes in cancerous vs normal cells, we chose to address this question in a controlled in vitro environment. Specifically, through a series of parallel experiments along bovine brain vs. breast cancer microtubules, we quantified the in vitro motility characteristics of single Eg5 molecular motors along these two types of microtubules, combining the utilization of an optical trapping technique with a study of motion in the unloaded regime. The obtained values indicate that Eg5 processivity is 40% less along MCF7 microtubules, compared to that measured on bovine brain MTs. Interestingly, not all single-molecule properties are altered, as the velocity of the single motor doesn't show any significant changes on either track, though the binding time along MCF7 microtubules is almost 25% shorter. The current results, in conjunction with our previously reported outcomes of the evaluation of the Eg5's characteristics under external load, show that in transition from no-load to high-load regime, the Eg5 binding time has less sensitivity on MCF7 as compared to bovine brain MTs. This finding is intriguing, as it suggests that, potentially, groups of Eg5 motors function more effectively in the cancer background of a large ensemble, possibly contributing to faster mitosis in cancer cells.

  16. Distinctions between dynamic characteristics of the single EG5 motor protein along neural vs. cancerous microtubules.

    PubMed

    Feizabadi, Mitra Shojania; Jun, Yonggun; Reddy, J N Babu

    2016-09-30

    The kinesin 5 motor contributes critically to mitosis, and is often upregulated in cancer. In vitro motility studies of kinesin 5 moving along bovine brain microtubules indicate that the motors have limited processivity. Cancer cells have abnormal mitotic behavior, so one might wonder whether the functional properties of kinesin 5 change in such a background. Because there could be multiple unknown changes in cancerous vs normal cells, we chose to address this question in a controlled in vitro environment. Specifically, through a series of parallel experiments along bovine brain vs. breast cancer microtubules, we quantified the in vitro motility characteristics of single Eg5 molecular motors along these two types of microtubules, combining the utilization of an optical trapping technique with a study of motion in the unloaded regime. The obtained values indicate that Eg5 processivity is 40% less along MCF7 microtubules, compared to that measured on bovine brain MTs. Interestingly, not all single-molecule properties are altered, as the velocity of the single motor doesn't show any significant changes on either track, though the binding time along MCF7 microtubules is almost 25% shorter. The current results, in conjunction with our previously reported outcomes of the evaluation of the Eg5's characteristics under external load, show that in transition from no-load to high-load regime, the Eg5 binding time has less sensitivity on MCF7 as compared to bovine brain MTs. This finding is intriguing, as it suggests that, potentially, groups of Eg5 motors function more effectively in the cancer background of a large ensemble, possibly contributing to faster mitosis in cancer cells. PMID:27590585

  17. SPIRAL2 Determines Plant Microtubule Organization by Modulating Microtubule Severing

    PubMed Central

    Wightman, Raymond; Chomicki, Guillaume; Kumar, Manoj; Carr, Paul; Turner, Simon R.

    2013-01-01

    Summary One of the defining characteristics of plant growth and morphology is the pivotal role of cell expansion. While the mechanical properties of the cell wall determine both the extent and direction of cell expansion, the cortical microtubule array plays a critical role in cell wall organization and, consequently, determining directional (anisotropic) cell expansion [1–6]. The microtubule-severing enzyme katanin is essential for plants to form aligned microtubule arrays [7–10]; however, increasing severing activity alone is not sufficient to drive microtubule alignment [11]. Here, we demonstrate that katanin activity depends upon the behavior of the microtubule-associated protein (MAP) SPIRAL2 (SPR2). Petiole cells in the cotyledon epidermis exhibit well-aligned microtubule arrays, whereas adjacent pavement cells exhibit unaligned arrays, even though SPR2 is found at similar levels in both cell types. In pavement cells, however, SPR2 accumulates at microtubule crossover sites, where it stabilizes these crossovers and prevents severing. In contrast, in the adjacent petiole cells, SPR2 is constantly moving along the microtubules, exposing crossover sites that become substrates for severing. Consequently, our study reveals a novel mechanism whereby microtubule organization is determined by dynamics and localization of a MAP that regulates where and when microtubule severing occurs. PMID:24055158

  18. Effects of Activation on Functional Aster Formation, Microtubule Assembly, and Blastocyst Development of Goat Oocytes Injected with Round Spermatids

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xin-Yong; Miao, Yi-Long; Zhang, Jie; Qiu, Jian-Hua; Cui, Xiang-Zhong; Gao, Wei-Qiang; Luo, Ming-Jiu

    2012-01-01

    Abstract A systematic study was conducted on round spermatids (ROS) injection (ROSI) using the goat model. After ROSI, the oocytes were treated or not with ionomycin (ROSI+I and ROSI−I, respectively) and compared with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). After ROSI−I, most oocytes were arrested with premature chromatin condensation and few oocytes formed pronuclei. In contrast, most oocytes formed pronuclei after ROSI+I. Some ROS were observed to form asters that organized a dense microtubule network after ROSI+I, but after ROSI−I, no ROS asters were observed. Whereas most of the oocytes showed Ca2+ rises and a significant decline in maturation-promoting factor (MPF) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activities after ROSI+I, no such changes were observed after ROSI−I. Due to the lack of Ca2+ oscillations after ROSI−I, oocytes were injected with more ROS. Interestingly, different from the results observed in a single ROS injection, injection with four ROS effectively activated oocytes by inducing typical Ca2+ oscillations. Whereas ROSI+I oocytes and ICSI oocytes both showed extensive microtubule networks, no such a network was observed in parthenogenetic oocytes. Together, the results suggest that goat ROS is not able to trigger intracellular Ca2+ rises and thus to inhibit MPF and MAPK activities, but artificial activation improved fertilization and development of ROSI goat oocytes. Goat ROS can organize functional microtubular asters in activated oocytes. A ROS-derived factor(s) may be essential for organization of a functional microtubule network to unite pronuclei. Goat centrosome is of paternal origin because both ROS and sperm asters organized an extensive microtubule network after intra-oocyte injection. PMID:22908906

  19. Actin filaments and microtubules play different roles during bristle elongation in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Tilney, L G; Connelly, P S; Vranich, K A; Shaw, M K; Guild, G M

    2000-04-01

    Developing bristles in Drosophila pupae contain 7-11 bundles of crosslinked actin filaments and a large population of microtubules. During bristle growth the rate of cell elongation increases with bristle length. Thin section EM shows that bundle size is correlated with the amount of cytoplasm at all points along the bristle. Thus, as the bristle elongates and tapers, fewer actin filaments are used. To ensure penetration of inhibitors we isolated thoraces and cultured them in vitro; bristles elongate at rates identical to bristles growing in situ. Interestingly, inhibitors of actin filament assembly (cytochalasin D and latrunculin A) dramatically curtailed bristle elongation while a filament stabilizer (jasplakinolide) accelerated elongation. In contrast, inhibitors of microtubule dynamics (nocodazole, vinblastine, colchicine and taxol) did not affect bristle elongation. Surprisingly, the bristle microtubules are stable and do not turn over. Furthermore, the density of microtubules decreases as the bristle elongates. These two facts coupled with calculations and kinetics of elongation and the fact that the microtubules are short indicate that the microtubules are assembled early in development and then transported distally as the bristle grows. We conclude that actin assembly is crucial for bristle cell elongation and that microtubules must furnish other functions such as to provide bulk to the bristle cytoplasm as well as playing a role in vesicle transport.

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:26604305

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. The ubiquitin ligase Phr1 regulates axon outgrowth through modulation of microtubule dynamics.

    PubMed

    Lewcock, Joseph W; Genoud, Nicolas; Lettieri, Karen; Pfaff, Samuel L

    2007-11-21

    To discover new genes involved in axon navigation, we conducted a forward genetic screen for recessive alleles affecting motor neuron pathfinding in GFP reporter mice mutagenized with ENU. In Magellan mutant embryos, motor axons were error prone and wandered inefficiently at choice points within embryos, but paradoxically responded to guidance cues with normal sensitivity in vitro. We mapped the Magellan mutation to the Phr1 gene encoding a large multidomain E3 ubiquitin ligase. Phr1 is associated with the microtubule cytoskeleton within neurons and selectively localizes to axons but is excluded from growth cones. Motor and sensory neurons from Magellan mutants display abnormal morphologies due to a breakdown in the polarized distribution of components that segregate between axons and growth cones. The Magellan phenotype can be reversed by stabilizing microtubules with taxol or inhibiting p38MAPK activity. Thus, efficacious pathfinding requires Phr1 activity for coordinating the cytoskeletal organization that distinguishes axons from growth cones.

  6. Intracellular Transport Dynamics of Endosomes Containing DNA Polyplexes along the Microtubule Network

    PubMed Central

    Kulkarni, Rajan P.; Castelino, Kenneth; Majumdar, Arun; Fraser, Scott E.

    2006-01-01

    We have explored the transport of DNA polyplexes enclosed in endosomes within the cellular environment by multiple particle tracking (MPT). The polyplex-loaded endosomes demonstrate enhanced diffusion at short timescales (t < 7 s) with their mean-square displacement (MSD) 〈Δx(t)2〉 scaling as t1.25. For longer time intervals they exhibit subdiffusive transport and have an MSD scaling as t0.7. This crossover from an enhanced diffusion to a subdiffusive regime can be explained by considering the action of motor proteins that actively transport these endosomes along the cellular microtubule network and the thermal bending modes of the microtubule network itself. PMID:16399838

  7. RAB-11 Permissively Regulates Spindle Alignment by Modulating Metaphase Microtubule Dynamics in Caenorhabditis elegans Early Embryos

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Haining; Squirrell, Jayne M.

    2008-01-01

    Alignment of the mitotic spindle along a preformed axis of polarity is crucial for generating cell diversity in many organisms, yet little is known about the role of the endomembrane system in this process. RAB-11 is a small GTPase enriched in recycling endosomes. When we depleted RAB-11 by RNAi in Caenorhabditis elegans, the spindle of the one-cell embryo failed to align along the axis of polarity in metaphase and underwent violent movements in anaphase. The distance between astral microtubules ends and the anterior cortex was significantly increased in rab-11(RNAi) embryos specifically during metaphase, possibly accounting for the observed spindle alignment defects. Additionally, we found that normal ER morphology requires functional RAB-11, particularly during metaphase. We hypothesize that RAB-11, in conjunction with the ER, acts to regulate cell cycle–specific changes in astral microtubule length to ensure proper spindle alignment in Caenorhabditis elegans early embryos. PMID:18385514

  8. Tracking the biogenesis and inheritance of subpellicular microtubule in Trypanosoma brucei with inducible YFP-α-tubulin.

    PubMed

    Sheriff, Omar; Lim, Li-Fern; He, Cynthia Y

    2014-01-01

    The microtubule cytoskeleton forms the most prominent structural system in Trypanosoma brucei, undergoing extensive modifications during the cell cycle. Visualization of tyrosinated microtubules leads to a semiconservative mode of inheritance, whereas recent studies employing microtubule plus end tracking proteins have hinted at an asymmetric pattern of cytoskeletal inheritance. To further the knowledge of microtubule synthesis and inheritance during T. brucei cell cycle, the dynamics of the microtubule cytoskeleton was visualized by inducible YFP-α-tubulin expression. During new flagellum/flagellum attachment zone (FAZ) biogenesis and cell growth, YFP-α-tubulin was incorporated mainly between the old and new flagellum/FAZ complexes. Cytoskeletal modifications at the posterior end of the cells were observed with EB1, a microtubule plus end binding protein, particularly during mitosis. Additionally, the newly formed microtubules segregated asymmetrically, with the daughter cell inheriting the new flagellum/FAZ complex retaining most of the new microtubules. Together, our results suggest an intimate connection between new microtubule formation and new FAZ assembly, consequently leading to asymmetric microtubule inheritance and cell division.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Pressure-induced depolymerization of brain microtubules in vitro.

    PubMed

    Salmon, E D

    1975-09-12

    Microtubules, assembled in vitro from tubulin extracted from rabbit brain, were subjected to changes in hydrostatic pressure (200 to 10,000 pounds per square inch) and temperature (37 degrees to 0 degrees C). Increased pressure, like cooling, reversibly depolymerizes microtubules, as measured by changes in either turbidity, birefringence, or the number of microtubules seen in electron micrographs. The characteristic response of brain microtubules in vitro to pressure is similar to that of mitotic spindle microtubules in vivo.

  13. 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.

  14. Probing Structure and Dynamics of Protein Assemblies by Magic Angle Spinning NMR Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Si; Suiter, Christopher L.; Hou, Guangjin; Zhang, Huilan; Polenova, Tatyana

    2013-01-01

    CONSPECTUS In living organisms, biological molecules often organize into multi-component complexes. Such assemblies consist of various proteins and carry out essential functions, ranging from cell division, transport, and energy transduction to catalysis, signaling, and viral infectivity. To understand the biological functions of these assemblies, in both healthy and disease states, researchers need to study their three-dimensional architecture and molecular dynamics. To date, the large size, the lack of inherent long-range order, and insolubility have made atomic-resolution studies of many protein assemblies challenging or impractical using traditional structural biology methods such as X-ray diffraction and solution NMR spectroscopy. In the past ten years, we have focused our work on the development and application of magic angle spinning solid-state NMR (MAS NMR) methods to characterize large protein assemblies at atomic-level resolution. In this Account, we discuss the rapid progress in the field of MAS NMR spectroscopy, citing work from our laboratory and others on methodological developments that have facilitated the in-depth analysis of biologically important protein assemblies. We emphasize techniques that yield enhanced sensitivity and resolution, such as fast MAS (spinning frequencies of 40 kHz and above) and non-uniform sampling protocols for data acquisition and processing. We also discuss the experiments for gaining distance restraints and for recoupling anisotropic tensorial interactions under fast MAS conditions. We give an overview of sample preparation approaches when working with protein assemblies. Following the overview of contemporary MAS NMR methods, we present case studies into the structure and dynamics of two classes of biological systems under investigation in our laboratory. We will first turn our attention to cytoskeletal microtubule motor proteins including mammalian dynactin and dynein light chain 8. We will then discuss protein

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:26775215

  17. High-resolution Time-lapse Imaging and Automated Analysis of Microtubule Dynamics in Living Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells.

    PubMed

    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

  18. Regulation of Mouse Oocyte Microtubule and Organelle Dynamics by PADI6 and the Cytoplasmic Lattices

    PubMed Central

    Kan, Rui; Yurttas, Piraye; Kim, Boram; Jin, Mei; Wo, Luccie; Lee, Bora; Gosden, Roger; Coonrod, Scott A.

    2010-01-01

    Organelle positioning and movement in oocytes is largely mediated by microtubules (MTs) and their associated motor proteins. While yet to be studied in germ cells, cargo trafficking in somatic cells is also facilitated by specific recognition of acetylated MTs by motor proteins. We have previously shown that oocyte-restricted PADI6 is essential for formation of a novel oocyte-restricted fibrous structure, the cytoplasmic lattices (CPLs). Here, we show that α-tubulin appears to be associated with the PADI6/CPL complex. Next, we demonstrate that organelle positioning and redistribution is defective in PADI6-null oocytes and that alteration of MT polymerization or MT motor activity does not induce organelle redistribution in these oocytes. Finally, we report that levels of acetylated microtubules are dramatically suppressed in the cytoplasm of PADI6-null oocytes, suggesting that the observed organelle redistribution failure is due to defects in stable cytoplasmic MTs. These results demonstrate that the PADI6/CPL superstructure plays a key role in regulating MT-mediated organelle positioning and movement. PMID:21147087

  19. Structure and Dynamics of the Kinesin–Microtubule Interaction Revealed by Fluorescence Polarization Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Sosa, Hernando; Asenjo, Ana B.; Peterman, Erwin J.G.

    2010-01-01

    Fluorescence polarization microscopy (FPM) is the analysis of the polarization of light in a fluorescent microscope in order to determine the angular orientation and rotational mobility of fluorescent molecules. Key advantages of FPM, relative to other structural analysis techniques, are that it allows the detection of conformational changes of fluorescently labeled macromolecules in real time in physiological conditions and at the single-molecule level. In this chapter we describe in detail the FPM experimental set-up and analysis methods we have used to investigate structural intermediates of the motor protein kinesin-1 associated with its walking mechanism along microtubules. We also briefly describe additional FPM methods that have been used to investigate other macromolecular complexes. PMID:20466150

  20. Wnt5a Evokes Cortical Axon Outgrowth and Repulsive Guidance by Tau Mediated Reorganization of Dynamic Microtubules

    PubMed Central

    Li, Li; Fothergill, Thomas; Hutchins, B Ian; Dent, Erik W; Kali, Katherine

    2014-01-01

    Wnt5a guides cortical axons in vivo by repulsion and in vitro evokes cortical axon outgrowth and repulsion by calcium signaling pathways. Here we examined the role of microtubule (MT) reorganization and dynamics in mediating effects of Wnt5a. Inhibiting MT dynamics with nocodazole and taxol abolished Wnt5a evoked axon outgrowth and repulsion of cultured hamster cortical neurons. EGFP-EB3 labeled dynamic MTs visualized in live cell imaging revealed that growth cone MTs align with the nascent axon. Wnt5a increased axon outgrowth by reorganization of dynamic MTs from a splayed to a bundled array oriented in the direction of axon extension, and Wnt5a gradients induced asymmetric redistribution of dynamic MTs toward the far side of the growth cone. Wnt5a gradients also evoked calcium transients that were highest on the far side of the growth cone. Calcium signaling and the reorganization of dynamic MTs could be linked by tau, a MT associated protein that stabilizes MTs. Tau is phosphorylated at the Ser 262 MT binding site by CaMKII, and is required for Wnt5a induced axon outgrowth and repulsive turning. Phosphorylation of tau at Ser262 is known to detach tau from MTs to increase their dynamics. Using transfection with tau constructs mutated at Ser262, we found that this site is required for the growth and guidance effects of Wnt5a by mediating reorganization of dynamic MTs in cortical growth cones. Moreover, CaMKII inhibition also prevents MT reorganization required for Wnt5a induced axon outgrowth, thus linking Wnt/calcium signaling to tau mediated MT reorganization during growth cone behaviors. © 2013 The Authors. Developmental Neurobiology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Develop Neurobiol 74: 797–817, 2014 PMID:23818454

  1. A Toll receptor-FoxO pathway represses Pavarotti/MKLP1 to promote microtubule dynamics in motoneurons.

    PubMed

    McLaughlin, Colleen N; Nechipurenko, Inna V; Liu, Nan; Broihier, Heather T

    2016-08-15

    FoxO proteins are evolutionarily conserved regulators of neuronal structure and function, yet the neuron-specific pathways within which they act are poorly understood. To elucidate neuronal FoxO function in Drosophila melanogaster, we first screened for FoxO's upstream regulators and downstream effectors. On the upstream side, we present genetic and molecular pathway analyses indicating that the Toll-6 receptor, the Toll/interleukin-1 receptor domain adaptor dSARM, and FoxO function in a linear pathway. On the downstream side, we find that Toll-6-FoxO signaling represses the mitotic kinesin Pavarotti/MKLP1 (Pav-KLP), which itself attenuates microtubule (MT) dynamics. We next probed in vivo functions for this novel pathway and found that it is essential for axon transport and structural plasticity in motoneurons. We demonstrate that elevated expression of Pav-KLP underlies transport and plasticity phenotypes in pathway mutants, indicating that Toll-6-FoxO signaling promotes MT dynamics by limiting Pav-KLP expression. In addition to uncovering a novel molecular pathway, our work reveals an unexpected function for dynamic MTs in enabling rapid activity-dependent structural plasticity. PMID:27502486

  2. The metaphase and anaphase dynamics is dominated by the physical and mechanical properties of both microtubules and chromatin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grisa, Luca; Kilfoil, Maria

    2012-02-01

    One of the most interesting problems in biophysics involves the physical separation of chromosomes and the mechanical properties of both microtubules (MT's) and chromatin. This process involves the polymers MT's and chromatin, each of which has unique physical properties that have been determined extensively in vitro. Of further interest for physicists is the out-of-equilibrium nature of this process involving several force generators from motor proteins and MT depolymerization. We follow the dynamics of spindle pole bodies and centromeres of yeast cells during mitosis in three-dimensions at high spatial resolution. Using this novel approach, we are able to observe spindle oscillations during metaphase, and the three-dimensional dynamics of spindle elongation and chromosome separation during anaphase. With these data, we can separate the dynamics caused by MT depolymerization from those caused by the motors. This allows us to determine the depolymerization rate of the kinetochore MT's in vivo. Furthermore, we determine the temporal profile of the chromatin extension during anaphase we combine with the known force-extension curve of chromatin in vitro, to infer the expected force-velocity curve of the collective motors in vivo, which has never been measured in vivo or in vitro.

  3. Assembly, maintenance and dynamics of peroxisomes.

    PubMed

    Erdmann, Ralf

    2016-05-01

    Peroxisomes are ubiquitous organelles of eukaryotic cells, and it is becoming increasingly clear that the biogenesis of these multi-purpose organelles is more complex than initially anticipated. Along this line, peroxisomes exhibit features, which clearly distinguish them from other cellular organelles, like their ability to import folded proteins or their capability to form de novo. However, further insight into the cellular life of peroxisomes also revealed features that they share with other organelles, such as organelle fission or regulated degradation by autophagy, that are similar for peroxisomes, mitochondria and chloroplasts. This special issue highlights recent progress in the understanding of the biogenesis of peroxisomes with emphasis on the assembly, maintenance and dynamics of the organelles. In particular, it focuses on the following areas: (i) topogenesis of peroxisomal matrix proteins as well as the structure and function of peroxisomal protein import machineries. (ii) Peroxisomal targeting of membrane proteins and de novo formation of peroxisomes. (iii) Maintenance of peroxisomes in health and disease. (iv) Proliferation and regulated degradation of peroxisomes. (v) Motility and inheritance of peroxisomes. (vi) Role of peroxisomes in the cellular context.

  4. Actin- and microtubule-dependent regulation of Golgi morphology by FHDC1

    PubMed Central

    Copeland, Sarah J.; Thurston, Susan F.; Copeland, John W.

    2016-01-01

    The Golgi apparatus is the central hub of intracellular trafficking and consists of tethered stacks of cis, medial, and trans cisternae. In mammalian cells, these cisternae are stitched together as a perinuclear Golgi ribbon, which is required for the establishment of cell polarity and normal subcellular organization. We previously identified FHDC1 (also known as INF1) as a unique microtubule-binding member of the formin family of cytoskeletal-remodeling proteins. We show here that endogenous FHDC1 regulates Golgi ribbon formation and has an apparent preferential association with the Golgi-derived microtubule network. Knockdown of FHDC1 expression results in defective Golgi assembly and suggests a role for FHDC1 in maintenance of the Golgi-derived microtubule network. Similarly, overexpression of FHDC1 induces dispersion of the Golgi ribbon into functional ministacks. This effect is independent of centrosome-derived microtubules and instead likely requires the interaction between the FHDC1 microtubule-binding domain and the Golgi-derived microtubule network. These effects also depend on the interaction between the FHDC1 FH2 domain and the actin cytoskeleton. Thus our results suggest that the coordination of actin and microtubule dynamics by FHDC1 is required for normal Golgi ribbon formation. PMID:26564798

  5. TTBK2 with EB1/3 regulates microtubule dynamics in migrating cells through KIF2A phosphorylation

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Takashi; Kakeno, Mai; Matsui, Toshinori; Sugiyama, Ikuko; Arimura, Nariko; Matsuzawa, Kenji; Shirahige, Aya; Ishidate, Fumiyoshi; Nishioka, Tomoki; Taya, Shinichiro; Hoshino, Mikio

    2015-01-01

    Microtubules (MTs) play critical roles in various cellular events, including cell migration. End-binding proteins (EBs) accumulate at the ends of growing MTs and regulate MT end dynamics by recruiting other plus end–tracking proteins (+TIPs). However, how EBs contribute to MT dynamics through +TIPs remains elusive. We focused on tau-tubulin kinase 2 (TTBK2) as an EB1/3-binding kinase and confirmed that TTBK2 acted as a +TIP. We identified MT-depolymerizing kinesin KIF2A as a novel substrate of TTBK2. TTBK2 phosphorylated KIF2A at S135 in intact cells in an EB1/3-dependent fashion and inactivated its MT-depolymerizing activity in vitro. TTBK2 depletion reduced MT lifetime (facilitated shrinkage and suppressed rescue) and impaired HeLa cell migration, and these phenotypes were partially restored by KIF2A co-depletion. Expression of nonphosphorylatable KIF2A, but not wild-type KIF2A, reduced MT lifetime and slowed down the cell migration. These findings indicate that TTBK2 with EB1/3 phosphorylates KIF2A and antagonizes KIF2A-induced depolymerization at MT plus ends for cell migration. PMID:26323690

  6. Control of microtubule dynamics by oncoprotein 18: dissection of the regulatory role of multisite phosphorylation during mitosis.

    PubMed Central

    Larsson, N; Marklund, U; Gradin, H M; Brattsand, G; Gullberg, M

    1997-01-01

    Oncoprotein 18 (Op18; also termed p19, 19K, metablastin, stathmin, and prosolin) is a conserved protein that regulates microtubule (MT) dynamics. Op18 is multisite phosphorylated on four Ser residues during mitosis; two of these Ser residues, Ser-25 and Ser-38, are targets for cyclin-dependent protein kinases (CDKs), and the other two Ser residues, Ser-16 and Ser-63, are targets for an unidentified protein kinase. Mutations of the two CDK sites have recently been shown to result in a mitotic block caused by destabilization of MTs. To understand the role of Op18 in regulation of MT dynamics during mitosis, in this study we dissected the functions of all four phosphorylation sites of Op18 by combining genetic, morphological, and biochemical analyses. The data show that all four phosphorylation sites are involved in switching off Op18 activity during mitosis, an event that appears to be essential for formation of the spindle during metaphase. However, the mechanisms by which specific sites down-regulate Op18 activity differ. Hence, dual phosphorylation on the CDK sites Ser-25 and Ser-38 appears to be required for phosphorylation of Ser-16 and Ser-63; however, by themselves, the CDK sites are of only minor importance in direct regulation of Op18 activity. Subsequent phosphorylation of either Ser-16, Ser-63, or both efficiently switches off Op18 activity. PMID:9271428

  7. Microparticle assembly and contact line dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghosh, Moniraj

    This thesis addresses three topics. First, microparticle assembly on solid surfaces from an evaporative suspension is studied. It is well known that microparticles collect near three phase contact lines owing to evaporative fluxes. In a dip coating configuration, if the evaporative flux and plate withdrawal velocity U are matched, large colloidal crystals form. Here, I investigate the consequences of varying the plate withdrawal rate, and find that periodic striped patterns emerge which depend strongly on U. The stripes form when three phase contact lines "jump", or recede rapidly, upon detaching from well-wet particle aggregates on less wet substrates. Stripe width, spacing and height change abruptly at a transition velocity which can be related to a Landau-Levich transition in the flow. The second part of my thesis is a numerical simulation of drop spreading and retraction as a function of drop scale. The drop moves over a thin liquid film, and drop motion is initiated by an impulsive change in surface wettability. Owing to the presence of the film, these simulations require no closure condition at the 'apparent' contact line. Rather, relationships emerge between the contact line velocity and the dynamic contact angle. For nanoscopic drops, molecular effects dominate the drop motion. For drops an order of magnitude larger than the thin film, regimes emerge in which drops move according to Tanner's law, a relationship derived for macroscopic drops. Drop retraction is considerably more rapid than spreading owing to rapid dewetting events near the contact line. This thesis concludes with a discussion of a technique for creating multifunctional surfaces presenting discrete patches of several proteins. The technique relies on microcontact printing (microCP) to define active regions, and the use of a microfluidics device to deliver proteins to those regions. The surfaces are used to capture cells from a suspension, to sort cells from a mixed suspension, and to study

  8. Phosphorylation of β-Tubulin by the Down Syndrome Kinase, Minibrain/DYRK1a, Regulates Microtubule Dynamics and Dendrite Morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Ori-McKenney, Kassandra M; McKenney, Richard J; Huang, Hector H; Li, Tun; Meltzer, Shan; Jan, Lily Yeh; Vale, Ronald D; Wiita, Arun P; Jan, Yuh Nung

    2016-05-01

    Dendritic arborization patterns are consistent anatomical correlates of genetic disorders such as Down syndrome (DS) and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). In a screen for abnormal dendrite development, we identified Minibrain (MNB)/DYRK1a, a kinase implicated in DS and ASDs, as a regulator of the microtubule cytoskeleton. We show that MNB is necessary to establish the length and cytoskeletal composition of terminal dendrites by controlling microtubule growth. Altering MNB levels disrupts dendrite morphology and perturbs neuronal electrophysiological activity, resulting in larval mechanosensation defects. Using in vivo and in vitro approaches, we uncover a molecular pathway whereby direct phosphorylation of β-tubulin by MNB inhibits tubulin polymerization, a function that is conserved for mammalian DYRK1a. Our results demonstrate that phosphoregulation of microtubule dynamics by MNB/DYRK1a is critical for dendritic patterning and neuronal function, revealing a previously unidentified mode of posttranslational microtubule regulation in neurons and uncovering a conserved pathway for a DS- and ASD-associated kinase. PMID:27112495

  9. Determination of the size and chemical nature of the stabilizing "cap" at microtubule ends using modulators of polymerization dynamics.

    PubMed

    Panda, Dulal; Miller, Herbert P; Wilson, Leslie

    2002-02-01

    The size and chemical nature of the stabilizing cap at microtubule (MT) ends has remained enigmatic, in large part because it has been difficult to detect and measure it directly. By pulsing steady-state suspensions of bovine brain microtubules (MTs) with trace quantities of [gamma(32)P]GTP and sedimenting the MTs through 50% sucrose cushions to reduce background contaminating (32)P to negligible levels, we were able to detect a small number of (32)P molecules that remain stably bound to the MTs (a mean of 25.5 molecules of (32)P per MT). Analysis of the chemical form of the stably bound (32)P by thin-layer chromatography revealed that it was all (32)P-orthophosphate ((32)P(i)). The (32)P(i) was determined to be located at the MT ends because colchicine and vinblastine, drugs that suppress tubulin incorporation into the MT by binding specifically at MT ends, reduced the quantity of the stably bound (32)P(i). Taxol, a drug that stabilizes MT dynamics by binding along the MT surface rather than at the ends, did not affect the stoichiometry of the bound (32)P(i). If the bound (32)P is equally distributed between the two ends, each end would contain 12-13 molecules of (32)P(i). Beryllium fluoride (BeF(3-)) and aluminum fluoride (AlF(4-)), inorganic phosphate analogues, suppressed the dynamic instability behavior of individual MTs and, thus, stabilized them. For example, BeF(3-) (70 microM) reduced the MT shortening rate by 2.5-fold and decreased the transition frequency from the growing or the attenuated state to rapid shortening by 2-fold. The data support the hypothesis that the stabilizing cap at MT ends consists of a single layer of tubulin GDP-P(i) subunits. The data also support the hypothesis that the mechanism giving rise to the destabilized GDP-tubulin core involves release of P(i) rather than hydrolysis of the GTP. PMID:11814355

  10. Role of Epac1, an Exchange Factor for Rap GTPases, in Endothelial Microtubule Dynamics and Barrier Function

    PubMed Central

    Sehrawat, Seema; Cullere, Xavier; Patel, Sunita; Italiano, Joseph

    2008-01-01

    Rap1 GTPase activation by its cAMP responsive nucleotide exchange factor Epac present in endothelial cells increases endothelial cell barrier function with an associated increase in cortical actin. Here, Epac1 was shown to be responsible for these actin changes and to colocalize with microtubules in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Importantly, Epac activation with a cAMP analogue, 8-pCPT-2′O-Me-cAMP resulted in a net increase in the length of microtubules. This did not require cell–cell interactions or Rap GTPase activation, and it was attributed to microtubule growth as assessed by time-lapse microscopy of human umbilical vein endothelial cell expressing fluorophore-linked microtubule plus-end marker end-binding protein 3. An intact microtubule network was required for Epac-mediated changes in cortical actin and barrier enhancement, but it was not required for Rap activation. Finally, Epac activation reversed microtubule-dependent increases in vascular permeability induced by tumor necrosis factor-α and transforming growth factor-β. Thus, Epac can directly promote microtubule growth in endothelial cells. This, together with Rap activation leads to an increase in cortical actin, which has functional significance for vascular permeability. PMID:18172027

  11. The hepatitis E virus open reading frame 3 product interacts with microtubules and interferes with their dynamics.

    PubMed

    Kannan, Harilakshmi; Fan, Sumin; Patel, Deendayal; Bossis, Ioannis; Zhang, Yan-Jin

    2009-07-01

    Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is the causative agent of hepatitis E, a major form of viral hepatitis in developing countries. The open reading frame 3 (ORF3) of HEV encodes a phosphoprotein with a molecular mass of approximately 13 kDa (hereinafter called vp13). vp13 is essential for establishing HEV infections in animals, yet its exact functions are still obscure. Our current study found evidence showing interaction between vp13 and microtubules. Live-cell confocal fluorescence microscopy revealed both filamentous and punctate distribution patterns of vp13 in cells transfected with recombinant ORF3 reporter plasmids. The filamentous pattern of vp13 was altered by a microtubule-destabilizing drug. The vp13 expression led to elevation of acetylated alpha-tubulin, indicating increased microtubule stability. Its association with microtubules was further supported by its presence in microtubule-containing pellets in microtubule isolation assays. Exposure of these pellets to a high-salt buffer caused release of the vp13 to the supernatant, suggesting an electrostatic interaction. Inclusion of ATP and GTP in the lysis buffer during microtubule isolation also disrupted the interaction, indicating its sensitivity to the nucleotides. Further assays showed that motor proteins are needed for the vp13 association with the microtubules because disruption of dynein function abolished the vp13 filamentous pattern. Analysis of ORF3 deletion constructs found that both of the N-terminal hydrophobic domains of vp13 are needed for the interaction. Thus, our findings suggest that the vp13 interaction with microtubules might be needed for establishment of an HEV infection. PMID:19369329

  12. AMP Kinase Activation Alters Oxidant-Induced Stress Granule Assembly by Modulating Cell Signaling and Microtubule Organization.

    PubMed

    Mahboubi, Hicham; Koromilas, Antonis E; Stochaj, Ursula

    2016-10-01

    Eukaryotic cells assemble stress granules (SGs) when translation initiation is inhibited. Different cell signaling pathways regulate SG production. Particularly relevant to this process is 5'-AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which functions as a stress sensor and is transiently activated by adverse physiologic conditions. Here, we dissected the role of AMPK for oxidant-induced SG formation. Our studies identified multiple steps of de novo SG assembly that are controlled by the kinase. Single-cell analyses demonstrated that pharmacological AMPK activation prior to stress exposure changed SG properties, because the granules became more abundant and smaller in size. These altered SG characteristics correlated with specific changes in cell survival, cell signaling, cytoskeletal organization, and the abundance of translation initiation factors. Specifically, AMPK activation increased stress-induced eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF) 2α phosphorylation and reduced the concentration of eIF4F complex subunits eIF4G and eIF4E. At the same time, the abundance of histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) was diminished. This loss of HDAC6 was accompanied by increased acetylation of α-tubulin on Lys40. Pharmacological studies further confirmed this novel AMPK-HDAC6 interplay and its importance for SG biology. Taken together, we provide mechanistic insights into the regulation of SG formation. We propose that AMPK activation stimulates oxidant-induced SG formation but limits their fusion into larger granules. PMID:27430620

  13. Engineering oscillating microtubule bundles.

    PubMed

    Sanchez, Timothy; Dogic, Zvonimir

    2013-01-01

    From motility of simple protists to determining the handedness of complex vertebrates, highly conserved eukaryotic cilia and flagella are essential for the reproduction and survival of many biological organisms. Despite extensive studies, the exact mechanism by which individual components coordinate their activity to produce ciliary beating patterns remains unknown. We describe a novel approach toward studying ciliary beating. Instead of deconstructing a fully functional organelle from the top-down, we describe a process by which synthetic cilia-like structures are assembled from the bottom-up and we present methods for engineering such structures. We demonstrate how simple mixtures of microtubules, kinesin clusters, and a bundling agent assemble into structures that produce spontaneous oscillations, suggesting that self-organized beating may be a generic feature of internally driven bundles. Synthetic cilia-like structures can be assembled at high density, leading to synchronization and metachronal traveling waves, reminiscent of the waves seen in biological ciliary fields.

  14. Dynamics of magnetic assembly of binary colloidal structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nogueras-Lara, F.; Rodríguez-Arco, L.; López-López, M. T.

    2015-08-01

    Magnetic field (MF)-directed assembly of colloidal particles provides a step towards the bottom-up manufacturing of smart materials whose properties can be precisely modulated by non-contact forces. Here, we study the MF-directed assembly in binary colloids made up of strong ferromagnetic and diamagnetic microparticles dispersed in ferrofluids. We present observations of the aggregation of pairs and small groups of particles to build equilibrium assemblies. We also develop a theoretical model capable of solving the aggregation dynamics and predicting the particle trajectories, a key factor to understand the physics governing the MF-directed assembly.

  15. The microtubules dance and the spindle poles swing.

    PubMed

    Munro, Edwin

    2007-05-01

    Using live imaging and computer simulation, Kozlowski et al. (2007) show that an interplay between spindle pole movements, microtubule dynamics, and microtubule bending contribute to asymmetric spindle placement in the C. elegans embryo. PMID:17482539

  16. Tubulin Bond Energies and Microtubule Biomechanics Determined from Nanoindentation in Silico

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Microtubules, the primary components of the chromosome segregation machinery, are stabilized by longitudinal and lateral noncovalent bonds between the tubulin subunits. However, the thermodynamics of these bonds and the microtubule physicochemical properties are poorly understood. Here, we explore the biomechanics of microtubule polymers using multiscale computational modeling and nanoindentations in silico of a contiguous microtubule fragment. A close match between the simulated and experimental force–deformation spectra enabled us to correlate the microtubule biomechanics with dynamic structural transitions at the nanoscale. Our mechanical testing revealed that the compressed MT behaves as a system of rigid elements interconnected through a network of lateral and longitudinal elastic bonds. The initial regime of continuous elastic deformation of the microtubule is followed by the transition regime, during which the microtubule lattice undergoes discrete structural changes, which include first the reversible dissociation of lateral bonds followed by irreversible dissociation of the longitudinal bonds. We have determined the free energies of dissociation of the lateral (6.9 ± 0.4 kcal/mol) and longitudinal (14.9 ± 1.5 kcal/mol) tubulin–tubulin bonds. These values in conjunction with the large flexural rigidity of tubulin protofilaments obtained (18,000–26,000 pN·nm2) support the idea that the disassembling microtubule is capable of generating a large mechanical force to move chromosomes during cell division. Our computational modeling offers a comprehensive quantitative platform to link molecular tubulin characteristics with the physiological behavior of microtubules. The developed in silico nanoindentation method provides a powerful tool for the exploration of biomechanical properties of other cytoskeletal and multiprotein assemblies. PMID:25389565

  17. Tubulin bond energies and microtubule biomechanics determined from nanoindentation in silico.

    PubMed

    Kononova, Olga; Kholodov, Yaroslav; Theisen, Kelly E; Marx, Kenneth A; Dima, Ruxandra I; Ataullakhanov, Fazly I; Grishchuk, Ekaterina L; Barsegov, Valeri

    2014-12-10

    Microtubules, the primary components of the chromosome segregation machinery, are stabilized by longitudinal and lateral noncovalent bonds between the tubulin subunits. However, the thermodynamics of these bonds and the microtubule physicochemical properties are poorly understood. Here, we explore the biomechanics of microtubule polymers using multiscale computational modeling and nanoindentations in silico of a contiguous microtubule fragment. A close match between the simulated and experimental force-deformation spectra enabled us to correlate the microtubule biomechanics with dynamic structural transitions at the nanoscale. Our mechanical testing revealed that the compressed MT behaves as a system of rigid elements interconnected through a network of lateral and longitudinal elastic bonds. The initial regime of continuous elastic deformation of the microtubule is followed by the transition regime, during which the microtubule lattice undergoes discrete structural changes, which include first the reversible dissociation of lateral bonds followed by irreversible dissociation of the longitudinal bonds. We have determined the free energies of dissociation of the lateral (6.9 ± 0.4 kcal/mol) and longitudinal (14.9 ± 1.5 kcal/mol) tubulin-tubulin bonds. These values in conjunction with the large flexural rigidity of tubulin protofilaments obtained (18,000-26,000 pN·nm(2)) support the idea that the disassembling microtubule is capable of generating a large mechanical force to move chromosomes during cell division. Our computational modeling offers a comprehensive quantitative platform to link molecular tubulin characteristics with the physiological behavior of microtubules. The developed in silico nanoindentation method provides a powerful tool for the exploration of biomechanical properties of other cytoskeletal and multiprotein assemblies.

  18. Root-secreted allelochemical in the noxious weed Phragmites australis deploys a reactive oxygen species response and microtubule assembly disruption to execute rhizotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Rudrappa, Thimmaraju; Bonsall, Justin; Gallagher, John L; Seliskar, Denise M; Bais, Harsh P

    2007-10-01

    Phragmites australis is considered the most invasive plant in marsh and wetland communities in the eastern United States. Although allelopathy has been considered as a possible displacing mechanism in P. australis, there has been minimal success in characterizing the responsible allelochemical. We tested the occurrence of root-derived allelopathy in the invasiveness of P. australis. To this end, root exudates of two P. australis genotypes, BB (native) and P38 (an exotic) were tested for phytotoxicity on different plant species. The treatment of the susceptible plants with P. australis root exudates resulted in acute rhizotoxicity. It is interesting to note that the root exudates of P38 were more effective in causing root death in susceptible plants compared to the native BB exudates. The active ingredient in the P. australis exudates was identified as 3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoic acid (gallic acid). We tested the phytotoxic efficacy of gallic acid on various plant systems, including the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Most tested plants succumbed to the gallic acid treatment with the exception of P. australis itself. Mechanistically, gallic acid treatment generated elevated levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the treated plant roots. Furthermore, the triggered ROS mediated the disruption of the root architecture of the susceptible plants by damaging the microtubule assembly. The study also highlights the persistence of the exuded gallic acid in P. australis's rhizosphere and its inhibitory effects against A. thaliana in the soil. In addition, gallic acid demonstrated an inhibitory effect on Spartina alterniflora, one of the salt marsh species it successfully invades.

  19. Root-secreted allelochemical in the noxious weed Phragmites australis deploys a reactive oxygen species response and microtubule assembly disruption to execute rhizotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Rudrappa, Thimmaraju; Bonsall, Justin; Gallagher, John L; Seliskar, Denise M; Bais, Harsh P

    2007-10-01

    Phragmites australis is considered the most invasive plant in marsh and wetland communities in the eastern United States. Although allelopathy has been considered as a possible displacing mechanism in P. australis, there has been minimal success in characterizing the responsible allelochemical. We tested the occurrence of root-derived allelopathy in the invasiveness of P. australis. To this end, root exudates of two P. australis genotypes, BB (native) and P38 (an exotic) were tested for phytotoxicity on different plant species. The treatment of the susceptible plants with P. australis root exudates resulted in acute rhizotoxicity. It is interesting to note that the root exudates of P38 were more effective in causing root death in susceptible plants compared to the native BB exudates. The active ingredient in the P. australis exudates was identified as 3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoic acid (gallic acid). We tested the phytotoxic efficacy of gallic acid on various plant systems, including the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Most tested plants succumbed to the gallic acid treatment with the exception of P. australis itself. Mechanistically, gallic acid treatment generated elevated levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the treated plant roots. Furthermore, the triggered ROS mediated the disruption of the root architecture of the susceptible plants by damaging the microtubule assembly. The study also highlights the persistence of the exuded gallic acid in P. australis's rhizosphere and its inhibitory effects against A. thaliana in the soil. In addition, gallic acid demonstrated an inhibitory effect on Spartina alterniflora, one of the salt marsh species it successfully invades. PMID:17899282

  20. EXTRACELLULAR MICROTUBULES

    PubMed Central

    Bouck, G. Benjamin

    1969-01-01

    Mastigonemes (Flimmer) from the sperm of Ascophyllum and Fucus were found to consist of a tripartite structure—a ca. 2000-A tapered basal region, a closed microtubular shaft, and a group of terminal filaments. Each of these regions appears to be constructed of globular subunits with a center-to-center distance of about 45 A. The mastigoneme microtubule is of smaller diameter (170–190 A) than cytoplasmic microtubules in these or other plant cells. During the initial stages of flagellar ontogeny, structures similar to mastigonemes (presumptive mastigonemes) are found within membrane-limited sacs in the cytoplasm or within the perinuclear space. Mastigonemes at this time are generally not found on the flagellar surface. Later, when the anterior flagellum acquires mastigonemes, the presumptive mastigonemes are absent from the cytoplasm. The regularity of attachment of mastigonemes to the flagellar surface suggests that specific attachment sites are constructed on the plasma membrane during flagellar ontogeny. No evidence for penetration of the mastigoneme through the plasma membrane was obtained. The origin and structure of mastigonemes are discussed in relation to reports of the origin and structure of other microtubular systems. PMID:5812471

  1. Tau interaction with microtubules in vivo.

    PubMed

    Samsonov, Andrey; Yu, Jiang-Zhou; Rasenick, Mark; Popov, Sergey V

    2004-12-01

    Tau is a major microtubule-associated protein which induces bundling and stabilization of axonal microtubules (MTs). To investigate the interaction of tau with MTs in living cells, we expressed GFP-tau fusion protein in cultured Xenopus embryo neurons and performed time-lapse imaging of tau-labeled MTs. Tau uniformly labeled individual MTs regardless of their assembly/disassembly status and location along the axon. Photobleaching experiments indicated that interaction of tau with MTs is very dynamic, with a half-time of fluorescence recovery of the order of 3 seconds. Treatment of cells with taxol, a drug that suppresses MT dynamics, rapidly induced detachment of tau from MTs. Although binding of tau to straight MTs was uniform, there was a heightened concentration of tau at the sites of high MT curvature. Our results suggest that dynamic interaction of tau with MTs may modify local mechanical properties of individual MTs and play a crucial role in the remodeling of the MT cytoskeleton during neuronal plasticity.

  2. External electric field effects on the mechanical properties of the αβ-tubulin dimer of microtubules: a molecular dynamics study.

    PubMed

    Saeidi, H R; Lohrasebi, A; Mahnam, K

    2014-08-01

    The mechanical properties of the αβ-tubulin dimer of microtubules was modeled by using the molecular dynamics (MD) simulation method. The effect on the mechanical properties of the dimer of the existence and nonexistence of an applied electric field, either constant or periodic, was studied. Since there are charged or polar groups in the dimer structure, the electric field can interact with the dimer. The elastic constant and Young's modulus of the dimer were decreased when the dimer was exposed to a constant electric field of 0.03 V/nm. Furthermore, applying an oscillating electric field in the 1 GHz range to the dimer increased the elastic constant and Young's modulus of the dimer. These parameters were related to dimer rigidity and, consequently, in this frequency range, the application of electric fields may affect the function of microtubules.

  3. Rigidity of microtubules is increased by stabilizing agents

    PubMed Central

    1995-01-01

    Microtubules are rigid polymers that contribute to the static mechanical properties of cells. Because microtubules are dynamic structures whose polymerization is regulated during changes in cell shape, we have asked whether the mechanical properties of microtubules might also be modulated. We measured the flexural rigidity, or bending stiffness, of individual microtubules under a number of different conditions that affect the stability of microtubules against depolymerization. The flexural rigidity of microtubules polymerized with the slowly hydrolyzable nucleotide analogue guanylyl-(alpha, beta)- methylene-diphosphonate was 62 +/- 9 x 10(-24) Nm2 (weighted mean +/- SEM); that of microtubules stabilized with tau protein was 34 +/- 3 x 10(-24) Nm2; and that of microtubules stabilized with the antimitotic drug taxol was 32 +/- 2 x 10(-24) Nm2. For comparison, microtubules that were capped to prevent depolymerization, but were not otherwise stabilized, had a flexural rigidity of 26 +/- 2 x 10(-24) Nm2. Decreasing the temperature from 37 degrees C to approximately 25 degrees C, a condition that makes microtubules less stable, decreased the stiffness of taxol-stabilized microtubules by one-third. We thus find that the more stable a microtubule, the higher its flexural rigidity. This raises the possibility that microtubule rigidity may be regulated in vivo. In addition, the high rigidity of an unstabilized, GDP-containing microtubule suggests that a large amount of energy could be stored as mechanical strain energy in the protein lattice for subsequent force generation during microtubule depolymerization. PMID:7642706

  4. Computing Nonequilibrium Conformational Dynamics of Structured Nucleic Acid Assemblies.

    PubMed

    Sedeh, Reza Sharifi; Pan, Keyao; Adendorff, Matthew Ralph; Hallatschek, Oskar; Bathe, Klaus-Jürgen; Bathe, Mark

    2016-01-12

    Synthetic nucleic acids can be programmed to form precise three-dimensional structures on the nanometer-scale. These thermodynamically stable complexes can serve as structural scaffolds to spatially organize functional molecules including multiple enzymes, chromophores, and force-sensing elements with internal dynamics that include substrate reaction-diffusion, excitonic energy transfer, and force-displacement response that often depend critically on both the local and global conformational dynamics of the nucleic acid assembly. However, high molecular weight assemblies exhibit long time-scale and large length-scale motions that cannot easily be sampled using all-atom computational procedures such as molecular dynamics. As an alternative, here we present a computational framework to compute the overdamped conformational dynamics of structured nucleic acid assemblies and apply it to a DNA-based tweezer, a nine-layer DNA origami ring, and a pointer-shaped DNA origami object, which consist of 204, 3,600, and over 7,000 basepairs, respectively. The framework employs a mechanical finite element model for the DNA nanostructure combined with an implicit solvent model to either simulate the Brownian dynamics of the assembly or alternatively compute its Brownian modes. Computational results are compared with an all-atom molecular dynamics simulation of the DNA-based tweezer. Several hundred microseconds of Brownian dynamics are simulated for the nine-layer ring origami object to reveal its long time-scale conformational dynamics, and the first ten Brownian modes of the pointer-shaped structure are predicted. PMID:26636351

  5. Structural investigations into the binding mode of novel neolignans Cmp10 and Cmp19 microtubule stabilizers by in silico molecular docking, molecular dynamics, and binding free energy calculations.

    PubMed

    Tripathi, Shubhandra; Kumar, Akhil; Kumar, B Sathish; Negi, Arvind S; Sharma, Ashok

    2016-06-01

    Microtubule stabilizers provide an important mode of treatment via mitotic cell arrest of cancer cells. Recently, we reported two novel neolignans derivatives Cmp10 and Cmp19 showing anticancer activity and working as microtubule stabilizers at micromolar concentrations. In this study, we have explored the binding site, mode of binding, and stabilization by two novel microtubule stabilizers Cmp10 and Cmp19 using in silico molecular docking, molecular dynamics (MD) simulation, and binding free energy calculations. Molecular docking studies were performed to explore the β-tubulin binding site of Cmp10 and Cmp19. Further, MD simulations were used to probe the β-tubulin stabilization mechanism by Cmp10 and Cmp19. Binding affinity was also compared for Cmp10 and Cmp19 using binding free energy calculations. Our docking results revealed that both the compounds bind at Ptxl binding site in β-tubulin. MD simulation studies showed that Cmp10 and Cmp19 binding stabilizes M-loop (Phe272-Val288) residues of β-tubulin and prevent its dynamics, leading to a better packing between α and β subunits from adjacent tubulin dimers. In addition, His229, Ser280 and Gln281, and Arg278, Thr276, and Ser232 were found to be the key amino acid residues forming H-bonds with Cmp10 and Cmp19, respectively. Consequently, binding free energy calculations indicated that Cmp10 (-113.655 kJ/mol) had better binding compared to Cmp19 (-95.216 kJ/mol). This study provides useful insight for better understanding of the binding mechanism of Cmp10 and Cmp19 and will be helpful in designing novel microtubule stabilizers.

  6. Persistence Length of Stable Microtubules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hawkins, Taviare; Mirigian, Matthew; Yasar, M. Selcuk; Ross, Jennifer

    2011-03-01

    Microtubules are a vital component of the cytoskeleton. As the most rigid of the cytoskeleton filaments, they give shape and support to the cell. They are also essential for intracellular traffic by providing the roadways onto which organelles are transported, and they are required to reorganize during cellular division. To perform its function in the cell, the microtubule must be rigid yet dynamic. We are interested in how the mechanical properties of stable microtubules change over time. Some ``stable'' microtubules of the cell are recycled after days, such as in the axons of neurons or the cilia and flagella. We measured the persistence length of freely fluctuating taxol-stabilized microtubules over the span of a week and analyzed them via Fourier decomposition. As measured on a daily basis, the persistence length is independent of the contour length. Although measured over the span of the week, the accuracy of the measurement and the persistence length varies. We also studied how fluorescently-labeling the microtubule affects the persistence length and observed that a higher labeling ratio corresponded to greater flexibility. National Science Foundation Grant No: 0928540 to JLR.

  7. Microtubules self-repair in response to mechanical stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaedel, Laura; John, Karin; Gaillard, Jérémie; Nachury, Maxence V.; Blanchoin, Laurent; Théry, Manuel

    2015-11-01

    Microtubules--which define the shape of axons, cilia and flagella, and provide tracks for intracellular transport--can be highly bent by intracellular forces, and microtubule structure and stiffness are thought to be affected by physical constraints. Yet how microtubules tolerate the vast forces exerted on them remains unknown. Here, by using a microfluidic device, we show that microtubule stiffness decreases incrementally with each cycle of bending and release. Similar to other cases of material fatigue, the concentration of mechanical stresses on pre-existing defects in the microtubule lattice is responsible for the generation of more extensive damage, which further decreases microtubule stiffness. Strikingly, damaged microtubules were able to incorporate new tubulin dimers into their lattice and recover their initial stiffness. Our findings demonstrate that microtubules are ductile materials with self-healing properties, that their dynamics does not exclusively occur at their ends, and that their lattice plasticity enables the microtubules' adaptation to mechanical stresses.

  8. Microtubules self-repair in response to mechanical stress

    PubMed Central

    Schaedel, Laura; John, Karin; Gaillard, Jérémie; Nachury, Maxence V.; Blanchoin, Laurent; Théry, Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Microtubules - which define the shape of axons, cilia and flagella, and provide tracks for intracellular transport - can be highly bent by intracellular forces, and microtubule structure and stiffness are thought to be affected by physical constraints. Yet how microtubules tolerate the vast forces exerted on them remains unknown. Here, by using a microfluidic device, we show that microtubule stiffness decreases incrementally with each cycle of bending and release. Similar to other cases of material fatigue, the concentration of mechanical stresses on pre-existing defects in the microtubule lattice is responsible for the generation of larger damages, which further decrease microtubule stiffness. Strikingly, damaged microtubules were able to incorporate new tubulin dimers into their lattice and recover their initial stiffness. Our findings demonstrate that microtubules are ductile materials with self-healing properties, that their dynamics does not exclusively occur at their ends, and that their lattice plasticity enables the microtubules' adaptation to mechanical stresses. PMID:26343914

  9. Microtubules self-repair in response to mechanical stress.

    PubMed

    Schaedel, Laura; John, Karin; Gaillard, Jérémie; Nachury, Maxence V; Blanchoin, Laurent; Théry, Manuel

    2015-11-01

    Microtubules--which define the shape of axons, cilia and flagella, and provide tracks for intracellular transport--can be highly bent by intracellular forces, and microtubule structure and stiffness are thought to be affected by physical constraints. Yet how microtubules tolerate the vast forces exerted on them remains unknown. Here, by using a microfluidic device, we show that microtubule stiffness decreases incrementally with each cycle of bending and release. Similar to other cases of material fatigue, the concentration of mechanical stresses on pre-existing defects in the microtubule lattice is responsible for the generation of more extensive damage, which further decreases microtubule stiffness. Strikingly, damaged microtubules were able to incorporate new tubulin dimers into their lattice and recover their initial stiffness. Our findings demonstrate that microtubules are ductile materials with self-healing properties, that their dynamics does not exclusively occur at their ends, and that their lattice plasticity enables the microtubules' adaptation to mechanical stresses. PMID:26343914

  10. The microtubule catastrophe promoter Sentin delays stable kinetochore–microtubule attachment in oocytes

    PubMed Central

    Głuszek, A. Agata; Cullen, C. Fiona; Li, Wenjing; Battaglia, Rachel A.; Radford, Sarah J.; Costa, Mariana F.; McKim, Kim S.; Goshima, Gohta

    2015-01-01

    The critical step in meiosis is to attach homologous chromosomes to the opposite poles. In mouse oocytes, stable microtubule end-on attachments to kinetochores are not established until hours after spindle assembly, and phosphorylation of kinetochore proteins by Aurora B/C is responsible for the delay. Here we demonstrated that microtubule ends are actively prevented from stable attachment to kinetochores until well after spindle formation in Drosophila melanogaster oocytes. We identified the microtubule catastrophe-promoting complex Sentin-EB1 as a major factor responsible for this delay. Without this activity, microtubule ends precociously form robust attachments to kinetochores in oocytes, leading to a high proportion of homologous kinetochores stably attached to the same pole. Therefore, regulation of microtubule ends provides an alternative novel mechanism to delay stable kinetochore–microtubule attachment in oocytes. PMID:26668329

  11. Generation of differentially modified microtubules using in vitro enzymatic approaches.

    PubMed

    Vemu, Annapurna; Garnham, Christopher P; Lee, Duck-Yeon; Roll-Mecak, Antonina

    2014-01-01

    Tubulin, the building block of microtubules, is subject to chemically diverse and evolutionarily conserved post-translational modifications that mark microtubules for specific functions in the cell. Here we describe in vitro methods for generating homogenous acetylated, glutamylated, or tyrosinated tubulin and microtubules using recombinantly expressed and purified modification enzymes. The generation of differentially modified microtubules now enables a mechanistic dissection of the effects of tubulin post-translational modifications on the dynamics and mechanical properties of microtubules as well as the behavior of motors and microtubule-associated proteins. PMID:24630106

  12. The Role of Dynein in Microtubule Mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ladd, Tony; Misra, Gaurav; Wu, Jun; Russell, Robert; Lele, Tanmay; Dickinson, Richard

    2012-02-01

    Experiments in Lele's group have shown that microtubules severed by laser ablation do not straighten, as would be expected from the large bending moments along their lengths. Instead, segments near newly created minus ends typically increased in curvature following severing, while segments near new microtubule plus ends depolymerize before any observable change in shape. However, in dynein-inhibited cells, segments near the cut straightened rapidly following severing. These observations suggest that microtubules are subject to significant tangential forces, and that lateral motion of the microtubule is primarily opposed by frictional rather than elastic forces. To interpret the experimental results, we have developed a numerical model for intracellular microtubule mechanics, accounting for dynein-generated forces on the microtubules. We have supplemented the Kirchoff model for an elastic filament with the stochastic growth and collapse of microtubules, and by a model for dynein generated forces. I will present simulations of the dynamics of individual microtubules that show how motor forces result in the localization of short-wavelength buckles near the cell periphery. Our results suggest that microtubule shapes in vivo reflect a dynamic force balance, where bending moments are opposed by dynein-motor forces that include a large effective friction from the stochastic binding and unbinding of the motors. Simulations of the motion of the centrosome are consistent with a mechanism for centrosome centering driven by pulling forces exerted by dynein motors. I will explain how tension on the centrosome can be reconciled with buckled filaments near the cell periphery.

  13. Easy creation of polymeric systems for molecular dynamics with Assemble!

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Degiacomi, Matteo T.; Erastova, Valentina; Wilson, Mark R.

    2016-05-01

    We present Assemble!, a program greatly simplifying the preparation of molecular dynamics simulations of polymeric systems. The program is controlled either via command line or an intuitive Graphical User Interface, and runs on all major operating systems. Assemble! allows the creation of a desired system of polymer chains from constituent monomers, packs the chains into a box according to the required concentration and returns all the files needed for simulation with Gromacs. We illustrate the capabilities of Assemble! by demonstrating the easy preparation of a 300 monomers-long polyisoprene in hexane, and a heterogeneous mixture of polybutadiene.

  14. Microtubule nucleating and severing enzymes for modifying microtubule array organization and cell morphogenesis in response to environmental cues.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Masayoshi

    2015-02-01

    In higher plants, reorientation of cortical microtubule arrays has been postulated to be of importance for modifying cell growth to adapt to environmental conditions. However, the process of microtubule reorientation is largely unknown. Recent genetic and live cell imaging studies of microtubule dynamics shed light on the regulatory mechanisms of microtubule molecular nucleation and severing apparatuses, which are required for array reorientation in response to blue light signaling. Branching nucleation from γ-tubulin complexes creates a small population of discordant microtubules that are acted on by KATANIN-mediated severing in two ways. KATANIN releases microtubules from nucleation sites and rapidly amplifies discordant microtubules by severing at microtubule crossovers. In this review, I focus on the molecular details of these two enzymes, which enable microtubule array transition.

  15. Talin-KANK1 interaction controls the recruitment of cortical microtubule stabilizing complexes to focal adhesions

    PubMed Central

    Bouchet, Benjamin P; Gough, Rosemarie E; Ammon, York-Christoph; van de Willige, Dieudonnée; Post, Harm; Jacquemet, Guillaume; Altelaar, AF Maarten; Heck, Albert JR; Goult, Benjamin T; Akhmanova, Anna

    2016-01-01

    The cross-talk between dynamic microtubules and integrin-based adhesions to the extracellular matrix plays a crucial role in cell polarity and migration. Microtubules regulate the turnover of adhesion sites, and, in turn, focal adhesions promote the cortical microtubule capture and stabilization in their vicinity, but the underlying mechanism is unknown. Here, we show that cortical microtubule stabilization sites containing CLASPs, KIF21A, LL5β and liprins are recruited to focal adhesions by the adaptor protein KANK1, which directly interacts with the major adhesion component, talin. Structural studies showed that the conserved KN domain in KANK1 binds to the talin rod domain R7. Perturbation of this interaction, including a single point mutation in talin, which disrupts KANK1 binding but not the talin function in adhesion, abrogates the association of microtubule-stabilizing complexes with focal adhesions. We propose that the talin-KANK1 interaction links the two macromolecular assemblies that control cortical attachment of actin fibers and microtubules. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18124.001 PMID:27410476

  16. Leiodermatolide, a novel marine natural product, has potent cytotoxic and antimitotic activity against cancer cells, appears to affect microtubule dynamics, and exhibits antitumor activity.

    PubMed

    Guzmán, Esther A; Xu, Qunli; Pitts, Tara P; Mitsuhashi, Kaoru Ogawa; Baker, Cheryl; Linley, Patricia A; Oestreicher, Judy; Tendyke, Karen; Winder, Priscilla L; Suh, Edward M; Wright, Amy E

    2016-11-01

    Pancreatic cancer, the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States, has a negative prognosis because metastasis occurs before symptoms manifest. Leiodermatolide, a polyketide macrolide with antimitotic activity isolated from a deep water sponge of the genus Leiodermatium, exhibits potent and selective cytotoxicity toward the pancreatic cancer cell lines AsPC-1, PANC-1, BxPC-3, and MIA PaCa-2, and potent cytotoxicity against skin, breast and colon cancer cell lines. Induction of apoptosis by leiodermatolide was confirmed in the AsPC-1, BxPC-3 and MIA PaCa-2 cells. Leiodermatolide induces cell cycle arrest but has no effects on in vitro polymerization or depolymerization of tubulin alone, while it enhances polymerization of tubulin containing microtubule associated proteins (MAPs). Observations through confocal microscopy show that leiodermatolide, at low concentrations, causes minimal effects on polymerization or depolymerization of the microtubule network in interphase cells, but disruption of spindle formation in mitotic cells. At higher concentrations, depolymerization of the microtubule network is observed. Visualization of the growing microtubule in HeLa cells expressing GFP-tagged plus end binding protein EB-1 showed that leiodermatolide stopped the polymerization of tubulin. These results suggest that leiodermatolide may affect tubulin dynamics without directly interacting with tubulin and hint at a unique mechanism of action. In a mouse model of metastatic pancreatic cancer, leiodermatolide exhibited significant tumor reduction when compared to gemcitabine and controls. The antitumor activities of leiodermatolide, as well as the proven utility of antimitotic compounds against cancer, make leiodermatolide an interesting compound with potential chemotherapeutic effects that may merit further research. PMID:27376928

  17. Leiodermatolide, a novel marine natural product, has potent cytotoxic and antimitotic activity against cancer cells, appears to affect microtubule dynamics, and exhibits antitumor activity.

    PubMed

    Guzmán, Esther A; Xu, Qunli; Pitts, Tara P; Mitsuhashi, Kaoru Ogawa; Baker, Cheryl; Linley, Patricia A; Oestreicher, Judy; Tendyke, Karen; Winder, Priscilla L; Suh, Edward M; Wright, Amy E

    2016-11-01

    Pancreatic cancer, the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States, has a negative prognosis because metastasis occurs before symptoms manifest. Leiodermatolide, a polyketide macrolide with antimitotic activity isolated from a deep water sponge of the genus Leiodermatium, exhibits potent and selective cytotoxicity toward the pancreatic cancer cell lines AsPC-1, PANC-1, BxPC-3, and MIA PaCa-2, and potent cytotoxicity against skin, breast and colon cancer cell lines. Induction of apoptosis by leiodermatolide was confirmed in the AsPC-1, BxPC-3 and MIA PaCa-2 cells. Leiodermatolide induces cell cycle arrest but has no effects on in vitro polymerization or depolymerization of tubulin alone, while it enhances polymerization of tubulin containing microtubule associated proteins (MAPs). Observations through confocal microscopy show that leiodermatolide, at low concentrations, causes minimal effects on polymerization or depolymerization of the microtubule network in interphase cells, but disruption of spindle formation in mitotic cells. At higher concentrations, depolymerization of the microtubule network is observed. Visualization of the growing microtubule in HeLa cells expressing GFP-tagged plus end binding protein EB-1 showed that leiodermatolide stopped the polymerization of tubulin. These results suggest that leiodermatolide may affect tubulin dynamics without directly interacting with tubulin and hint at a unique mechanism of action. In a mouse model of metastatic pancreatic cancer, leiodermatolide exhibited significant tumor reduction when compared to gemcitabine and controls. The antitumor activities of leiodermatolide, as well as the proven utility of antimitotic compounds against cancer, make leiodermatolide an interesting compound with potential chemotherapeutic effects that may merit further research.

  18. Analysis of microtubule-mediated intracellular viral transport.

    PubMed

    Liu, Chunyong; Liu, Min; Zhou, Jun

    2007-01-01

    Host microtubules and motor proteins are crucial to the intracellular transport of a number of viruses. Disruption of microtubules or suppression of motor functions can remarkably inhibit the movement of viruses in host cells. It is now known that incoming viruses use motor proteins to travel along microtubules from the plasma membrane to the nuclear or perinuclear replication site, whereas progeny viruses depend on microtubules and motors to move from the assembly site to the cell periphery. Here, we describe several major methods for analyzing microtubule-mediated intracellular viral transport, using adenovirus as an example.

  19. Discodermolide interferes with the binding of tau protein to microtubules.

    PubMed

    Kar, Santwana; Florence, Gordon J; Paterson, Ian; Amos, Linda A

    2003-03-27

    We investigated whether discodermolide, a novel antimitotic agent, affects the binding to microtubules of tau protein repeat motifs. Like taxol, the new drug reduces the proportion of tau that pellets with microtubules. Despite their differing structures, discodermolide, taxol and tau repeats all bind to a site on beta-tubulin that lies within the microtubule lumen and is crucial in controlling microtubule assembly. Low concentrations of tau still bind strongly to the outer surfaces of preformed microtubules when the acidic C-terminal regions of at least six tubulin dimers are available for interaction with each tau molecule; otherwise binding is very weak.

  20. Multiscale modeling and simulation of microtubule–motor-protein assemblies

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26764729

  1. Response of shrink fitted assemblies to the dynamic torsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajakumar, D. Ramesh

    2012-05-01

    Product design is mostly centered around design of different contact pairs. Among contact pairs, interference fit pair is widely used. Design of interference fits, involves not only dimensional interference, but also condition of interface between mating surfaces. Factors such as texture of interface, hardness of interface material and also physical properties of contacting materials influence the functional characteristics of interference shrink fitted assemblies. In actual practice most of such joints are subjected to dynamic loading. Data on torsion response is only limited. So that, detailed investigation on the influence of dimensional interference, contact length and interfacial properties (electroless nickel coating) on torsion capacity of interference fitted assemblies has been carried out. The response of interference fitted assemblies to dynamic torsion load has been evaluated, using L-9 Orthogonal array of experimental conditions to bring down the number of experiments. The results are analysed using analysis of variance (ANOVA) to find out the individual effects of parameter on dynamic loading. The Torque load carrying capacity of the shrink fitted assemblies is improved by electroless nickel coating. This could be attributed to the increase in actual contact area and tenacity of Nickel plating and presence of strong molecular bonds between the mating parts chosen for the assemblies. But the selection of interference, contact length and hardness of mating parts play a vital role in deciding the performance of these joints. The results clearly indicate that the dynamic performance of the assemblies could be improved by suitably selecting the materials keeping in mind the above factors. It is also found from the ANOVA results that the assemblies with (hardness) coated interlayer performed better. Interference and contact length also has influence on the strength but in this case their influence is not very significant. An expression is obtained using

  2. Molecular Dynamics in Self-Assembled Monolayers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bochinski, Jason; Stevens, Derrick; Scott, Mary; Guy, Laura; Dedeugd, Casey; Clarke, Laura

    2007-03-01

    Silane self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) are an important tool for both scientific research and technological applications. Despite their widespread use, few experimental investigations have addressed molecular motion within these films, which offer a unique and useful physical system for fundamental scientific studies, such as observing dipolar and other glass transitions in two-dimensions. In addition, relaxations such as ``rotator'' phases where molecular groups rotate in a plane parallel to the surface have been correlated with film conductivity, adhesive, and wetting properties. We utilize surface-sensitive, dielectric relaxation spectroscopy to probe molecular motion as a function of temperature within silane chemistry-based monolayers formed upon interdigitated electrodes. Our latest results exploring a previously published motion as well as comparisons to linear polymer films will be discussed.

  3. The structure of tubulin-binding cofactor A from Leishmania major infers a mode of association during the early stages of microtubule assembly.

    PubMed

    Barrack, Keri L; Fyfe, Paul K; Hunter, William N

    2015-05-01

    Tubulin-binding cofactor A (TBCA) participates in microtubule formation, a key process in eukaryotic biology to create the cytoskeleton. There is little information on how TBCA might interact with β-tubulin en route to microtubule biogenesis. To address this, the protozoan Leishmania major was targeted as a model system. The crystal structure of TBCA and comparisons with three orthologous proteins are presented. The presence of conserved features infers that electrostatic interactions that are likely to involve the C-terminal tail of β-tubulin are key to association. This study provides a reagent and template to support further work in this area.

  4. Dissecting microtubule structures by laser ablation.

    PubMed

    Decker, Franziska; Brugués, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Here, we describe a detailed protocol, based on laser ablation and fluorescence optical microscopy, to measure the microtubule organization in spindles, including microtubule length distribution, polarity, and plus and minus end densities. The method uses the asymmetry in microtubule depolymerization after a cut, where the newly created microtubule plus ends depolymerize all the way to the minus ends, whereas the newly created minus ends remain stable. The protocol described in this chapter is optimized for spindles, but can be easily applied to any microtubule-based structure. The chapter is divided into two parts. First, we provide the theoretical basis for the method. Second, we describe in detail all steps necessary to reconstruct the microtubule organization of a spindle assembled in Xenopus laevis egg extract. Compared to electron microscopy, which in theory can resolve individual microtubules in spindles and provide similar structural information, our method is fast and simple enough to allow for a full quantitative reconstruction of the microtubule organization of several X. laevis spindles—which have volumes tens of thousands of times larger than spindles whose structures have been previously solved by electron microscopy—in a single experimental session, as well as to explore how the architecture of these structures changes in response to biochemical perturbations.

  5. Visualizing and Analyzing Branching Microtubule Nucleation Using Meiotic Xenopus Egg Extracts and TIRF Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    King, Matthew; Petry, Sabine

    2016-01-01

    Mitotic and meiotic spindles consist primarily of microtubules, which originate from centrosomes and within the vicinity of chromatin. Indirect evidence suggested that microtubules also originate throughout the spindle, but the high microtubule density within the spindle precludes the direct observation of this phenomenon. By using meiotic Xenopus laevis egg extract and employing total internal reflection (TIRF) microscopy, microtubule nucleation from preexisting microtubules could be demonstrated and analyzed. Branching microtubule nucleation is an ideal mechanism to assemble and maintain a mitotic spindle, because microtubule numbers are amplified while preserving their polarity. Here, we describe the assays that made these findings possible and the experiments that helped identify the key molecular players involved. PMID:27193844

  6. Visualizing and Analyzing Branching Microtubule Nucleation Using Meiotic Xenopus Egg Extracts and TIRF Microscopy.

    PubMed

    King, Matthew; Petry, Sabine

    2016-01-01

    Mitotic and meiotic spindles consist primarily of microtubules, which originate from centrosomes and within the vicinity of chromatin. Indirect evidence suggested that microtubules also originate throughout the spindle, but the high microtubule density within the spindle precludes the direct observation of this phenomenon. By using meiotic Xenopus laevis egg extract and employing total internal reflection (TIRF) microscopy, microtubule nucleation from preexisting microtubules could be demonstrated and analyzed. Branching microtubule nucleation is an ideal mechanism to assemble and maintain a mitotic spindle, because microtubule numbers are amplified while preserving their polarity. Here, we describe the assays that made these findings possible and the experiments that helped identify the key molecular players involved.

  7. Self-assembly of dynamic orthoester cryptates

    PubMed Central

    Brachvogel, René-Chris; Hampel, Frank; von Delius, Max

    2015-01-01

    The discovery of coronands and cryptands, organic compounds that can accommodate metal ions in a preorganized two- or three-dimensional environment, was a milestone in supramolecular chemistry, leading to countless applications from organic synthesis to metallurgy and medicine. These compounds are typically prepared via multistep organic synthesis and one of their characteristic features is the high stability of their covalent framework. Here we report the use of a dynamic covalent exchange reaction for the one-pot template synthesis of a new class of coronates and cryptates, in which acid-labile O,O,O-orthoesters serve as bridgeheads. In contrast to their classic analogues, the compounds described herein are constitutionally dynamic in the presence of acid and can be induced to release their guest via irreversible deconstruction of the cage. These properties open up a wide range of application opportunities, from systems chemistry to molecular sensing and drug delivery. PMID:25997913

  8. Dynamic, Directed Self-Assembly of Nanoparticles via Toggled Interactions.

    PubMed

    Sherman, Zachary M; Swan, James W

    2016-05-24

    Crystals self-assembled from nanoparticles have useful properties such as optical activity and sensing capability. During fabrication, however, gelation and glassification often leave these materials arrested in defective or disordered metastable states. This is a key difficulty preventing adoption of self-assembled nanoparticle materials at scale. Processes which suppress kinetic arrest and defect formation while accelerating growth of ordered materials are essential for bottom-up approaches to creating nanomaterials. Dynamic, directed self-assembly processes in which the interactions between self-assembling components are actuated temporally offer one promising methodology for accelerating and controlling bottom-up growth of nanostructures. In this article, we show through simulation and theory how time-dependent, periodically toggled interparticle attractions can avoid kinetic barriers and yield well-ordered crystalline domains for a dispersion of nanoparticles interacting via a short-ranged, isotropic potential. The growth mechanism and terminal structure of the dispersion are controlled by parameters of the toggling protocol. This control allows for selection of processes that yield rapid self-assembled, low defect crystals. Although self-assembly via periodically toggled attractions is inherently unsteady and out-of-equilibrium, its outcome is predicted by a first-principles theory of nonequilibrium thermodynamics. The theory necessitates equality of the time average of pressure and chemical potential in coexisting phases of the dispersion. These quantities are evaluated using well known equations of state. The phase behavior predicted by this theory agrees well with measurements made in Brownian dynamics simulations of sedimentation equilibrium and homogeneous nucleation. The theory can easily be extended to model dynamic self-assembly directed by other toggled conservative force fields.

  9. The KLP-7 Residue S546 Is a Putative Aurora Kinase Site Required for Microtubule Regulation at the Centrosome in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Han, Xue; Adames, Kelly; Sykes, Ellen M. E.; Srayko, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Regulation of microtubule dynamics is essential for many cellular processes, including proper assembly and function of the mitotic spindle. The kinesin-13 microtubule-depolymerizing enzymes provide one mechanism to regulate microtubule behaviour temporally and spatially. Vertebrate MCAK locates to chromatin, kinetochores, spindle poles, microtubule tips, and the cytoplasm, implying that the regulation of kinesin-13 activity and subcellular targeting is complex. Phosphorylation of kinesin-13 by Aurora kinase inhibits microtubule depolymerization activity and some Aurora phosphorylation sites on kinesin-13 are required for subcellular localization. Herein, we determine that a C. elegans deletion mutant klp-7(tm2143) causes meiotic and mitotic defects that are consistent with an increase in the amount of microtubules in the cytoplasmic and spindle regions of meiotic embryos, and an increase in microtubules emanating from centrosomes. We show that KLP-7 is phosphorylated by Aurora A and Aurora B kinases in vitro, and that the phosphorylation by Aurora A is stimulated by TPXL-1. Using a structure-function approach, we establish that one putative Aurora kinase site, S546, within the C-terminal part of the core domain is required for the function, but not subcellular localization, of KLP-7 in vivo. Furthermore, FRAP analysis reveals microtubule-dependent differences in the turnover of KLP-7(S546A) and KLP-7(S546E) mutant proteins at the centrosome, suggesting a possible mechanism for the regulation of KLP-7 by Aurora kinase. PMID:26168236

  10. The use of compressive sensing and peak detection in the reconstruction of microtubules length time series in the process of dynamic instability.

    PubMed

    Mahrooghy, Majid; Yarahmadian, Shantia; Menon, Vineetha; Rezania, Vahid; Tuszynski, Jack A

    2015-10-01

    Microtubules (MTs) are intra-cellular cylindrical protein filaments. They exhibit a unique phenomenon of stochastic growth and shrinkage, called dynamic instability. In this paper, we introduce a theoretical framework for applying Compressive Sensing (CS) to the sampled data of the microtubule length in the process of dynamic instability. To reduce data density and reconstruct the original signal with relatively low sampling rates, we have applied CS to experimental MT lament length time series modeled as a Dichotomous Markov Noise (DMN). The results show that using CS along with the wavelet transform significantly reduces the recovery errors comparing in the absence of wavelet transform, especially in the low and the medium sampling rates. In a sampling rate ranging from 0.2 to 0.5, the Root-Mean-Squared Error (RMSE) decreases by approximately 3 times and between 0.5 and 1, RMSE is small. We also apply a peak detection technique to the wavelet coefficients to detect and closely approximate the growth and shrinkage of MTs for computing the essential dynamic instability parameters, i.e., transition frequencies and specially growth and shrinkage rates. The results show that using compressed sensing along with the peak detection technique and wavelet transform in sampling rates reduces the recovery errors for the parameters.

  11. A novel microtubule inhibitor, MT3-037, causes cancer cell apoptosis by inducing mitotic arrest and interfering with microtubule dynamics.

    PubMed

    Chang, Ling-Chu; Yu, Yung-Luen; Hsieh, Min-Tsang; Wang, Sheng-Hung; Chou, Ruey-Hwang; Huang, Wei-Chien; Lin, Hui-Yi; Hung, Hsin-Yi; Huang, Li-Jiau; Kuo, Sheng-Chu

    2016-01-01

    We investigated the anticancer potential of a new synthetic compound, 7-(3-fluorophenyl)-4-methylpyrido-[2,3-d]pyrimidin-5(8H)-one (MT3-037). We found that MT3-037 effectively decreased the cancer cell viability by inducing apoptosis. MT3-037 treatments led to cell cycle arrest at M phase, with a marked increase in both expression of cyclin B1 and cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1) as well as in CDK1 kinase activity. Key proteins that regulate mitotic spindle dynamics, including survivin, Aurora A/B kinases, and polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1), were activated in MT3-037-treated cells. MT3-037-induced apoptosis was accompanied by activation of a pro-apoptotic factor, FADD, and the inactivation of apoptosis inhibitors, Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL, resulting in the cleavage/activation of caspases. The activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) was associated with MT3-037-induced CDK1 and Aurora A/B activation and apoptosis. Immunofluorescence staining of tubulin indicated that MT3-037 altered tubulin networks in cancer cells. Moreover, an in vitro tubulin polymerization assay revealed that MT3-037 inhibited the tubulin polymerization by direct binding to tubulin. Molecular docking studies and binding site completion assays revealed that MT3-037 binds to the colchicine-binding site. Furthermore, MT3-037 significantly inhibited the tumor growth in both MDAMB-468 and Erlotinib-resistant MDA-MB-468 xenograft mouse models. In addition, MT3-037 inhibited the angiogenesis and disrupted the tube formation by human endothelial cells. Our study demonstrates that MT3-037 is a potential tubulin-disrupting agent for antitumor therapy. PMID:27186428

  12. A novel microtubule inhibitor, MT3-037, causes cancer cell apoptosis by inducing mitotic arrest and interfering with microtubule dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Ling-Chu; Yu, Yung-Luen; Hsieh, Min-Tsang; Wang, Sheng-Hung; Chou, Ruey-Hwang; Huang, Wei-Chien; Lin, Hui-Yi; Hung, Hsin-Yi; Huang, Li-Jiau; Kuo, Sheng-Chu

    2016-01-01

    We investigated the anticancer potential of a new synthetic compound, 7-(3-fluorophenyl)-4-methylpyrido-[2,3-d]pyrimidin-5(8H)-one (MT3-037). We found that MT3-037 effectively decreased the cancer cell viability by inducing apoptosis. MT3-037 treatments led to cell cycle arrest at M phase, with a marked increase in both expression of cyclin B1 and cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1) as well as in CDK1 kinase activity. Key proteins that regulate mitotic spindle dynamics, including survivin, Aurora A/B kinases, and polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1), were activated in MT3-037-treated cells. MT3-037-induced apoptosis was accompanied by activation of a pro-apoptotic factor, FADD, and the inactivation of apoptosis inhibitors, Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL, resulting in the cleavage/activation of caspases. The activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) was associated with MT3-037-induced CDK1 and Aurora A/B activation and apoptosis. Immunofluorescence staining of tubulin indicated that MT3-037 altered tubulin networks in cancer cells. Moreover, an in vitro tubulin polymerization assay revealed that MT3-037 inhibited the tubulin polymerization by direct binding to tubulin. Molecular docking studies and binding site completion assays revealed that MT3-037 binds to the colchicine-binding site. Furthermore, MT3-037 significantly inhibited the tumor growth in both MDAMB-468 and Erlotinib-resistant MDA-MB-468 xenograft mouse models. In addition, MT3-037 inhibited the angiogenesis and disrupted the tube formation by human endothelial cells. Our study demonstrates that MT3-037 is a potential tubulin-disrupting agent for antitumor therapy. PMID:27186428

  13. Mechanism of microtubule array expansion in the cytokinetic phragmoplast

    PubMed Central

    Murata, Takashi; Sano, Toshio; Sasabe, Michiko; Nonaka, Shigenori; Higashiyama, Tetsuya; Hasezawa, Seiichiro; Machida, Yasunori; Hasebe, Mitsuyasu

    2013-01-01

    In land plants, the cell plate partitions the daughter cells at cytokinesis. The cell plate initially forms between daughter nuclei and expands centrifugally until reaching the plasma membrane. The centrifugal development of the cell plate is driven by the centrifugal expansion of the phragmoplast microtubule array, but the molecular mechanism underlying this expansion is unknown. Here, we show that the phragmoplast array comprises stable microtubule bundles and dynamic microtubules. We find that the dynamic microtubules are nucleated by γ-tubulin on stable bundles. The dynamic microtubules elongate at the plus ends and form new bundles preferentially at the leading edge of the phragmoplast. At the same time, they are moved away from the cell plate, maintaining a restricted distribution of minus ends. We propose that cycles of attachment of γ-tubulin complexes onto the microtubule bundles, microtubule nucleation and bundling, accompanied by minus-end-directed motility, drive the centrifugal development of the phragmoplast. PMID:23770826

  14. Studying protein assembly with reversible Brownian dynamics of patchy particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klein, Heinrich C. R.; Schwarz, Ulrich S.

    2014-05-01

    Assembly of protein complexes like virus shells, the centriole, the nuclear pore complex, or the actin cytoskeleton is strongly determined by their spatial structure. Moreover, it is becoming increasingly clear that the reversible nature of protein assembly is also an essential element for their biological function. Here we introduce a computational approach for the Brownian dynamics of patchy particles with anisotropic assemblies and fully reversible reactions. Different particles stochastically associate and dissociate with microscopic reaction rates depending on their relative spatial positions. The translational and rotational diffusive properties of all protein complexes are evaluated on-the-fly. Because we focus on reversible assembly, we introduce a scheme which ensures detailed balance for patchy particles. We then show how the macroscopic rates follow from the microscopic ones. As an instructive example, we study the assembly of a pentameric ring structure, for which we find excellent agreement between simulation results and a macroscopic kinetic description without any adjustable parameters. This demonstrates that our approach correctly accounts for both the diffusive and reactive processes involved in protein assembly.

  15. Studying protein assembly with reversible Brownian dynamics of patchy particles

    SciTech Connect

    Klein, Heinrich C. R.; Schwarz, Ulrich S.

    2014-05-14

    Assembly of protein complexes like virus shells, the centriole, the nuclear pore complex, or the actin cytoskeleton is strongly determined by their spatial structure. Moreover, it is becoming increasingly clear that the reversible nature of protein assembly is also an essential element for their biological function. Here we introduce a computational approach for the Brownian dynamics of patchy particles with anisotropic assemblies and fully reversible reactions. Different particles stochastically associate and dissociate with microscopic reaction rates depending on their relative spatial positions. The translational and rotational diffusive properties of all protein complexes are evaluated on-the-fly. Because we focus on reversible assembly, we introduce a scheme which ensures detailed balance for patchy particles. We then show how the macroscopic rates follow from the microscopic ones. As an instructive example, we study the assembly of a pentameric ring structure, for which we find excellent agreement between simulation results and a macroscopic kinetic description without any adjustable parameters. This demonstrates that our approach correctly accounts for both the diffusive and reactive processes involved in protein assembly.

  16. Dynamic phases, pinning, and pattern formation for driven dislocation assemblies

    DOE PAGES

    Zhou, Caizhi; Reichhardt, Charles; Olson Reichhardt, Cynthia J.; Beyerlein, Irene J.

    2015-01-23

    We examine driven dislocation assemblies and show that they can exhibit a set of dynamical phases remarkably similar to those of driven systems with quenched disorder such as vortices in superconductors, magnetic domain walls, and charge density wave materials. These phases include pinned-jammed, fluctuating, and dynamically ordered states, and each produces distinct dislocation patterns as well as specific features in the noise fluctuations and transport properties. Lastly, our work suggests that many of the results established for systems with quenched disorder undergoing plastic depinning transitions can be applied to dislocation systems, providing a new approach for understanding pattern formation andmore » dynamics in these systems.« less

  17. Dynamic phases, pinning, and pattern formation for driven dislocation assemblies

    SciTech Connect

    Zhou, Caizhi; Reichhardt, Charles; Olson Reichhardt, Cynthia J.; Beyerlein, Irene J.

    2015-01-23

    We examine driven dislocation assemblies and show that they can exhibit a set of dynamical phases remarkably similar to those of driven systems with quenched disorder such as vortices in superconductors, magnetic domain walls, and charge density wave materials. These phases include pinned-jammed, fluctuating, and dynamically ordered states, and each produces distinct dislocation patterns as well as specific features in the noise fluctuations and transport properties. Lastly, our work suggests that many of the results established for systems with quenched disorder undergoing plastic depinning transitions can be applied to dislocation systems, providing a new approach for understanding pattern formation and dynamics in these systems.

  18. Microtubule networks for plant cell division.

    PubMed

    de Keijzer, Jeroen; Mulder, Bela M; Janson, Marcel E

    2014-09-01

    During cytokinesis the cytoplasm of a cell is divided to form two daughter cells. In animal cells, the existing plasma membrane is first constricted and then abscised to generate two individual plasma membranes. Plant cells on the other hand divide by forming an interior dividing wall, the so-called cell plate, which is constructed by localized deposition of membrane and cell wall material. Construction starts in the centre of the cell at the locus of the mitotic spindle and continues radially towards the existing plasma membrane. Finally the membrane of the cell plate and plasma membrane fuse to form two individual plasma membranes. Two microtubule-based cytoskeletal networks, the phragmoplast and the pre-prophase band (PPB), jointly control cytokinesis in plants. The bipolar microtubule array of the phragmoplast regulates cell plate deposition towards a cortical position that is templated by the ring-shaped microtubule array of the PPB. In contrast to most animal cells, plants do not use centrosomes as foci of microtubule growth initiation. Instead, plant microtubule networks are striking examples of self-organizing systems that emerge from physically constrained interactions of dispersed microtubules. Here we will discuss how microtubule-based activities including growth, shrinkage, severing, sliding, nucleation and bundling interrelate to jointly generate the required ordered structures. Evidence mounts that adapter proteins sense the local geometry of microtubules to locally modulate the activity of proteins involved in microtubule growth regulation and severing. Many of the proteins and mechanisms involved have roles in other microtubule assemblies as well, bestowing broader relevance to insights gained from plants. PMID:25136380

  19. Insights into Antiparallel Microtubule Crosslinking by PRC1, a Conserved Nonmotor Microtubule Binding Protein

    SciTech Connect

    Subramanian, Radhika; Wilson-Kubalek, Elizabeth M.; Arthur, Christopher P.; Bick, Matthew J.; Campbell, Elizabeth A.; Darst, Seth A.; Milligan, Ronald A.; Kapoor, Tarun M.

    2010-09-03

    Formation of microtubule architectures, required for cell shape maintenance in yeast, directional cell expansion in plants and cytokinesis in eukaryotes, depends on antiparallel microtubule crosslinking by the conserved MAP65 protein family. Here, we combine structural and single molecule fluorescence methods to examine how PRC1, the human MAP65, crosslinks antiparallel microtubules. We find that PRC1's microtubule binding is mediated by a structured domain with a spectrin-fold and an unstructured Lys/Arg-rich domain. These two domains, at each end of a homodimer, are connected by a linkage that is flexible on single microtubules, but forms well-defined crossbridges between antiparallel filaments. Further, we show that PRC1 crosslinks are compliant and do not substantially resist filament sliding by motor proteins in vitro. Together, our data show how MAP65s, by combining structural flexibility and rigidity, tune microtubule associations to establish crosslinks that selectively mark antiparallel overlap in dynamic cytoskeletal networks.

  20. Stabilization of microtubules by inorganic phosphate and its structural analogues, the fluoride complexes of aluminum and beryllium

    SciTech Connect

    Carlier, M.F.; Didry, D.; Melki, R.; Chabre, M.; Pantaloni, D.

    1988-05-17

    In order to elucidate how the elementary reactions of GTP cleavage and subsequent inorganic phosphate (P/sub i/) release, which accompany microtubule assembly, regulate microtubule dynamics, the effect of P/sub i/ and of its structural analogues AlF/sub 4//sup -/ and BeF/sub 3//sup -/ on the stability of GDP-microtubules has been investigated. Inorganic phosphate binds to microtubules with a low affinity (K/sub D/ = 25 mM) and slows down the rate of GDP-subunit dissociation by about 2 orders of magnitude. AlF/sub 4//sup -/ and BeF/sub 3//sup -/ exhibit phosphate-like effects with 1000-fold higher affinity. Evidence has been obtained for direct binding of BeF/sub 3//sup -/ to microtubules with a stoichiometry of 1 mol of BeF/sub 3//sup -/ per mole of GDP-subunit and an equilibrium dissociation constant of 12-15 ..mu..M. AlF/sub 4//sup -/ and P/sub i/ compete for this site. Phosphate analogues abolish oscillatory polymerization kinetics and slow down microtubule turnover at steady state. In view of these results, the authors propose that P/sub i/ and its structural analogues bind to the site of the ..gamma..-phosphate of GTP in the E site and reconstitute a GDP-P/sub i/-microtubule, from which tubulin subunits dissociate very slowly. They therefore understand that, following GTP cleavage on microtubules, P/sub i/ release in the medium is accompanied by a structural change resulting in a large destabilization of the polymer. A cap of slowly dissociating GDP-P/sub i/-subunits prevents depolymerization of the microtubule GDP-core at steady state. The similarity with the actin system is studied.

  1. Human kinetochores are swivel joints that mediate microtubule attachments

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Chris A; McAinsh, Andrew D; Burroughs, Nigel J

    2016-01-01

    Chromosome segregation is a mechanical process that requires assembly of the mitotic spindle – a dynamic microtubule-based force-generating machine. Connections to this spindle are mediated by sister kinetochore pairs, that form dynamic end-on attachments to microtubules emanating from opposite spindle poles. This bi-orientation generates forces that have been reported to stretch the kinetochore itself, which has been suggested to stabilise attachment and silence the spindle checkpoint. We reveal using three dimensional tracking that the outer kinetochore domain can swivel around the inner kinetochore/centromere, which results in large reductions in intra-kinetochore distance (delta) when viewed in lower dimensions. We show that swivel provides a mechanical flexibility that enables kinetochores at the periphery of the spindle to engage microtubules. Swivel reduces as cells approach anaphase, suggesting an organisational change linked to checkpoint satisfaction and/or obligatory changes in kinetochore mechanochemistry may occur before dissolution of sister chromatid cohesion. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16159.001 PMID:27591356

  2. Microtubule flux in mitosis is independent of chromosomes, centrosomes, and antiparallel microtubules.

    PubMed Central

    Sawin, K E; Mitchison, T J

    1994-01-01

    We investigated the mechanism of poleward microtubule flux in the mitotic spindle by generating spindle subassemblies in Xenopus egg extracts in vitro and assaying their ability to flux by photoactivation of fluorescence and low-light multichannel fluorescence video-microscopy. We find that monopolar intermediates of in vitro spindle assembly (half-spindles) exhibit normal poleward flux, as do astral microtubule arrays induced by the addition of dimethyl sulfoxide to egg extracts in the absence of both chromosomes and conventional centrosomes. Immunodepletion of the kinesin-related microtubule motor protein Eg5, a candidate flux motor, suggests that Eg5 is not required for flux. These results suggest that poleward flux is a basic element of microtubule behavior exhibited by even simple self-organized microtubule arrays and presumably underlies the most elementary levels of spindle morphogenesis. Images PMID:8019007

  3. Dynamic self-assembly and control of microfluidic particle crystals

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Wonhee; Amini, Hamed; Stone, Howard A.; Di Carlo, Dino

    2010-01-01

    Engineered two-phase microfluidic systems have recently shown promise for computation, encryption, and biological processing. For many of these systems, complex control of dispersed-phase frequency and switching is enabled by nonlinearities associated with interfacial stresses. Introducing nonlinearity associated with fluid inertia has recently been identified as an easy to implement strategy to control two-phase (solid-liquid) microscale flows. By taking advantage of inertial effects we demonstrate controllable self-assembling particle systems, uncover dynamics suggesting a unique mechanism of dynamic self-assembly, and establish a framework for engineering microfluidic structures with the possibility of spatial frequency filtering. Focusing on the dynamics of the particle–particle interactions reveals a mechanism for the dynamic self-assembly process; inertial lift forces and a parabolic flow field act together to stabilize interparticle spacings that otherwise would diverge to infinity due to viscous disturbance flows. The interplay of the repulsive viscous interaction and inertial lift also allow us to design and implement microfluidic structures that irreversibly change interparticle spacing, similar to a low-pass filter. Although often not considered at the microscale, nonlinearity due to inertia can provide a platform for high-throughput passive control of particle positions in all directions, which will be useful for applications in flow cytometry, tissue engineering, and metamaterial synthesis. PMID:21149674

  4. Transformation and patterning of supermicelles using dynamic holographic assembly

    PubMed Central

    Gould, Oliver E.C.; Qiu, Huibin; Lunn, David J.; Rowden, John; Harniman, Robert L.; Hudson, Zachary M.; Winnik, Mitchell A.; Miles, Mervyn J.; Manners, Ian

    2015-01-01

    Although the solution self-assembly of block copolymers has enabled the fabrication of a broad range of complex, functional nanostructures, their precise manipulation and patterning remain a key challenge. Here we demonstrate that spherical and linear supermicelles, supramolecular structures held together by non-covalent solvophobic and coordination interactions and formed by the hierarchical self-assembly of block copolymer micelle and block comicelle precursors, can be manipulated, transformed and patterned with mediation by dynamic holographic assembly (optical tweezers). This allows the creation of new and stable soft-matter superstructures far from equilibrium. For example, individual spherical supermicelles can be optically held in close proximity and photocrosslinked through controlled coronal chemistry to generate linear oligomeric arrays. The use of optical tweezers also enables the directed deposition and immobilization of supermicelles on surfaces, allowing the precise creation of arrays of soft-matter nano-objects with potentially diverse functionality and a range of applications. PMID:26627644

  5. Transformation and patterning of supermicelles using dynamic holographic assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gould, Oliver E. C.; Qiu, Huibin; Lunn, David J.; Rowden, John; Harniman, Robert L.; Hudson, Zachary M.; Winnik, Mitchell A.; Miles, Mervyn J.; Manners, Ian

    2015-12-01

    Although the solution self-assembly of block copolymers has enabled the fabrication of a broad range of complex, functional nanostructures, their precise manipulation and patterning remain a key challenge. Here we demonstrate that spherical and linear supermicelles, supramolecular structures held together by non-covalent solvophobic and coordination interactions and formed by the hierarchical self-assembly of block copolymer micelle and block comicelle precursors, can be manipulated, transformed and patterned with mediation by dynamic holographic assembly (optical tweezers). This allows the creation of new and stable soft-matter superstructures far from equilibrium. For example, individual spherical supermicelles can be optically held in close proximity and photocrosslinked through controlled coronal chemistry to generate linear oligomeric arrays. The use of optical tweezers also enables the directed deposition and immobilization of supermicelles on surfaces, allowing the precise creation of arrays of soft-matter nano-objects with potentially diverse functionality and a range of applications.

  6. The structure of tubulin-binding cofactor A from Leishmania major infers a mode of association during the early stages of microtubule assembly

    SciTech Connect

    Barrack, Keri L.; Fyfe, Paul K.; Hunter, William N.

    2015-04-21

    The structure of a tubulin-binding cofactor from L. major is reported and compared with yeast, plant and human orthologues. Tubulin-binding cofactor A (TBCA) participates in microtubule formation, a key process in eukaryotic biology to create the cytoskeleton. There is little information on how TBCA might interact with β-tubulin en route to microtubule biogenesis. To address this, the protozoan Leishmania major was targeted as a model system. The crystal structure of TBCA and comparisons with three orthologous proteins are presented. The presence of conserved features infers that electrostatic interactions that are likely to involve the C-terminal tail of β-tubulin are key to association. This study provides a reagent and template to support further work in this area.

  7. Transport, assembly, and dynamics in systems of interacting proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elowitz, Michael Bernard

    1999-10-01

    Many of the functions performed by cells are controlled by networks of interacting proteins. This thesis explores optical techniques for monitoring and perturbing protein networks and measuring protein diffusion. In addition, it discusses the design of simple artificial genetic networks. A useful tool for tagging proteins in diverse organisms is the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP), which absorbs blue light and emits green light. We report the discovery of a new state of this protein in which it absorbs green light and emits red light. It can be switched to this new state with a pulse of blue light. This effect is useful for marking proteins in a certain region and following their subsequent movement. We use this technique to measure diffusion of proteins inside living bacterial cells. The apparent diffusion coefficient we obtain for GFP is about ten times lower than its value in water. This reflects the crowded conditions in bacterial cytoplasm and places a constraint on the response time of diffusion-based signalling networks. We next turn to systems of motor proteins and microtubules. We show how motor protein forces can be estimated from spiral motions of pinned filaments in motility assays. Then we explore spatially and temporally localized inactivation of specific proteins using Chromophore-Assisted Laser Inactivation (CALI). In this method, dyes are attached to target proteins, allowing them to be inactivated by controlled pulses of light. By inactivating motor proteins with this technique, we can locally disrupt an in vitro assembly process. Finally, we address the problem of constructing an artificial genetic network in order to see whether simple, artificial systems behave as expected from detailed modeling of their components. We analyze the expected behavior of an oscillator built of bacterial transcriptional repressors, and lay the groundwork for its actual construction.

  8. Clathrin-coated vesicles form a unique net-like structure in liver sinusoidal endothelial cells by assembling along undisrupted microtubules.

    PubMed

    Falkowska-Hansen, Berit; Falkowski, Martin; Metharom, Pat; Krunic, Damir; Goerdt, Sergij

    2007-05-15

    Liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs) are highly active professional scavenger cells using clathrin-mediated endocytosis to clear the blood from macromolecular waste products. Using confocal microscopy, we observed a remarkable net-like distribution of clathrin heavy chain (CHC) in LSECs while all other cell types examined including various primary endothelial cells and cell lines showed the well-known punctuate staining pattern representing clathrin-coated vesicles (CCV). The net-like distribution of CHC in LSECs co-localized fully with microtubules, but not with actin. Upon 3D imaging, the net-like distribution of CHC resolved into numerous CCVs organized along the microtubules. The CCVs only partially co-localized with early endosome antigen 1 (EEA1) and adaptor protein 2 (AP-2). Endocytic vesicles containing ligand destined for degradation (FITC-AHGG) were organized along the clathrin/tubulin net-like structures, whereas transferrin-containing recycling vesicles co-localized to a much lower extent. Disruption of the microtubules by nocodazole treatment caused a collapse of the net-like organization of CCVs as well as a profound redistribution of EEA1, AP-2 and FITC-AHGG-containing vesicles, while transferrin internalization and recycling remained unaffected. PMID:17433812

  9. Stokesian Dynamic Simulations of Colloid Assembly at a Fluid Interface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dani, Archit; Maldarelli, Charles

    2015-11-01

    The collective dynamics and self-assembly of colloids floating at a gas/liquid or a liquid/liquid interface is a balance between deterministic lateral interaction forces, e.g. capillary attraction and dipolar electrostatic repulsion if the particles are charged, viscous resistance to colloid motion along the surface and thermal fluctuations. As the colloid size decreases, thermal (Brownian) forces become important and can affect the self assembly into ordered patterns and crystal structures that are the starting point for materials applications. Stokesian dynamics simulations are presented to describe the lateral organization of particles along the surface in Brownian dominated regimes that includes (using a pairwise approximation) capillary attraction and the hydrodynamic interaction between particles (incorporating the effect of the particle immersion depth) and thermal fluctuations. Clustering, fractal growth and particle ordering are observed at critically large values of the Peclet numbers, while smaller values yield states in which particles remain uncorrelated in space and more widely separated.

  10. In vitro study on the alterations of brain tubulin structure and assembly affected by magnetite nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Dadras, Ali; Riazi, Gholam Hossein; Afrasiabi, Ali; Naghshineh, Ali; Ghalandari, Behafarid; Mokhtari, Farzad

    2013-03-01

    In recent decades, considerable efforts have been made to understand the mechanism of memory, cognition, and relevant neurodegenerative diseases in the human brain. Several studies have shown the importance of microtubule proteins in the memory mechanism and memory dysfunction. Microtubules possess dynamicity, which is essential for functions of neuronal networks. Microtubule-associated proteins, i.e., tau, play vital roles in microtubule stability. On the other hand, the ferromagnetic mineral magnetite (Fe(3)O(4)) has been detected in the normal human brain, and elevated levels of magnetite are also observed in the brains of Alzheimer's disease patients. Therefore, we propose that a relationship between microtubule organization in axons and brain magnetite nanoparticles is possible. In this study we found alterations of microtubule polymerization in the presence of increasing concentrations of magnetite through transmission electron microscopy images and a turbidimetry method. Structural changes of microtubule and tau protein, as an essential microtubule-associated protein for tubulin assembly, were detected via circular dichroism spectroscopy, intrinsic fluorescence, and 8-anilino-1-naphthalenesulfonic acid fluorometry. We predicted three possible binding sites on tau protein and one possible binding site on tubulin dimer for magnetite nanoparticles. Magnetite also causes the morphology of PC12 cells to change abnormally and cell viability to decrease. Finally, we suggest that magnetite changes microtubule dynamics and polymerization through two paths: (1) changing the secondary and tertiary structure of tubulin and (2) binding to either tubulin dimer or tau protein and preventing tau-tubulin interaction.

  11. Complementary roles of microtubules and microfilaments in the lung fibroblast-mediated contraction of collagen gels: Dynamics and the influence of cell density.

    PubMed

    Redden, Robert A; Doolin, Edward J

    2006-01-01

    Fibroblasts are important cellular components in wound healing, scar formation, and fibrotic disorders; and the fibroblast-populated collagen-gel (FPCG) model allows examination of fibroblast behavior in an in vitro three-dimensional environment similar to that in vivo. Contraction of free-floating FPCGs depends on an active and dynamic cytoskeleton, and the contraction dynamics are highly influenced by cell density. We investigated mechanistic differences between high- and low-cell density FPCG contraction by evaluating contraction dynamics in detail, using specific cytoskeletal disruptors. Collagen gels were seeded with human lung fibroblasts at either high (HD) or low (LD) density, and incubated with or without cytoskeletal disruptors colchicine (microtubules) or cytochalasin D (microfilaments). Gel area was measured daily. FPCG contraction curves were essentially sigmoidal, featuring an initial period of no contraction (lag phase), followed by a period of rapid contraction (log phase). Contraction curves of HD-FPCGs were distinct from those of LD-FPCGs. For example, HD-FPCGs had a negligible lag phase (compared with 3 d for LD-FPCGs) and exhibited a higher rate of log-phase contraction. Both colchicine and cytochalasin dose-dependently inhibited contraction but specifically affected different phases of contraction in HD- and LD-FPCGs; and colchicine inhibited LD-FPCGs much more than HD-FPCGs. The data indicate that LD- and HD-FPCGs contract through different primary mechanisms. Microtubules and microfilaments are both complementarily and dynamically involved in the contraction of FPCGs, and cell density influences primary cytoskeletal mechanisms. These results provide valuable information about fibroblast behavior in healing and fibrosis, and may suggest novel treatment options. PMID:16759151

  12. Evolutionary dynamics in a simple model of self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnston, Iain G.; Ahnert, Sebastian E.; Doye, Jonathan P. K.; Louis, Ard A.

    2011-06-01

    We investigate the evolutionary dynamics of an idealized model for the robust self-assembly of two-dimensional structures called polyominoes. The model includes rules that encode interactions between sets of square tiles that drive the self-assembly process. The relationship between the model’s rule set and its resulting self-assembled structure can be viewed as a genotype-phenotype map and incorporated into a genetic algorithm. The rule sets evolve under selection for specified target structures. The corresponding complex fitness landscape generates rich evolutionary dynamics as a function of parameters such as the population size, search space size, mutation rate, and method of recombination. Furthermore, these systems are simple enough that in some cases the associated model genome space can be completely characterized, shedding light on how the evolutionary dynamics depends on the detailed structure of the fitness landscape. Finally, we apply the model to study the emergence of the preference for dihedral over cyclic symmetry observed for homomeric protein tetramers.

  13. Solid-State and Solution NMR Studies of the CAP-Gly Domain of Mammalian Dynactin and Its Interaction with Microtubules

    SciTech Connect

    Sun, Shangjin; Siglin, Amanda; Williams, John C.; Polenova, Tatyana E.

    2009-07-29

    Microtubules (MTs) and microtubule binding proteins (MTBPs) play fundamental physiological roles including vesicle and organelle transport, cell motility, and cell division. Despite the importance of the MT/MTBP assemblies, there remains virtually no structural or dynamic information about their interaction at the atomic level due to the inherent insolubility and lack of long-range order of MTs. In this study, we present a combined magic angle spinning solid-state and solution NMR study of the MTBP CAP-Gly domain of mammalian dynactin and its interaction with paclitaxel-stabilized microtubules. We report resonance assignments and secondary structure analysis of the free CAP-Gly in solution and in the solid state by a combination of two- and three-dimensional homo- and heteronuclear correlation spectra. In solution, binding of CAP-Gly to microtubules is accompanied by the broadening of the majority of the peaks in HSQC spectra except for the residues at the termini, precluding further structural analysis of the CAP-Gly/microtubule complexes. In the solid state, DARR spectra of free CAP-Gly and its complex with microtubules display well-resolved lines, permitting residue-specific resonance assignments. Interestingly, a number of chemical shifts in the solid-state DARR spectra of the CAP-Gly/microtubule complex are perturbed compared to those of the free CAP-Gly, suggesting that conformational changes occur in the protein upon binding to the microtubules. These results indicate that CAP-Gly/microtubule assemblies are amenable to detailed structural characterization by magic angle spinning NMR spectroscopy and that solid-state NMR is a viable technique to study MT/protein interactions in general.

  14. Effect of the microtubule-associated protein tau on dynamics of single-headed motor proteins KIF1A

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sparacino, J.; Farías, M. G.; Lamberti, P. W.

    2014-02-01

    Intracellular transport based on molecular motors and its regulation are crucial to the functioning of cells. Filamentary tracks of the cells are abundantly decorated with nonmotile microtubule-associated proteins, such as tau. Motivated by experiments on kinesin-tau interactions [Dixit et al., Science 319, 1086 (2008), 10.1126/science.1152993] we developed a stochastic model of interacting single-headed motor proteins KIF1A that also takes into account the interactions between motor proteins and tau molecules. Our model reproduces experimental observations and predicts significant effects of tau on bound time and run length which suggest an important role of tau in regulation of kinesin-based transport.

  15. MICROTUBULE BIOGENESIS AND CELL SHAPE IN OCHROMONAS

    PubMed Central

    Brown, David L.; Bouck, G. Benjamin

    1973-01-01

    processes of synthesis and assembly of microtubules is discussed. PMID:4682901

  16. Active Contraction of Microtubule Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, Peter; Fürthauer, Sebastian; Shelley, Michael; Needleman, Daniel

    Many cellular processes are driven by cytoskeletal assemblies. It remains unclear how cytoskeletal filaments and motor proteins organize into cellular scale structures and how molecular properties of cytoskeletal components affect the large scale behaviors of these systems. Here we investigate the self-organization of stabilized microtubules in Xenopus oocyte extracts and find that they can form macroscopic networks that spontaneously contract. We propose that these contractions are driven by the clustering of microtubule minus ends by dynein. Based on this idea, we construct an active fluid theory of network contractions which predicts a dependence of the timescale of contraction on initial network geometry, a development of density inhomogeneities during contraction, a constant final network density, and a strong influence of dynein inhibition on the rate of contraction, all in quantitative agreement with experiments. These results demonstrate that the motor-driven clustering of filament ends is a generic mechanism leading to contraction.

  17. TCS1, a Microtubule-Binding Protein, Interacts with KCBP/ZWICHEL to Regulate Trichome Cell Shape in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Juan; Wang, Xiaohong; Mao, Tonglin; Yuan, Ming; Li, Yunhai

    2016-01-01

    How cell shape is controlled is a fundamental question in developmental biology, but the genetic and molecular mechanisms that determine cell shape are largely unknown. Arabidopsis trichomes have been used as a good model system to investigate cell shape at the single-cell level. Here we describe the trichome cell shape 1 (tcs1) mutants with the reduced trichome branch number in Arabidopsis. TCS1 encodes a coiled-coil domain-containing protein. Pharmacological analyses and observations of microtubule dynamics show that TCS1 influences the stability of microtubules. Biochemical analyses and live-cell imaging indicate that TCS1 binds to microtubules and promotes the assembly of microtubules. Further results reveal that TCS1 physically associates with KCBP/ZWICHEL, a microtubule motor involved in the regulation of trichome branch number. Genetic analyses indicate that kcbp/zwi is epistatic to tcs1 with respect to trichome branch number. Thus, our findings define a novel genetic and molecular mechanism by which TCS1 interacts with KCBP to regulate trichome cell shape by influencing the stability of microtubules. PMID:27768706

  18. Analysis of microtubule curvature.

    PubMed

    Bicek, Andrew D; Tüzel, Erkan; Kroll, Daniel M; Odde, David J

    2007-01-01

    The microtubule cytoskeleton in living cells generate and resist mechanical forces to mediate fundamental cell processes, including cell division and migration. Recent advances in digital fluorescence microscopy have enabled the direct observation of bending of individual microtubules in living cells, which has enabled quantitative estimation of the mechanical state of the microtubule array. Although a variety of mechanisms have been proposed, the precise origins of microtubule deformation in living cells remain largely obscure. To investigate these mechanisms and their relative importance in cellular processes, a method is needed to accurately quantify microtubule bending within living cells. Here we describe a method for quantification of bending, using digital fluorescence microscope images to estimate the distribution of curvature in the microtubule. Digital images of individual microtubules can be used to obtain a set of discrete x-y coordinates along the microtubule contour, which is then used to estimate the curvature distribution. Due to system noise and digitization error, the estimate will be inaccurate to some degree. To quantify the inaccuracy, a computational model is used to simulate both the bending of thermally driven microtubules and their observation by digital fluorescence microscopy. This allows for direct comparison between experimental and simulated images, a method which we call model convolution microscopy. We assess the accuracy of various methods and present a suitable method for estimating the curvature distribution for thermally driven semiflexible polymers. Finally, we discuss extensions of the method to quantify microtubule curvature in living cells. PMID:17613311

  19. Microtubule-like properties of the bacterial actin homolog ParM-R1.

    PubMed

    Popp, David; Narita, Akihiro; Lee, Lin Jie; Larsson, Mårten; Robinson, Robert C

    2012-10-26

    In preparation for mammalian cell division, microtubules repeatedly probe the cytoplasm to capture chromosomes and assemble the mitotic spindle. Critical features of this microtubule system are the formation of radial arrays centered at the centrosomes and dynamic instability, leading to persistent cycles of polymerization and depolymerization. Here, we show that actin homolog, ParM-R1 that drives segregation of the R1 multidrug resistance plasmid from Escherichia coli, can also self-organize in vitro into asters, which resemble astral microtubules. ParM-R1 asters grow from centrosome-like structures consisting of interconnected nodes related by a pseudo 8-fold symmetry. In addition, we show that ParM-R1 is able to perform persistent microtubule-like oscillations of assembly and disassembly. In vitro, a whole population of ParM-R1 filaments is synchronized between phases of growth and shrinkage, leading to prolonged synchronous oscillations even at physiological ParM-R1 concentrations. These results imply that the selection pressure to reliably segregate DNA during cell division has led to common mechanisms within diverse segregation machineries.

  20. Microtubule-like Properties of the Bacterial Actin Homolog ParM-R1*

    PubMed Central

    Popp, David; Narita, Akihiro; Lee, Lin Jie; Larsson, Mårten; Robinson, Robert C.

    2012-01-01

    In preparation for mammalian cell division, microtubules repeatedly probe the cytoplasm to capture chromosomes and assemble the mitotic spindle. Critical features of this microtubule system are the formation of radial arrays centered at the centrosomes and dynamic instability, leading to persistent cycles of polymerization and depolymerization. Here, we show that actin homolog, ParM-R1 that drives segregation of the R1 multidrug resistance plasmid from Escherichia coli, can also self-organize in vitro into asters, which resemble astral microtubules. ParM-R1 asters grow from centrosome-like structures consisting of interconnected nodes related by a pseudo 8-fold symmetry. In addition, we show that ParM-R1 is able to perform persistent microtubule-like oscillations of assembly and disassembly. In vitro, a whole population of ParM-R1 filaments is synchronized between phases of growth and shrinkage, leading to prolonged synchronous oscillations even at physiological ParM-R1 concentrations. These results imply that the selection pressure to reliably segregate DNA during cell division has led to common mechanisms within diverse segregation machineries. PMID:22908230

  1. EBs Recognize a Nucleotide-Dependent Structural Cap at Growing Microtubule Ends

    PubMed Central

    Maurer, Sebastian P.; Fourniol, Franck J.; Bohner, Gergő; Moores, Carolyn A.; Surrey, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Summary Growing microtubule ends serve as transient binding platforms for essential proteins that regulate microtubule dynamics and their interactions with cellular substructures. End-binding proteins (EBs) autonomously recognize an extended region at growing microtubule ends with unknown structural characteristics and then recruit other factors to the dynamic end structure. Using cryo-electron microscopy, subnanometer single-particle reconstruction, and fluorescence imaging, we present a pseudoatomic model of how the calponin homology (CH) domain of the fission yeast EB Mal3 binds to the end regions of growing microtubules. The Mal3 CH domain bridges protofilaments except at the microtubule seam. By binding close to the exchangeable GTP-binding site, the CH domain is ideally positioned to sense the microtubule's nucleotide state. The same microtubule-end region is also a stabilizing structural cap protecting the microtubule from depolymerization. This insight supports a common structural link between two important biological phenomena, microtubule dynamic instability and end tracking. PMID:22500803

  2. Space Station/Orbiter berthing dynamics during an assembly flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, Paul A.; Stockwell, Alan E.; Wu, Shih-Chin

    1993-01-01

    A large-angle, multi-body, dynamic modeling capability was developed to help validate numerical simulations of the dynamic motion and control forces which occur while berthing Space Station Freedom to the Shuttle Orbiter during early assembly flights. The paper describes the dynamics and control of the station, the attached Shuttle Remote Manipulator System, and the Orbiter during a maneuver from a gravity-gradient attitude to a torque equilibrium attitude using the station reaction control jets. The influence of the elastic behavior of the station and of the remote manipulator system on the attitude control of the station/Orbiter system during the maneuver is investigated. The flexibility of the station and the arm had only a minor influence on the attitude control of the system during the maneuver.

  3. Rho-associated coiled-coil kinase (ROCK) protein controls microtubule dynamics in a novel signaling pathway that regulates cell migration.

    PubMed

    Schofield, Alice V; Steel, Rohan; Bernard, Ora

    2012-12-21

    The two members of the Rho-associated coiled-coil kinase (ROCK1 and 2) family are established regulators of actin dynamics that are involved in the regulation of the cell cycle as well as cell motility and invasion. Here, we discovered a novel signaling pathway whereby ROCK regulates microtubule (MT) acetylation via phosphorylation of the tubulin polymerization promoting protein 1 (TPPP1/p25). We show that ROCK phosphorylation of TPPP1 inhibits the interaction between TPPP1 and histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6), which in turn results in increased HDAC6 activity followed by a decrease in MT acetylation. As a consequence, we show that TPPP1 phosphorylation by ROCK increases cell migration and invasion via modulation of cellular acetyl MT levels. We establish here that the ROCK-TPPP1-HDAC6 signaling pathway is important for the regulation of cell migration and invasion.

  4. Linker-Mediated Self-Assembly Dynamics of Charged Nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Lin, Guanhua; Chee, See Wee; Raj, Sanoj; Král, Petr; Mirsaidov, Utkur

    2016-08-23

    Using in situ liquid cell transmission electron microscopy (TEM), we visualized a stepwise self-assembly of surfactant-coated and hydrated gold nanoparticles (NPs) into linear chains or branched networks. The NP binding is facilitated by linker molecules, ethylenediammonium, which form hydrogen bonds with surfactant molecules of neighboring NPs. The observed spacing between bound neighboring NPs, ∼15 Å, matches the combined length of two surfactants and one linker molecule. Molecular dynamics simulations reveal that for lower concentrations of linkers, NPs with charged surfactants cannot be fully neutralized by strongly binding divalent linkers, so that NPs carry higher effective charges and tend to form chains, due to poor screening. The highly polar NP surfaces polarize and partly immobilize nearby water molecules, which promotes NPs binding. The presented experimental and theoretical approach allows for detail observation and explanation of self-assembly processes in colloidal nanosystems. PMID:27494560

  5. Regulation of kinesin-transport by microtubule age and polymerization conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Jing; Liang, Winnie; King, Stephen; Faysal, K.

    2015-03-01

    Microtubules are fundamental biopolymers in cells, formed via self-assembly (``polymerization'') of tubulin dimers. Microtubule polymerization conditions have been shown to alter the presence of defects in microtubule lattices, including point defects (missing tubulin dimers) and line defects (protofilament disruption). Potential impact of these lattice defects on molecular motor-based transport is not yet understood. Here we investigate the impact of microtubule polymerization conditions on multiple-kinesin transport, using single-molecule-type optical trapping experiments. We find that kinesin-based cargoes pause preferentially at specific locations along individual microtubules, and that the pause frequency and duration is strongly dependent on microtubule age and polymerization condition. Within each polymerization condition and for fresh microtubules, we also observe significant variations in multiple-kinesin travel distances, depending on which microtubules the motors travel along. Taken together, our study suggests an important role of microtubule lattice defect in regulating intracellular transport.

  6. Targeting, Capture, and Stabilization of Microtubules at Early Focal Adhesions

    PubMed Central

    Kaverina, Irina; Rottner, Klemens; Small, J. Victor

    1998-01-01

    By co-injecting fluorescent tubulin and vinculin into fish fibroblasts we have revealed a “cross talk” between microtubules and early sites of substrate contact. This mutuality was first indicated by the targeting of vinculin-rich foci by microtubules during their growth towards the cell periphery. In addition to passing directly over contact sites, the ends of single microtubules could be observed to target several contacts in succession or the same contact repetitively, with intermittent withdrawals. Targeting sometimes involved side-stepping, or the major re-routing of a microtubule, indicative of a guided, rather than a random process. The paths that microtubules followed into contacts were unrelated to the orientation of stress fiber assemblies and targeting occurred also in mouse fibroblasts that lacked a system of intermediate filaments. Further experiments with microtubule inhibitors showed that adhesion foci can: (a) capture microtubules and stabilize them against disassembly by nocodazole; and (b), act as preferred sites of microtubule polymerization, during either early recovery from nocodazole, or brief treatment with taxol. From these and other findings we speculate that microtubules are guided into substrate contact sites and through the motor-dependent delivery of signaling molecules serve to modulate their development. It is further proposed this modulation provides the route whereby microtubules exert their influence on cell shape and polarity. PMID:9660872

  7. Analysis of microtubules in isolated axoplasm from the squid giant axon.

    PubMed

    Song, Yuyu; Brady, Scott T

    2013-01-01

    Biochemical specialization of cellular microtubules has emerged as a primary mechanism in specifying microtubule dynamics and function. However, study of specific subcellular populations of cytoplasmic microtubules has been limited, particularly in the nervous system. The complexity of nervous tissue makes it difficult to distinguish neuronal microtubules from glial microtubules, and axonal microtubules from dendritic and cell body microtubules. The problem is further compounded by the finding that a large fraction of neuronal tubulin is lost during standard preparations of brain tubulin, and this population of stable microtubules is enriched in axons. Here, we consider a unique biological model that provides a unique opportunity to study axonal microtubules both in situ and in vitro: isolated axoplasm from the squid giant axon. The axoplasm model represents a powerful system for addressing fundamental questions of microtubule structure and function in the axon.

  8. Dynamic multiprotein assemblies shape the spatial structure of cell signaling.

    PubMed

    Nussinov, Ruth; Jang, Hyunbum

    2014-01-01

    Cell signaling underlies critical cellular decisions. Coordination, efficiency as well as fail-safe mechanisms are key elements. How the cell ensures that these hallmarks are at play are important questions. Cell signaling is often viewed as taking place through discrete and cross-talking pathways; oftentimes these are modularized to emphasize distinct functions. While simple, convenient and clear, such models largely neglect the spatial structure of cell signaling; they also convey inter-modular (or inter-protein) spatial separation that may not exist. Here our thesis is that cell signaling is shaped by a network of multiprotein assemblies. While pre-organized, the assemblies and network are loose and dynamic. They contain transiently-associated multiprotein complexes which are often mediated by scaffolding proteins. They are also typically anchored in the membrane, and their continuum may span the cell. IQGAP1 scaffolding protein which binds proteins including Raf, calmodulin, Mek, Erk, actin, and tens more, with actin shaping B-cell (and likely other) membrane-anchored nanoclusters and allosterically polymerizing in dynamic cytoskeleton formation, and Raf anchoring in the membrane along with Ras, provides a striking example. The multivalent network of dynamic proteins and lipids, with specific interactions forming and breaking, can be viewed as endowing gel-like properties. Collectively, this reasons that efficient, productive and reliable cell signaling takes place primarily through transient, preorganized and cooperative protein-protein interactions spanning the cell rather than stochastic, diffusion-controlled processes.

  9. Self-assembly of active colloidal molecules with dynamic function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soto, Rodrigo; Golestanian, Ramin

    Catalytically active colloids maintain non-equilibrium conditions in which they produce and deplete chemicals at their surface. While individual colloids that are symmetrically coated do not exhibit dynamical activity, the concentration fields resulting from their chemical activity decay as 1/r and produce gradients that attract or repel other colloids depending on their surface chemistry and ambient variables. This results in a non-equilibrium analogue of ionic systems, but with the remarkable novel feature of action-reaction symmetry breaking. In dilute conditions these active colloids join up to form molecules via generalized ionic bonds. Colloids are found to join up to form self-assembled molecules that could be inert or have spontaneous activity in the form of net translational velocity and spin depending on their symmetry properties and their constituents. As the interactions do not satisfy detailed-balance, it is possible to achieve structures with time dependent functionality. We study a molecule that adopts spontaneous oscillations and another that exhibits a run-and-tumble dynamics similar to bacteria. Our study shows that catalytically active colloids could be used for designing self-assembled structures that posses dynamical functionalities.

  10. Dynamic colloidal assembly pathways via low dimensional models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Yuguang; Thyagarajan, Raghuram; Ford, David M.; Bevan, Michael A.

    2016-05-01

    Here we construct a low-dimensional Smoluchowski model for electric field mediated colloidal crystallization using Brownian dynamic simulations, which were previously matched to experiments. Diffusion mapping is used to infer dimensionality and confirm the use of two order parameters, one for degree of condensation and one for global crystallinity. Free energy and diffusivity landscapes are obtained as the coefficients of a low-dimensional Smoluchowski equation to capture the thermodynamics and kinetics of microstructure evolution. The resulting low-dimensional model quantitatively captures the dynamics of different assembly pathways between fluid, polycrystal, and single crystals states, in agreement with the full N-dimensional data as characterized by first passage time distributions. Numerical solution of the low-dimensional Smoluchowski equation reveals statistical properties of the dynamic evolution of states vs. applied field amplitude and system size. The low-dimensional Smoluchowski equation and associated landscapes calculated here can serve as models for predictive control of electric field mediated assembly of colloidal ensembles into two-dimensional crystalline objects.

  11. Protein-guided RNA dynamics during early ribosome assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Hajin; Abeysirigunawarden, Sanjaya C.; Chen, Ke; Mayerle, Megan; Ragunathan, Kaushik; Luthey-Schulten, Zaida; Ha, Taekjip; Woodson, Sarah A.

    2014-02-01

    The assembly of 30S ribosomes requires the precise addition of 20 proteins to the 16S ribosomal RNA. How early binding proteins change the ribosomal RNA structure so that later proteins may join the complex is poorly understood. Here we use single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) to observe real-time encounters between Escherichia coli ribosomal protein S4 and the 16S 5' domain RNA at an early stage of 30S assembly. Dynamic initial S4-RNA complexes pass through a stable non-native intermediate before converting to the native complex, showing that non-native structures can offer a low free-energy path to protein-RNA recognition. Three-colour FRET and molecular dynamics simulations reveal how S4 changes the frequency and direction of RNA helix motions, guiding a conformational switch that enforces the hierarchy of protein addition. These protein-guided dynamics offer an alternative explanation for induced fit in RNA-protein complexes.

  12. Protein-guided RNA dynamics during early ribosome assembly.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hajin; Abeysirigunawarden, Sanjaya C; Chen, Ke; Mayerle, Megan; Ragunathan, Kaushik; Luthey-Schulten, Zaida; Ha, Taekjip; Woodson, Sarah A

    2014-02-20

    The assembly of 30S ribosomes requires the precise addition of 20 proteins to the 16S ribosomal RNA. How early binding proteins change the ribosomal RNA structure so that later proteins may join the complex is poorly understood. Here we use single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) to observe real-time encounters between Escherichia coli ribosomal protein S4 and the 16S 5' domain RNA at an early stage of 30S assembly. Dynamic initial S4-RNA complexes pass through a stable non-native intermediate before converting to the native complex, showing that non-native structures can offer a low free-energy path to protein-RNA recognition. Three-colour FRET and molecular dynamics simulations reveal how S4 changes the frequency and direction of RNA helix motions, guiding a conformational switch that enforces the hierarchy of protein addition. These protein-guided dynamics offer an alternative explanation for induced fit in RNA-protein complexes.

  13. Protein-guided RNA dynamics during early ribosome assembly

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hajin; Abeysirigunawardena, Sanjaya C.; Chen, Ke; Mayerle, Megan; Ragunathan, Kaushik; Luthey-Schulten, Zaida; Ha, Taekjip; Woodson, Sarah A.

    2014-01-01

    The assembly of 30S ribosomes requires the precise addition of 20 proteins to the 16S ribosomal RNA. How early binding proteins change the rRNA structure so that later proteins may join the complex is poorly understood. Here we use single molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) to observe real-time encounters between ribosomal protein S4 and the 16S 5′ domain RNA at an early stage of 30S assembly. Dynamic initial S4-RNA complexes pass through a stable non-native intermediate before converting to the native complex, showing that non-native structures can offer a low free energy path to protein-RNA recognition. Three-color FRET and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations reveal how S4 changes the frequency and direction of RNA helix motions, guiding a conformational switch that enforces the hierarchy of protein addition. This protein-guided dynamics offers an alternative explanation for induced fit in RNA-protein complexes. PMID:24522531

  14. Interface dynamics explain assembly dependency of influenza neuraminidase catalytic activity

    PubMed Central

    von Grafenstein, Susanne; Wallnoefer, Hannes G.; Kirchmair, Johannes; Fuchs, Julian E.; Huber, Roland G.; Schmidtke, Michaela; Sauerbrei, Andreas; Rollinger, Judith M.; Liedl, Klaus R.

    2015-01-01

    Influenza virus neuraminidase (iNA) is a homotetrameric surface protein of the influenza virus and an established target for antiviral drugs. In contrast to neuraminidases (NAs) of other biological systems (non-iNAs), enzymatic activity of iNA is only observed in a quaternary assembly and iNA needs the tetramerization to mediate enzymatic activity. Obviously, differences on a molecular level between iNA and non-iNAs are responsible for this intriguing observation. Comparison between protein structures and multiple sequence alignment allow the identification of differences in amino acid composition in crucial regions of the enzyme, such as next to the conserved D151 and the 150-loop. These differences in amino acid sequence and protein tetramerization are likely to alter the dynamics of the system. Therefore, we performed molecular dynamics simulations to investigate differences in the molecular flexibility of monomers, dimers, and tetramers of iNAs of subtype N1 (avian 2004, pandemic 1918 and pandemic 2009 iNA) and as comparison the non-iNA monomer from Clostridium perfringens. We show that conformational transitions of iNA are crucially influenced by its assembly state. The protein–protein interface induces a complex hydrogen-bonding network between the 110-helix and the 150-loop, which consequently stabilizes the structural arrangement of the binding site. Therefore, we claim that these altered dynamics are responsible for the dependence of iNA’s catalytic activity on the tetrameric assembly. Only the tetramerization-induced balance between stabilization and altered local flexibility in the binding site provides the appropriate arrangement of key residues for iNA’s catalytic activity. PMID:24279589

  15. Model for dynamic self-assembled magnetic surface structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belkin, M.; Glatz, A.; Snezhko, A.; Aranson, I. S.

    2010-07-01

    We propose a first-principles model for the dynamic self-assembly of magnetic structures at a water-air interface reported in earlier experiments. The model is based on the Navier-Stokes equation for liquids in shallow water approximation coupled to Newton equations for interacting magnetic particles suspended at a water-air interface. The model reproduces most of the observed phenomenology, including spontaneous formation of magnetic snakelike structures, generation of large-scale vortex flows, complex ferromagnetic-antiferromagnetic ordering of the snake, and self-propulsion of bead-snake hybrids.

  16. Model for dynamic self-assembled magnetic surface structures.

    SciTech Connect

    Belkin, M.; Glatz, A.; Snezhko, A.; Aranson, I. S.; Materials Science Division; Northwestern Univ.

    2010-07-07

    We propose a first-principles model for the dynamic self-assembly of magnetic structures at a water-air interface reported in earlier experiments. The model is based on the Navier-Stokes equation for liquids in shallow water approximation coupled to Newton equations for interacting magnetic particles suspended at a water-air interface. The model reproduces most of the observed phenomenology, including spontaneous formation of magnetic snakelike structures, generation of large-scale vortex flows, complex ferromagnetic-antiferromagnetic ordering of the snake, and self-propulsion of bead-snake hybrids.

  17. Microtubule-associated protein-like binding of the kinesin-1 tail to microtubules.

    PubMed

    Seeger, Mark A; Rice, Sarah E

    2010-03-12

    The kinesin-1 molecular motor contains an ATP-dependent microtubule-binding site in its N-terminal head domain and an ATP-independent microtubule-binding site in its C-terminal tail domain. Here we demonstrate that a kinesin-1 tail fragment associates with microtubules with submicromolar affinity. Binding is largely electrostatic in nature, and is facilitated by a region of basic amino acids in the tail and the acidic E-hook at the C terminus of tubulin. The tail binds to a site on tubulin that is independent of the head domain-binding site but overlaps with the binding site of the microtubule-associated protein Tau. Surprisingly, the kinesin tail domain stimulates microtubule assembly and stability in a manner similar to Tau. The biological function of this strong kinesin tail-microtubule interaction remains to be seen, but it is likely to play an important role in kinesin regulation due to the close proximity of the microtubule-binding region to the conserved regulatory and cargo-binding domains of the tail. PMID:20071331

  18. Tau stabilizes microtubules by binding at the interface between tubulin heterodimers

    PubMed Central

    Kadavath, Harindranath; Hofele, Romina V.; Biernat, Jacek; Kumar, Satish; Tepper, Katharina; Urlaub, Henning; Mandelkow, Eckhard; Zweckstetter, Markus

    2015-01-01

    The structure, dynamic behavior, and spatial organization of microtubules are regulated by microtubule-associated proteins. An important microtubule-associated protein is the protein Tau, because its microtubule interaction is impaired in the course of Alzheimer’s disease and several other neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we show that Tau binds to microtubules by using small groups of evolutionary conserved residues. The binding sites are formed by residues that are essential for the pathological aggregation of Tau, suggesting competition between physiological interaction and pathogenic misfolding. Tau residues in between the microtubule-binding sites remain flexible when Tau is bound to microtubules in agreement with a highly dynamic nature of the Tau–microtubule interaction. By binding at the interface between tubulin heterodimers, Tau uses a conserved mechanism of microtubule polymerization and, thus, regulation of axonal stability and cell morphology. PMID:26034266

  19. Dimer model for Tau proteins bound in microtubule bundles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, Natalie; Kluber, Alexander; Hayre, N. Robert; Singh, Rajiv; Cox, Daniel

    2013-03-01

    The microtubule associated protein tau is important in nucleating and maintaining microtubule spacing and structure in neuronal axons. Modification of tau is implicated as a later stage process in Alzheimer's disease, but little is known about the structure of tau in microtubule bundles. We present preliminary work on a proposed model for tau dimers in microtubule bundles (dimers are the minimal units since there is one microtubule binding domain per tau). First, a model of tau monomer was created and its characteristics explored using implicit solvent molecular dynamics simulation. Multiple simulations yield a partially collapsed form with separate positively/negatively charged clumps, but which are a factor of two smaller than required by observed microtubule spacing. We argue that this will elongate in dimer form to lower electrostatic energy at a cost of entropic ``spring'' energy. We will present preliminary results on steered molecular dynamics runs on tau dimers to estimate the actual force constant. Supported by US NSF Grant DMR 1207624.

  20. EB1 regulates attachment of Ska1 with microtubules by forming extended structures on the microtubule lattice

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Geethu E.; Bandopadhyay, K.; Sutradhar, Sabyasachi; Renjith, M. R.; Singh, Puja; Gireesh, K. K.; Simon, Steny; Badarudeen, Binshad; Gupta, Hindol; Banerjee, Manidipa; Paul, Raja; Mitra, J.; Manna, Tapas K.

    2016-01-01

    Kinetochore couples chromosome movement to dynamic microtubules, a process that is fundamental to mitosis in all eukaryotes but poorly understood. In vertebrates, spindle-kinetochore-associated (Ska1–3) protein complex plays an important role in this process. However, the proteins that stabilize Ska-mediated kinetochore-microtubule attachment remain unknown. Here we show that microtubule plus-end tracking protein EB1 facilitates Ska localization on microtubules in vertebrate cells. EB1 depletion results in a significant reduction of Ska1 recruitment onto microtubules and defects in mitotic chromosome alignment, which is also reflected in computational modelling. Biochemical experiments reveal that EB1 interacts with Ska1, facilitates Ska1-microtubule attachment and together stabilizes microtubules. Structural studies reveal that EB1 either with Ska1 or Ska complex forms extended structures on microtubule lattice. Results indicate that EB1 promotes Ska association with K-fibres and facilitates kinetochore-microtubule attachment. They also implicate that in vertebrates, chromosome coupling to dynamic microtubules could be mediated through EB1-Ska extended structures. PMID:27225956

  1. LKB1 Destabilizes Microtubules in Myoblasts and Contributes to Myoblast Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Dole, Neha; Gilberti, Renée M.; Dodge-Kafka, Kimberly; Tirnauer, Jennifer S.

    2012-01-01

    Background Skeletal muscle myoblast differentiation and fusion into multinucleate myotubes is associated with dramatic cytoskeletal changes. We find that microtubules in differentiated myotubes are highly stabilized, but premature microtubule stabilization blocks differentiation. Factors responsible for microtubule destabilization in myoblasts have not been identified. Findings We find that a transient decrease in microtubule stabilization early during myoblast differentiation precedes the ultimate microtubule stabilization seen in differentiated myotubes. We report a role for the serine-threonine kinase LKB1 in both microtubule destabilization and myoblast differentiation. LKB1 overexpression reduced microtubule elongation in a Nocodazole washout assay, and LKB1 RNAi increased it, showing LKB1 destabilizes microtubule assembly in myoblasts. LKB1 levels and activity increased during myoblast differentiation, along with activation of the known LKB1 substrates AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and microtubule affinity regulating kinases (MARKs). LKB1 overexpression accelerated differentiation, whereas RNAi impaired it. Conclusions Reduced microtubule stability precedes myoblast differentiation and the associated ultimate microtubule stabilization seen in myotubes. LKB1 plays a positive role in microtubule destabilization in myoblasts and in myoblast differentiation. This work suggests a model by which LKB1-induced microtubule destabilization facilitates the cytoskeletal changes required for differentiation. Transient destabilization of microtubules might be a useful strategy for enhancing and/or synchronizing myoblast differentiation. PMID:22348111

  2. CLASP1, astrin and Kif2b form a molecular switch that regulates kinetochore-microtubule dynamics to promote mitotic progression and fidelity.

    PubMed

    Manning, Amity L; Bakhoum, Samuel F; Maffini, Stefano; Correia-Melo, Clara; Maiato, Helder; Compton, Duane A

    2010-10-20

    Accurate chromosome segregation during mitosis requires precise coordination of various processes, such as chromosome alignment, maturation of proper kinetochore-microtubule (kMT) attachments, correction of erroneous attachments, and silencing of the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC). How these fundamental aspects of mitosis are coordinately and temporally regulated is poorly understood. In this study, we show that the temporal regulation of kMT attachments by CLASP1, astrin and Kif2b is central to mitotic progression and chromosome segregation fidelity. In early mitosis, a Kif2b-CLASP1 complex is recruited to kinetochores to promote chromosome movement, kMT turnover, correction of attachment errors, and maintenance of SAC signalling. However, during metaphase, this complex is replaced by an astrin-CLASP1 complex, which promotes kMT stability, chromosome alignment, and silencing of the SAC. We show that these two complexes are differentially recruited to kinetochores and are mutually exclusive. We also show that other kinetochore proteins, such as Kif18a, affect kMT attachments and chromosome movement through these proteins. Thus, CLASP1-astrin-Kif2b complex act as a central switch at kinetochores that defines mitotic progression and promotes fidelity by temporally regulating kMT attachments. PMID:20852589

  3. Effects of silver ions (Ag+) on contractile ring function and microtubule dynamics during first cleavage in Ilyanassa obsoleta

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Conrad, A. H.; Stephens, A. P.; Paulsen, A. Q.; Schwarting, S. S.; Conrad, G. W.; Spooner, B. S. (Principal Investigator)

    1994-01-01

    The terminal phase of cell division involves tight constriction of the cleavage furrow contractile ring, stabilization/elongation of the intercellular bridge, and final separation of the daughter cells. At first cleavage, the fertilized eggs of the mollusk, Ilyanassa obsoleta, form two contractile rings at right angles to each other in the same cytoplasm that constrict to tight necks and partition the egg into a trefoil shape. The cleavage furrow contractile ring (CF) normally constricts around many midbody microtubules (MTs) and results in cleavage; the polar lobe constriction contractile ring (PLC) normally constricts around very few MTs and subsequently relaxes without cleavage. In the presence of Ag+ ions, the PLC 1) begins MT-dependent rapid constriction sooner than controls, 2) encircles more MTs than control egg PLCs, 3) elongates much more than control PLCs, and 4) remains tightly constricted and effectively cleaves the polar lobe from the egg. If Ag(+)-incubated eggs are returned to normal seawater at trefoil, tubulin fluorescence disappears from the PLC neck and the neck relaxes. If nocodazole, a drug that depolymerizes MTs, is added to Ag(+)-incubated eggs during early PLC constriction, the PLC is not stabilized and eventually relaxes. However, if nocodazole is added to Ag(+)-incubated eggs at trefoil, tubulin fluorescence disappears from the PLC neck but the neck remains constricted. These results suggest that Ag+ accelerates and gradually stabilizes the PLC constriction by a mechanism that is initially MT-dependent, but that progressively becomes MT-independent.

  4. Precise and Reversible Protein-Microtubule-Like Structure with Helicity Driven by Dual Supramolecular Interactions.

    PubMed

    Yang, Guang; Zhang, Xiang; Kochovski, Zdravko; Zhang, Yufei; Dai, Bin; Sakai, Fuji; Jiang, Lin; Lu, Yan; Ballauff, Matthias; Li, Xueming; Liu, Cong; Chen, Guosong; Jiang, Ming

    2016-02-17

    Protein microtubule is a significant self-assembled architecture found in nature with crucial biological functions. However, mimicking protein microtubules with precise structure and controllable self-assembly behavior remains highly challenging. In this work, we demonstrate that by using dual supramolecular interactions from a series of well-designed ligands, i.e., protein-sugar interaction and π-π stacking, highly homogeneous protein microtubes were achieved from tetrameric soybean agglutinin without any chemical or biological modification. Using combined cryo-EM single-particle reconstruction and computational modeling, the accurate structure of protein microtube was determined. The helical protein microtube is consisted of three protofilaments, each of which features an array of soybean agglutinin tetramer linked by the designed ligands. Notably, the microtubes resemble the natural microtubules in their structural and dynamic features such as the shape and diameter and the controllable and reversible assembly behavior, among others. Furthermore, the protein microtubes showed an ability to enhance immune response, demonstrating its great potential for biological applications.

  5. Dissecting the Paclitaxel-Microtubule Association: Quantitative Assessment of the 2′-OH Group†

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Shubhada; Lagisetti, Chandraiah; Poliks, Barbara; Coates, Robert M.; Kingston, David G. I.; Bane, Susan

    2013-01-01

    Paclitaxel (PTX) is a microtubule-stabilizing agent that is widely used in cancer chemotherapy. This structurally complex natural product acts by binding to β-tubulin in assembled microtubules. The 2′-hydroxyl group in the flexible side chain of PTX is an absolute requirement for activity, but its precise role in the drug-receptor interaction has not been specifically investigated. The contribution of the 2′-OH group to the affinity and tubulin-assembly efficacy of PTX has been evaluated through quantitative analysis of PTX derivatives possessing side chain deletions: 2′-deoxy-PTX, N-debenzoyl-2′-deoxy-PTX and baccatin III. The affinity of 2′-deoxy-PTX for stabilized microtubules was more than 100-fold less than that of PTX and only about 3-fold greater than the microtubule affinity of baccatin III. No microtubule binding activity was detected for the analog N-debenzoyl-2′-deoxy-PTX. The tubulin-assembly efficacy of each ligand was in concordance with the microtubule binding affinity, as was the trend in cytotoxicities. Molecular dynamics simulations revealed that the 2′-OH group of PTX can form a persistent hydrogen bond with D26 within the microtubule binding site. The absence of this interaction between 2′-deoxy-PTX and the receptor can account for the difference in binding free energy. Computational analyses also provide a possible explanation for why N-debenzoyl-2′-deoxy-PTX is inactive, in spite of the fact that it is essentially a substituted baccatin III. We propose that the hydrogen bonding interaction between the 2′-OH group and D26 is the most important stabilizing interaction that PTX forms with tubulin in the region of the C-13 side chain. We further hypothesize that the substituents at the 3′-position function to orient the 2′-OH group for a productive hydrogen bonding interaction with the protein. PMID:23473345

  6. Fission yeast mtr1p regulates interphase microtubule cortical dwell-time

    PubMed Central

    Carlier-Grynkorn, Frédérique; Ji, Liang; Fraisier, Vincent; Lombard, Berangère; Dingli, Florent; Loew, Damarys; Paoletti, Anne; Ronot, Xavier; Tran, Phong T.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT The microtubule cytoskeleton plays important roles in cell polarity, motility and division. Microtubules inherently undergo dynamic instability, stochastically switching between phases of growth and shrinkage. In cells, some microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) and molecular motors can further modulate microtubule dynamics. We present here the fission yeast mtr1+, a new regulator of microtubule dynamics that appears to be not a MAP or a motor. mtr1-deletion (mtr1Δ) primarily results in longer microtubule dwell-time at the cell tip cortex, suggesting that mtr1p acts directly or indirectly as a destabilizer of microtubules. mtr1p is antagonistic to mal3p, the ortholog of mammalian EB1, which stabilizes microtubules. mal3Δ results in short microtubules, but can be partially rescued by mtr1Δ, as the double mutant mal3Δ mtr1Δ exhibits longer microtubules than mal3Δ single mutant. By sequence homology, mtr1p is predicted to be a component of the ribosomal quality control complex. Intriguingly, deletion of a predicted ribosomal gene, rps1801, also resulted in longer microtubule dwell-time similar to mtr1Δ. The double-mutant mal3Δ rps1801Δ also exhibits longer microtubules than mal3Δ single mutant alone. Our study suggests a possible involvement of mtr1p and the ribosome complex in modulating microtubule dynamics. PMID:24928430

  7. Fission yeast mtr1p regulates interphase microtubule cortical dwell-time.

    PubMed

    Carlier-Grynkorn, Frédérique; Ji, Liang; Fraisier, Vincent; Lombard, Berangère; Dingli, Florent; Loew, Damarys; Paoletti, Anne; Ronot, Xavier; Tran, Phong T

    2014-01-01

    The microtubule cytoskeleton plays important roles in cell polarity, motility and division. Microtubules inherently undergo dynamic instability, stochastically switching between phases of growth and shrinkage. In cells, some microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) and molecular motors can further modulate microtubule dynamics. We present here the fission yeast mtr1(+), a new regulator of microtubule dynamics that appears to be not a MAP or a motor. mtr1-deletion (mtr1Δ) primarily results in longer microtubule dwell-time at the cell tip cortex, suggesting that mtr1p acts directly or indirectly as a destabilizer of microtubules. mtr1p is antagonistic to mal3p, the ortholog of mammalian EB1, which stabilizes microtubules. mal3Δ results in short microtubules, but can be partially rescued by mtr1Δ, as the double mutant mal3Δ mtr1Δ exhibits longer microtubules than mal3Δ single mutant. By sequence homology, mtr1p is predicted to be a component of the ribosomal quality control complex. Intriguingly, deletion of a predicted ribosomal gene, rps1801, also resulted in longer microtubule dwell-time similar to mtr1Δ. The double-mutant mal3Δ rps1801Δ also exhibits longer microtubules than mal3Δ single mutant alone. Our study suggests a possible involvement of mtr1p and the ribosome complex in modulating microtubule dynamics. PMID:24928430

  8. Accumulation of delta 2-tubulin, a major tubulin variant that cannot be tyrosinated, in neuronal tissues and in stable microtubule assemblies.

    PubMed

    Paturle-Lafanechère, L; Manier, M; Trigault, N; Pirollet, F; Mazarguil, H; Job, D

    1994-06-01

    Tubulin is the major protein component of brain tissue. It normally undergoes a cycle of tyrosination-detyrosination on the carboxy terminus of its alpha-subunit and this results in subpopulations of tyrosinated tubulin and detyrosinated tubulin. Brain tubulin preparations also contain a third major tubulin subpopulation, composed of a non-tyrosinatable variant of tubulin that lacks a carboxy-terminal glutamyl-tyrosine group on its alpha-subunit (delta 2-tubulin). Here, the abundance of delta 2-tubulin in brain tissues, its distribution in developing rat cerebellum and in a variety of cell types have been examined and compared with that of total alpha-tubulin and of tyrosinated and detyrosinated tubulin. Delta 2-tubulin accounts for approximately 35% of brain tubulin. In rat cerebellum, delta 2-tubulin appears early during neuronal differentiation and is detected only in neuronal cells. This apparent neuronal specificity of delta 2-tubulin is confirmed by examination of its distribution in cerebellar cells in primary cultures. In such cultures, neuronal cells are brightly stained with anti-delta 2-tubulin antibody while glial cells are not. Delta 2-tubulin is apparently present in neuronal growth cones. As delta 2-tubulin, detyrosinated tubulin is enriched in neuronal cells, but in contrast with delta 2-tubulin, detyrosinated tubulin is not detectable in Purkinje cells and is apparently excluded from neuronal growth cones. In a variety of cell types such as cultured fibroblasts of primary culture of bovine adrenal cortical cells, delta 2-tubulin is confined to very stable structures such as centrosomes and primary cilia. Treatment of such cells with high doses of taxol leads to the appearance of delta 2-tubulin in microtubule bundles. Delta 2-tubulin also occurs in the paracrystalline bundles of protofilamentous tubulin formed after vinblastine treatment. Delta 2-tubulin is present in sea urchin sperm flagella and it appears in sea urchin embryo cilia during

  9. Microtubules in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Hashimoto, Takashi

    2015-01-01

    Microtubules (MTs) are highly conserved polar polymers that are key elements of the eukaryotic cytoskeleton and are essential for various cell functions. αβ-tubulin, a heterodimer containing one structural GTP and one hydrolysable and exchangeable GTP, is the building block of MTs and is formed by the sequential action of several molecular chaperones. GTP hydrolysis in the MT lattice is mechanistically coupled with MT growth, thus giving MTs a metastable and dynamic nature. MTs adopt several distinct higher-order organizations that function in cell division and cell morphogenesis. Small molecular weight compounds that bind tubulin are used as herbicides and as research tools to investigate MT functions in plant cells. The de novo formation of MTs in cells requires conserved γ-tubulin-containing complexes and targeting/activating regulatory proteins that contribute to the geometry of MT arrays. Various MT regulators and tubulin modifications control the dynamics and organization of MTs throughout the cell cycle and in response to developmental and environmental cues. Signaling pathways that converge on the regulation of versatile MT functions are being characterized. PMID:26019693

  10. Microtubules in plants.

    PubMed

    Hashimoto, Takashi

    2015-01-01

    Microtubules (MTs) are highly conserved polar polymers that are key elements of the eukaryotic cytoskeleton and are essential for various cell functions. αβ-tubulin, a heterodimer containing one structural GTP and one hydrolysable and exchangeable GTP, is the building block of MTs and is formed by the sequential action of several molecular chaperones. GTP hydrolysis in the MT lattice is mechanistically coupled with MT growth, thus giving MTs a metastable and dynamic nature. MTs adopt several distinct higher-order organizations that function in cell division and cell morphogenesis. Small molecular weight compounds that bind tubulin are used as herbicides and as research tools to investigate MT functions in plant cells. The de novo formation of MTs in cells requires conserved γ-tubulin-containing complexes and targeting/activating regulatory proteins that contribute to the geometry of MT arrays. Various MT regulators and tubulin modifications control the dynamics and organization of MTs throughout the cell cycle and in response to developmental and environmental cues. Signaling pathways that converge on the regulation of versatile MT functions are being characterized.

  11. Chronic, long-term social stress can cause decreased microtubule protein network activity and dynamics in cerebral cortex of male Wistar rats.

    PubMed

    Eskandari Sedighi, Ghazaleh; Riazi, Gholam Hossein; Vaez Mahdavi, Mohammad Reza; Cheraghi, Tayebe; Atarod, Deyhim; Rafiei, Shahrbanoo

    2015-03-01

    Social stress is viewed as a factor in the etiology of a variety of psychopathologies such as depression and anxiety. Animal models of social stress are well developed and widely used in studying clinical and physiological effects of stress. Stress is known to significantly affect learning and memory, and this effect strongly depends on the type of stress, its intensity, and duration. It has been demonstrated that chronic and acute stress conditions can change neuronal plasticity, characterized by retraction of apical dendrites, reduction in axonogenesis, and decreased neurogenesis. Various behavioral studies have also confirmed a decrease in learning and memory upon exposure of animals to long-term chronic stress. On the other hand, the close relationship between microtubule (MT) protein network and neuroplasticity controlling system suggests the possibility of MT protein alterations in high stressful conditions. In this work, we have studied the kinetics, activity, and dynamicity changes of MT proteins in the cerebral cortex of male Wistar rats that were subjected to social instability for 35 and 100 days. Our results indicate that MT protein network dynamicity and polymerization ability is decreased under long-term (100 days) social stress conditions.

  12. Microtubules move the nucleus to quiescence.

    PubMed

    Laporte, Damien; Sagot, Isabelle

    2014-01-01

    The nucleus is a cellular compartment that hosts several macro-molecular machines displaying a highly complex spatial organization. This tight architectural orchestration determines not only DNA replication and repair but also regulates gene expression. In budding yeast microtubules play a key role in structuring the nucleus since they condition the Rabl arrangement in G1 and chromosome partitioning during mitosis through their attachment to centromeres via the kinetochore proteins. Recently, we have shown that upon quiescence entry, intranuclear microtubules emanating from the spindle pole body elongate to form a highly stable bundle that spans the entire nucleus. Here, we examine some molecular mechanisms that may underlie the formation of this structure. As the intranuclear microtubule bundle causes a profound re-organization of the yeast nucleus and is required for cell survival during quiescence, we discuss the possibility that the assembly of such a structure participates in quiescence establishment.

  13. Dynamic self-assembly of motile bacteria in liquid crystals

    PubMed Central

    Mushenheim, Peter C.; Trivedi, Rishi R.; Tuson, Hannah H.

    2014-01-01

    This paper reports an investigation of dynamical behaviors of motile rod-shaped bacteria within anisotropic viscoelastic environments defined by lyotropic liquid crystals (LCs). In contrast to passive microparticles (including non-motile bacteria) that associate irreversibly in LCs via elasticity-mediated forces, we report that motile Proteus mirabilis bacteria form dynamic and reversible multi-cellular assemblies when dispersed in a lyotropic LC. By measuring the velocity of the bacteria through the LC (8.8 +/− 0.2 μm/s) and by characterizing the ordering of the LC about the rod-shaped bacteria (tangential anchoring), we conclude that the reversibility of the inter-bacterial interaction emerges from the interplay of forces generated by the flagella of the bacteria and the elasticity of the LC, both of which are comparable in magnitude (tens of pN) for motile Proteus mirabilis cells. We also measured the dissociation process, which occurs in a direction determined by the LC, to bias the size distribution of multi-cellular bacterial complexes in a population of motile Proteus mirabilis relative to a population of non-motile cells. Overall, these observations and others reported in this paper provide insight into the fundamental dynamical behaviors of bacteria in complex anisotropic environments and suggest that motile bacteria in LCs are an exciting model system for exploration of principles for the design of active materials. PMID:24652584

  14. Colchicine activates actin polymerization by microtubule depolymerization.

    PubMed

    Jung, H I; Shin, I; Park, Y M; Kang, K W; Ha, K S

    1997-06-30

    Swiss 3T3 fibroblasts were treated with the microtubule-disrupting agent colchicine to study any interaction between microtubule dynamics and actin polymerization. Colchicine increased the amount of filamentous actin (F-actin), in a dose- and time-dependent manner with a significant increase at 1 h by about 130% over control level. Confocal microscopic observation showed that colchicine increased F-actin contents by stress fiber formation without inducing membrane ruffling. Colchicine did not activate phospholipase C and phospholipase D, whereas lysophosphatidic acid did, indicating that colchicine may have a different mechanism of actin polymerization regulation from LPA. A variety of microtubule-disrupting agents stimulated actin polymerization in Swiss 3T3 and Rat-2 fibroblasts as did colchicine, but the microtubule-stabilizing agent taxol inhibited actin polymerization induced by the above microtubule-disrupting agents. In addition, colchicine-induced actin polymerization was blocked by two protein phosphatase inhibitors, okadaic acid and calyculin A. These results suggest that microtubule depolymerization activates stress fiber formation by serine/threonine dephosphorylation in fibroblasts. PMID:9264034

  15. Microtubule Elasticity: Connecting All-Atom Simulations with Continuum Mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sept, David; Mackintosh, Fred C.

    2010-01-01

    The mechanical properties of microtubules have been extensively studied using a wide range of biophysical techniques, seeking to understand the mechanics of these cylindrical polymers. Here we develop a method for connecting all-atom molecular dynamics simulations with continuum mechanics and show how this can be applied to understand microtubule mechanics. Our coarse-graining technique applied to the microscopic simulation system yields consistent predictions for the Young’s modulus and persistence length of microtubules, while clearly demonstrating how binding of the drug Taxol decreases the stiffness of microtubules. The techniques we develop should be widely applicable to other macromolecular systems.

  16. The dual specificity phosphatase Cdc14B bundles and stabilizes microtubules

    SciTech Connect

    Plumley, Hyekyung; Liu, Yie; Gomez, Marla V; Wang, Yisong

    2005-01-01

    The Cdc14 dual-specificity phosphatases regulate key events in the eukaryotic cell cycle. However, little is known about the function of mammalian CDC14B family members. Here, we demonstrate that subcellular localization of CDC14B protein is cell cycle regulated. CDC14B can bind, bundle, and stabilize microtubules in vitro independently of its catalytic activity. Basic amino acid residues within the nucleolar targeting domain are important for both retaining CDC14B in the nucleolus and preventing microtubule bundling. Overexpression of CDC14B resulted in the formation of cytoplasmic CDC14B and microtubule bundles in interphase cells. These microtubule bundles were resistant to microtubule depolymerization reagents and enriched in acetylated -tubulin. Expression of cytoplasmic forms of CDC14B impaired microtubule nucleation from the microtubule organization center. CDC14B is thus a novel microtubule-bundling and -stabilizing protein, whose regulated subcellular localization may help modulate spindle and microtubule dynamics in mitosis.

  17. General theory for the mechanics of confined microtubule asters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Rui; Laan, Liedewij; Dogterom, Marileen; Pavin, Nenad; Jülicher, Frank

    2014-01-01

    In cells, dynamic microtubules organize into asters or spindles to assist positioning of organelles. Two types of forces are suggested to contribute to the positioning process: (i) microtubule-growth based pushing forces; and (ii) motor protein mediated pulling forces. In this paper, we present a general theory to account for aster positioning in a confinement of arbitrary shape. The theory takes account of microtubule nucleation, growth, catastrophe, slipping, as well as interaction with cortical force generators. We calculate microtubule distributions and forces acting on microtubule organizing centers in a sphere and in an ellipsoid. Positioning mechanisms based on both pushing forces and pulling forces can be distinguished in our theory for different parameter regimes or in different geometries. In addition, we investigate positioning of microtubule asters in the case of asymmetric distribution of motors. This analysis enables us to characterize situations relevant for Caenorrhabditis elegans embryos.

  18. Dynamic Characterization of Crystalline Supramolecular Rotors Assembled through Halogen Bonding.

    PubMed

    Catalano, Luca; Pérez-Estrada, Salvador; Terraneo, Giancarlo; Pilati, Tullio; Resnati, Giuseppe; Metrangolo, Pierangelo; Garcia-Garibay, Miguel A

    2015-12-16

    A modular molecular kit for the preparation of crystalline molecular rotors was devised from a set of stators and rotators to gain simple access to a large number of structures with different dynamic performance and physical properties. In this work, we have accomplished this with crystalline molecular rotors self-assembled by halogen bonding of diazabicyclo[2.2.2]octane, acting as a rotator, and a set of five fluorine-substituted iodobenzenes that take the role of the stator. Using variable-temperature (1)H T1 spin-lattice relaxation measurements, we have shown that all structures display ultrafast Brownian rotation with activation energies of 2.4-4.9 kcal/mol and pre-exponential factors of the order of (1-9) × 10(12) s(-1). Line shape analysis of quadrupolar echo (2)H NMR measurements in selected examples indicated rotational trajectories consistent with the 3-fold or 6-fold symmetric potential of the rotator.

  19. The family-specific α4-helix of the kinesin-13, MCAK, is critical to microtubule end recognition

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Jennifer T.; Belsham, Hannah R.; Rathbone, Alexandra J.; Wickstead, Bill; Gell, Christopher

    2016-01-01

    Kinesins that influence the dynamics of microtubule growth and shrinkage require the ability to distinguish between the microtubule end and the microtubule lattice. The microtubule depolymerizing kinesin MCAK has been shown to specifically recognize the microtubule end. This ability is key to the action of MCAK in regulating microtubule dynamics. We show that the α4-helix of the motor domain is crucial to microtubule end recognition. Mutation of the residues K524, E525 and R528, which are located in the C-terminal half of the α4-helix, specifically disrupts the ability of MCAK to recognize the microtubule end. Mutation of these residues, which are conserved in the kinesin-13 family and discriminate members of this family from translocating kinesins, impairs the ability of MCAK to discriminate between the microtubule lattice and the microtubule end. PMID:27733589

  20. CLIP-170 facilitates the formation of kinetochore–microtubule attachments

    PubMed Central

    Tanenbaum, Marvin E; Galjart, Niels; van Vugt, Marcel A T M; Medema, René H

    2006-01-01

    CLIP-170 is a microtubule ‘plus end tracking' protein involved in several microtubule-dependent processes in interphase. At the onset of mitosis, CLIP-170 localizes to kinetochores, but at metaphase, it is no longer detectable at kinetochores. Although RNA interference (RNAi) experiments have suggested an essential role for CLIP-170 during mitosis, the molecular function of CLIP-170 in mitosis has not yet been revealed. Here, we used a combination of high-resolution microscopy and RNAi-mediated depletion to study the function of CLIP-170 in mitosis. We found that CLIP-170 dynamically localizes to the outer most part of unattached kinetochores and to the ends of growing microtubules. In addition, we provide evidence that a pool of CLIP-170 is transported along kinetochore–microtubules by the dynein/dynactin complex. Interference with CLIP-170 expression results in defective chromosome congression and diminished kinetochore–microtubule attachments, but does not detectibly affect microtubule dynamics or kinetochore–microtubule stability. Taken together, our results indicate that CLIP-170 facilitates the formation of kinetochore–microtubule attachments, possibly through direct capture of microtubules at the kinetochore. PMID:16362039

  1. DYNAMIC SHEAR-INFLUENCED COLLAGEN SELF-ASSEMBLY

    PubMed Central

    Saeidi, Nima; Sander, Edward A.

    2011-01-01

    The ability to influence the direction of polymerization of a self-assembling biomolecular system has the potential to generate materials with extremely high anisotropy. In biological systems where highly-oriented cellular populations give rise to aligned and often load-bearing tissue such organized molecular scaffolds could aid in the contact guidance of cells for engineered tissue constructs (e.g cornea and tendon). In this investigation we examine the detailed dynamics of pepsin-extracted type I bovine collagen assembly on a glass surface under the influence of flow between two plates. Differential Interference Contrast (DIC) imaging (60x-1.4NA) with focal plane stabilization was used to resolve and track the growth of collagen aggregates on borosilicate glass for 4 different shear rates (500, 80, 20, and 9 s-1). The detailed morphology of the collagen fibrils/aggregates was examined using Quick Freeze Deep Etch electron microscopy. Nucleation of fibrils on the glass was observed to occur rapidly (~2 min) followed by continued growth of the fibrils. The growth rates were dependent on flow in a complex manner with the highest rate of axial growth (0.1 microns/sec) occurring at a shear rate of 9 s-1. The lowest growth rate occurred at the highest shear. Fibrils were observed to both branch and join during the experiments. The best alignment of fibrils was observed at intermediate shear rates of 20 and 80s-1. However, the investigation revealed that fibril directional growth was not stable. At high shear rates, fibrils would often turn downstream forming what we term “hooks” which are likely the combined result of monomer interaction with the initial collagen layer or “mat” and the high shear rate. Further, QFDE examination of fibril morphology demonstrated that the assembled fibrillar structure did not possess native D-periodicity. Instead, fibrils comprised a collection of generally aligned, monomers which were self-assembled to form a fibril

  2. Stabilization of actin filaments prevents germinal vesicle breakdown and affects microtubule organization in Xenopus oocytes.

    PubMed

    Okada, Iyo; Fujiki, Saburo; Iwase, Shohei; Abe, Hiroshi

    2012-05-01

    In Xenopus oocytes, extremely giant nuclei, termed germinal vesicles, contain a large amount of actin filaments most likely for mechanical integrity. Here, we show that microinjection of phalloidin, an F-actin-stabilizing drug, prevents the germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) in oocytes treated with progesterone. These nuclei remained for more 12 h after control oocytes underwent GVBD. Immunostaining showed significant elevation of actin in the remaining nuclei and many actin filament bundles in the cytoplasm. Furthermore, microtubules formed unusual structures in both nuclei and cytoplasm of phalloidin-injected oocytes stimulated by progesterone. Cytoplasmic microtubule arrays and intranuclear microtubules initially formed in phalloidin-injected oocytes as control oocytes exhibited white maturation spots; these structures gradually disappeared and finally converged upon intranuclear short bundles when control oocytes completed maturation. In contrast, treatment of oocytes with jasplakinolide, a cell membrane-permeable actin filament-stabilizing drug, did not affect GVBD. This drug preferentially induced accumulation of actin filaments at the cortex without any increase in cytoplasmic actin staining. Based on these results, intranuclear and cytoplasmic actin filament dynamics appear to be required for the completion of GVBD and critically involved in the regulation of microtubule assembly during oocyte maturation in Xenopus laevis. PMID:22422719

  3. Microtubule-dependent transport of vimentin filament precursors is regulated by actin and by the concerted action of Rho- and p21-activated kinases.

    PubMed

    Robert, Amélie; Herrmann, Harald; Davidson, Michael W; Gelfand, Vladimir I

    2014-07-01

    Intermediate filaments (IFs) form a dense and dynamic network that is functionally associated with microtubules and actin filaments. We used the GFP-tagged vimentin mutant Y117L to study vimentin-cytoskeletal interactions and transport of vimentin filament precursors. This mutant preserves vimentin interaction with other components of the cytoskeleton, but its assembly is blocked at the unit-length filament (ULF) stage. ULFs are easy to track, and they allow a reliable and quantifiable analysis of movement. Our results show that in cultured human vimentin-negative SW13 cells, 2% of vimentin-ULFs move along microtubules bidirectionally, while the majority are stationary and tightly associated with actin filaments. Rapid motor-dependent transport of ULFs along microtubules is enhanced ≥ 5-fold by depolymerization of actin cytoskeleton with latrunculin B. The microtubule-dependent transport of vimentin ULFs is further regulated by Rho-kinase (ROCK) and p21-activated kinase (PAK): ROCK inhibits ULF transport, while PAK stimulates it. Both kinases act on microtubule transport independently of their effects on actin cytoskeleton. Our study demonstrates the importance of the actin cytoskeleton to restrict IF transport and reveals a new role for PAK and ROCK in the regulation of IF precursor transport.-Robert, A., Herrmann, H., Davidson, M. W., and Gelfand, V. I. Microtubule-dependent transport of vimentin filament precursors is regulated by actin and by the concerted action of Rho- and p21-activated kinases.

  4. Microtubule-dependent transport of vimentin filament precursors is regulated by actin and by the concerted action of Rho- and p21-activated kinases

    PubMed Central

    Robert, Amélie; Herrmann, Harald; Davidson, Michael W.; Gelfand, Vladimir I.

    2014-01-01

    Intermediate filaments (IFs) form a dense and dynamic network that is functionally associated with microtubules and actin filaments. We used the GFP-tagged vimentin mutant Y117L to study vimentin-cytoskeletal interactions and transport of vimentin filament precursors. This mutant preserves vimentin interaction with other components of the cytoskeleton, but its assembly is blocked at the unit-length filament (ULF) stage. ULFs are easy to track, and they allow a reliable and quantifiable analysis of movement. Our results show that in cultured human vimentin-negative SW13 cells, 2% of vimentin-ULFs move along microtubules bidirectionally, while the majority are stationary and tightly associated with actin filaments. Rapid motor-dependent transport of ULFs along microtubules is enhanced ≥5-fold by depolymerization of actin cytoskeleton with latrunculin B. The microtubule-dependent transport of vimentin ULFs is further regulated by Rho-kinase (ROCK) and p21-activated kinase (PAK): ROCK inhibits ULF transport, while PAK stimulates it. Both kinases act on microtubule transport independently of their effects on actin cytoskeleton. Our study demonstrates the importance of the actin cytoskeleton to restrict IF transport and reveals a new role for PAK and ROCK in the regulation of IF precursor transport.—Robert, A., Herrmann, H., Davidson, M. W., and Gelfand, V. I. Microtubule-dependent transport of vimentin filament precursors is regulated by actin and by the concerted action of Rho- and p21-activated kinases. PMID:24652946

  5. A Refined Reaction-Diffusion Model of Tau-Microtubule Dynamics and Its Application in FDAP Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Igaev, Maxim; Janning, Dennis; Sündermann, Frederik; Niewidok, Benedikt; Brandt, Roland; Junge, Wolfgang

    2014-01-01

    Fluorescence decay after photoactivation (FDAP) and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) are well established approaches for studying the interaction of the microtubule (MT)-associated protein tau with MTs in neuronal cells. Previous interpretations of FDAP/FRAP data have revealed dwell times of tau on MTs in the range of several seconds. However, this is difficult to reconcile with a dwell time recently measured by single-molecule analysis in neuronal processes that was shorter by two orders of magnitude. Questioning the validity of previously used phenomenological interpretations of FDAP/FRAP data, we have generalized the standard two-state reaction-diffusion equations by 1), accounting for the parallel and discrete arrangement of MTs in cell processes (i.e., homogeneous versus heterogeneous distribution of tau-binding sites); and 2), explicitly considering both active (diffusion upon MTs) and passive (piggybacking upon MTs at rates of slow axonal transport) motion of bound tau. For some idealized cases, analytical solutions were derived. By comparing them with the full numerical solution and Monte Carlo simulations, the respective validity domains were mapped. Interpretation of our FDAP data (from processes of neuronally differentiated PC12 cells) in light of the heterogeneous formalism yielded independent estimates for the association (∼2 ms) and dwell (∼100 ms) times of tau to/on a single MT rather than in an MT array. The dwell time was shorter by orders of magnitude than that in a previous report where a homogeneous topology of MTs was assumed. We found that the diffusion of bound tau was negligible in vivo, in contrast to an earlier report that tau diffuses along the MT lattice in vitro. Methodologically, our results demonstrate that the heterogeneity of binding sites cannot be ignored when dealing with reaction-diffusion of cytoskeleton-associated proteins. Physiologically, the results reveal the behavior of tau in cellular processes

  6. Ska3 Ensures Timely Mitotic Progression by Interacting Directly With Microtubules and Ska1 Microtubule Binding Domain

    PubMed Central

    Abad, Maria Alba; Zou, Juan; Medina-Pritchard, Bethan; Nigg, Erich A.; Rappsilber, Juri; Santamaria, Anna; Jeyaprakash, A. Arockia

    2016-01-01

    The establishment of physical attachment between the kinetochore and dynamic spindle microtubules, which undergo cycles of polymerization and depolymerization generating straight and curved microtubule structures, is essential for accurate chromosome segregation. The Ndc80 and Ska complexes are the major microtubule-binding factors of the kinetochore responsible for maintaining chromosome-microtubule coupling during chromosome segregation. We previously showed that the Ska1 subunit of the Ska complex binds dynamic microtubules using multiple contact sites in a mode that allows conformation-independent binding. Here, we show that the Ska3 subunit is required to modulate the microtubule binding capability of the Ska complex (i) by directly interacting with tubulin monomers and (ii) indirectly by interacting with tubulin contacting regions of Ska1 suggesting an allosteric regulation. Perturbing either the Ska3-microtubule interaction or the Ska3-Ska1 interactions negatively influences microtubule binding by the Ska complex in vitro and affects the timely onset of anaphase in cells. Thus, Ska3 employs additional modulatory elements within the Ska complex to ensure robust kinetochore-microtubule attachments and timely progression of mitosis. PMID:27667719

  7. In vitro polymerization of microtubules with a fullerene derivative.

    PubMed

    Ratnikova, Tatsiana A; Govindan, Praveen Nedumpully; Salonen, Emppu; Ke, Pu Chun

    2011-08-23

    Fullerene derivative C(60)(OH)(20) inhibited microtubule polymerization at low micromolar concentrations. The inhibition was mainly attributed to the formation of hydrogen bonding between the nanoparticle and the tubulin heterodimer, the building block of the microtubule, as evidenced by docking and molecular dynamics simulations. Our circular dichroism spectroscopy measurement indicated changes in the tubulin secondary structures, while our guanosine-5'-triphosphate hydrolysis assay showed hindered release of inorganic phosphate by the nanoparticle. Isothermal titration calorimetry revealed that C(60)(OH)(20) binds to tubulin at a molar ratio of 9:1 and with a binding constant of 1.3 ± 0.16 × 10(6) M(-1), which was substantiated by the binding site and binding energy analysis using docking and molecular dynamics simulations. Our simulations further suggested that occupancy by the nanoparticles at the longitudinal contacts between tubulin dimers within a protofilament or at the lateral contacts of the M-loop and H5 and H12 helices of neighboring tubulins could also influence the polymerization process. This study offered a new molecular-level insight on how nanoparticles may reshape the assembly of cytoskeletal proteins, a topic of essential importance for illuminating cell response to engineered nanoparticles and for the advancement of nanomedicine.

  8. Anti-Microtubule Drugs.

    PubMed

    Florian, Stefan; Mitchison, Timothy J

    2016-01-01

    Small molecule drugs that target microtubules (MTs), many of them natural products, have long been important tools in the MT field. Indeed, tubulin (Tb) was discovered, in part, as the protein binding partner of colchicine. Several anti-MT drug classes also have important medical uses, notably colchicine, which is used to treat gout, familial Mediterranean fever (FMF), and pericarditis, and the vinca alkaloids and taxanes, which are used to treat cancer. Anti-MT drugs have in common that they bind specifically to Tb in the dimer, MT or some other form. However, their effects on polymerization dynamics and on the human body differ markedly. Here we briefly review the most-studied molecules, and comment on their uses in basic research and medicine. Our focus is on practical applications of different anti-MT drugs in the laboratory, and key points that users should be aware of when designing experiments. We also touch on interesting unsolved problems, particularly in the area of medical applications. In our opinion, the mechanism by which any MT drug cures or treats any disease is still unsolved, despite decades of research. Solving this problem for particular drug-disease combinations might open new uses for old drugs, or provide insights into novel routes for treatment. PMID:27193863

  9. DNA/Fusogenic Lipid Nanocarrier Assembly: Millisecond Structural Dynamics.

    PubMed

    Angelov, Borislav; Angelova, Angelina; Filippov, Sergey K; Narayanan, Theyencheri; Drechsler, Markus; Štěpánek, Petr; Couvreur, Patrick; Lesieur, Sylviane

    2013-06-01

    Structural changes occurring on a millisecond time scale during uptake of DNA by cationic lipid nanocarriers are monitored by time-resolved small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) coupled to a rapid-mixing stopped-flow technique. Nanoparticles (NPs) of nanochannel organization are formed by PEGylation, hydration, and dispersion of a lipid film of the fusogenic lipid monoolein in a mixture with positively charged (DOMA) and PEGylated (DOPE-PEG2000) amphiphiles and are characterized by the inner cubic structure of very large nanochannels favorable for DNA upload. Ultrafast structural dynamics of complexation and assembly of these cubosome particles with neurotrophic plasmid DNA (pDNA) is revealed thanks to the high brightness of the employed synchrotron X-ray beam. The rate constant of the pDNA/lipid NP complexation is estimated from dynamic roentgenograms recorded at 4 ms time resolution. pDNA upload into the vastly hydrated channels of the cubosome carriers leads to a fast nanoparticle-nanoparticle structural transition and lipoplex formation involving tightly packed pDNA. PMID:26283134

  10. A phage tubulin assembles dynamic filaments by a novel mechanism to center viral DNA within the host cell

    PubMed Central

    Kraemer, James A; Erb, Marcella L; Waddling, Christopher A; Montabana, Elizabeth A; Zehr, Elena A; Wang, Hannah; Nguyen, Katrina; Pham, Duy Stephen L; Agard, David A; Pogliano, Joe

    2012-01-01

    Tubulins are essential for the reproduction of many eukaryotic viruses, but historically bacteriophage were assumed not to require a cytoskeleton. Here we identify a tubulin-like protein, PhuZ, from bacteriophage 201φ2-1 and show that it forms filaments in vivo and in vitro. The PhuZ structure has a conserved tubulin fold, with a novel, extended C-terminus that we demonstrate to be critical for polymerization in vitro and in vivo. Longitudinal packing in the crystal lattice mimics packing observed by EM of in vitro formed filaments, indicating how interactions between the C-terminus and the following monomer drive polymerization. Finally, we show that PhuZ assembles a spindle-like array required for positioning phage DNA within the bacterial cell. Correct positioning to the cell center and optimal phage reproduction only occur when the PhuZ filament is dynamic. This is the first example of a prokaryotic tubulin array that functions analogously to the microtubule-based spindles of eukaryotes. PMID:22726436

  11. Pironetin reacts covalently with cysteine-316 of α-tubulin to destabilize microtubule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Jianhong; Wang, Yuxi; Wang, Taijing; Jiang, Jian; Botting, Catherine H.; Liu, Huanting; Chen, Qiang; Yang, Jinliang; Naismith, James H.; Zhu, Xiaofeng; Chen, Lijuan

    2016-06-01

    Molecules that alter the normal dynamics of microtubule assembly and disassembly include many anticancer drugs in clinical use. So far all such therapeutics target β-tubulin, and structural biology has explained the basis of their action and permitted design of new drugs. However, by shifting the profile of β-tubulin isoforms, cancer cells become resistant to treatment. Compounds that bind to α-tubulin are less well characterized and unexploited. The natural product pironetin is known to bind to α-tubulin and is a potent inhibitor of microtubule polymerization. Previous reports had identified that pironetin reacts with lysine-352 residue however analogues designed on this model had much lower potency, which was difficult to explain, hindering further development. We report crystallographic and mass spectrometric data that reveal that pironetin forms a covalent bond to cysteine-316 in α-tubulin via a Michael addition reaction. These data provide a basis for the rational design of α-tubulin targeting chemotherapeutics.

  12. Active contraction of microtubule networks

    PubMed Central

    Foster, Peter J; Fürthauer, Sebastian; Shelley, Michael J; Needleman, Daniel J

    2015-01-01

    Many cellular processes are driven by cytoskeletal assemblies. It remains unclear how cytoskeletal filaments and motor proteins organize into cellular scale structures and how molecular properties of cytoskeletal components affect the large-scale behaviors of these systems. Here, we investigate the self-organization of stabilized microtubules in Xenopus oocyte extracts and find that they can form macroscopic networks that spontaneously contract. We propose that these contractions are driven by the clustering of microtubule minus ends by dynein. Based on this idea, we construct an active fluid theory of network contractions, which predicts a dependence of the timescale of contraction on initial network geometry, a development of density inhomogeneities during contraction, a constant final network density, and a strong influence of dynein inhibition on the rate of contraction, all in quantitative agreement with experiments. These results demonstrate that the motor-driven clustering of filament ends is a generic mechanism leading to contraction. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10837.001 PMID:26701905

  13. The Atmospheric Imaging Assembly on the Solar Dynamics Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Title, A. M.; Hoeksema, J. T.; Schrijver, C. J.; Aia Team

    The Atmospheric Imaging Assembly AIA on SDO will provide revolutionary coverage of the entire visible solar hemisphere observed from photospheric to coronal temperatures at 1-arcsecond resolution with a characteristic cadence of 10 seconds for each channel The AIA comprises four dual normal-incidence telescopes that enable it to cycle through a set of EUV channels centered on strong emission lines of iron ranging from Fe IX through XXIII and helium 304A plus two UV channels near 1600A and a broad band visible channel Combined with the vector- magnetic imagery from SDO HMI the AIA observations will significantly further our understanding of the dynamics of the magnetic field in the solar atmosphere and heliosphere both in quiescent and eruptive stages The comprehensive thermal coverage of the corona will open new avenues of study for coronal energetics and seismology which will benefit from the excellent calibration against the SDO EVE spectral irradiance measurements The AIA data will be easily accessible on the web with a time delay that is expected to be of the order of 15 minutes to 1 hour Users will be able to browse the data through summary web pages that are complemented by a comprehensive metadata catalog Data analysis will be supported through the freely available SolarSoft libraries and through modules in a flexible evolving pipeline data-analysis system to be operated at the AIA-HMI Joint Science Operations Center We plan to incorporate feature recognition software automated movie making coronal field modeling

  14. Dynamics and Self-Assembly of Nanoparticles on Biomembranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharya, Rupak; Maingi, Vishal; Kanchi, Subbarao; Rahul Suresh, Bagul; Jayaraman, N.; Maity, Prabal; Ayappa, K. G.; Basu, Jaydeep

    2013-03-01

    We have recently been investigating the diffusion mediated self-assembly of various types of Dendrimers on supported DMPC lipid bilayer. Atomic Force Microscopy is used to study the pattern formation for PETIM dendrimers of different core composition as well as of generations. Extensive studies have been carried out using different concentration and different packing of lipid molecules constituting the lipid bilayer. Interestingly Oxygen Core dendrimer forms regular circular patterns on membranes whereas the Nitrogen Core dendrimer do not. A fully atomistic Molecular Dynamics simulation with implicit water clearly shows the evidence of domain formation for O-core dendrimers on bilayer, which is absent in the other one. Different generation for Oxygen core dendrimers forms patterns with a pore inside. The reduction of the diameter of these patterns with decreasing packing of lipid molecules indicates the possible role of lipid molecules in aggregation process. Further study using Confocal Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy is underway to correlate this type of membrane mediated pattern formation with underlying lipid diffusion. CSIR and DST for financial Support

  15. Dynamic Characterization of Crystalline Supramolecular Rotors Assembled through Halogen Bonding.

    PubMed

    Catalano, Luca; Pérez-Estrada, Salvador; Terraneo, Giancarlo; Pilati, Tullio; Resnati, Giuseppe; Metrangolo, Pierangelo; Garcia-Garibay, Miguel A

    2015-12-16

    A modular molecular kit for the preparation of crystalline molecular rotors was devised from a set of stators and rotators to gain simple access to a large number of structures with different dynamic performance and physical properties. In this work, we have accomplished this with crystalline molecular rotors self-assembled by halogen bonding of diazabicyclo[2.2.2]octane, acting as a rotator, and a set of five fluorine-substituted iodobenzenes that take the role of the stator. Using variable-temperature (1)H T1 spin-lattice relaxation measurements, we have shown that all structures display ultrafast Brownian rotation with activation energies of 2.4-4.9 kcal/mol and pre-exponential factors of the order of (1-9) × 10(12) s(-1). Line shape analysis of quadrupolar echo (2)H NMR measurements in selected examples indicated rotational trajectories consistent with the 3-fold or 6-fold symmetric potential of the rotator. PMID:26583701

  16. The leading role of microtubules in endothelial barrier dysfunction: disassembly of peripheral microtubules leaves behind the cytoskeletal reorganization.

    PubMed

    Alieva, Irina B; Zemskov, Evgeny A; Smurova, Ksenija M; Kaverina, Irina N; Verin, Alexander D

    2013-10-01

    Disturbance of the endothelial barrier is characterized by dramatic cytoskeleton reorganization, activation of actomyosin contraction and, finally, leads to intercellular gap formation. Here we demonstrate that the edemagenic agent, thrombin, causes a rapid increase in the human pulmonary artery endothelial cell (EC) barrier permeability accompanied by fast decreasing in the peripheral microtubules quantity and reorganization of the microtubule system in the internal cytoplasm of the EC within 5 min of the treatment. The actin stress-fibers formation occurs gradually and the maximal effect is observed relatively later, 30 min of the thrombin treatment. Thus, microtubules reaction develops faster than the reorganization of the actin filaments system responsible for the subsequent changes of the cell shape during barrier dysfunction development. Direct microtubules depolymerization by nocodazole initiates the cascade of barrier dysfunction reactions. Nocodazole-induced barrier disruption is connected directly with the degree of peripheral microtubules depolymerization. Short-term loss of endothelial barrier function occurs at the minimal destruction of peripheral microtubules, when actin filament system is still intact. Specifically, we demonstrate that the EC microtubule dynamics examined by time-lapse imaging of EB3-GFP comets movement has changed under these conditions: microtubule plus ends growth rate significantly decreased near the cell periphery. The microtubules, apparently, are the first target in the circuit of reactions leading to the pulmonary EC barrier compromise. Our results show that dynamic microtubules play an essential role in the barrier function in vitro; peripheral microtubules depolymerization is necessary and sufficient condition for initiation of endothelial barrier dysfunction. PMID:23606375

  17. Large-scale dissipative particle dynamics simulations of self-assembly amphiphilic systems†

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xuejin; Tang, Yu-Hang

    2014-01-01

    We present large-scale simulation results on the self-assembly of amphiphilic systems in bulk solution and under soft confinement. Self-assembled unilamellar and multilamellar vesicles are formed from amphiphilic molecules in bulk solution. The system is simulated by placing amphiphilic molecules inside large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs) and the dynamic soft confinement-induced self-assembled vesicles are investigated. Moreover, the self-assembly of sickle hemoglobin (HbS) is simulated in a crowded and fluctuating intracellular space and our results demonstrate that the HbS self-assemble into polymer fibers causing the LUV shape to be distorted. PMID:24938634

  18. Do prokaryotes contain microtubules?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bermudes, D.; Hinkle, G.; Margulis, L.

    1994-01-01

    In eukaryotic cells, microtubules are 24-nm-diameter tubular structures composed of a class of conserved proteins called tubulin. They are involved in numerous cell functions including ciliary motility, nerve cell elongation, pigment migration, centrosome formation, and chromosome movement. Although cytoplasmic tubules and fibers have been observed in bacteria, some with diameters similar to those of eukaryotes, no homologies to eukaryotic microtubules have been established. Certain groups of bacteria including azotobacters, cyanobacteria, enteric bacteria, and spirochetes have been frequently observed to possess microtubule-like structures, and others, including archaebacteria, have been shown to be sensitive to drugs that inhibit the polymerization of microtubules. Although little biochemical or molecular biological information is available, the differences observed among these prokaryotic structures suggest that their composition generally differs among themselves as well as from that of eukaryotes. We review the distribution of cytoplasmic tubules in prokaryotes, even though, in all cases, their functions remain unknown. At least some tend to occur in cells that are large, elongate, and motile, suggesting that they may be involved in cytoskeletal functions, intracellular motility, or transport activities comparable to those performed by eukaryotic microtubules. In Escherichia coli, the FtsZ protein is associated with the formation of a ring in the division zone between the newly forming offspring cells. Like tubulin, FtsZ is a GTPase and shares with tubulin a 7-amino-acid motif, making it a promising candidate in which to seek the origin of tubulins.

  19. Do prokaryotes contain microtubules?

    PubMed Central

    Bermudes, D; Hinkle, G; Margulis, L

    1994-01-01

    In eukaryotic cells, microtubules are 24-nm-diameter tubular structures composed of a class of conserved proteins called tubulin. They are involved in numerous cell functions including ciliary motility, nerve cell elongation, pigment migration, centrosome formation, and chromosome movement. Although cytoplasmic tubules and fibers have been observed in bacteria, some with diameters similar to those of eukaryotes, no homologies to eukaryotic microtubules have been established. Certain groups of bacteria including azotobacters, cyanobacteria, enteric bacteria, and spirochetes have been frequently observed to possess microtubule-like structures, and others, including archaebacteria, have been shown to be sensitive to drugs that inhibit the polymerization of microtubules. Although little biochemical or molecular biological information is available, the differences observed among these prokaryotic structures suggest that their composition generally differs among themselves as well as from that of eukaryotes. We review the distribution of cytoplasmic tubules in prokaryotes, even though, in all cases, their functions remain unknown. At least some tend to occur in cells that are large, elongate, and motile, suggesting that they may be involved in cytoskeletal functions, intracellular motility, or transport activities comparable to those performed by eukaryotic microtubules. In Escherichia coli, the FtsZ protein is associated with the formation of a ring in the division zone between the newly forming offspring cells. Like tubulin, FtsZ is a GTPase and shares with tubulin a 7-amino-acid motif, making it a promising candidate in which to seek the origin of tubulins. Images PMID:7968920

  20. Electrophoretic dynamics of self-assembling branched DNA structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heuer, Daniel Milton

    This study advances our understanding of the electrophoretic dynamics of branched biopolymers and explores technologies designed to exploit their unique properties. New self-assembly techniques were developed to create branched DNA for visualization via fluorescence microscopy. Experiments in fixed gel networks reveal a distinct trapping behavior, in contrast with linear topologies. The finding that detection can be achieved by introducing a branch point contributes significantly to the field of separation science and can be exploited to develop new applications. Results obtained in polymer solutions point to identical mobilities for branched and linear topologies, despite large differences in their dynamics. This finding led to a new description of electrophoresis based on non-Newtonian viscoelastic effects in the electric double layer surrounding a charged object. This new theoretical framework presents a new outlook important not only to the electrophoretic physics of nucleic acids, but all charged objects including proteins, colloids, and nanoparticles. To study the behavior of smaller biopolymers, such as restriction fragments and recombination intermediates, a library of symmetrically branched DNA was synthesized followed by characterization in gels. The experimental results contribute a large body of information relating molecular architecture and the dynamics of rigid structures in an electric field. The findings allow us to create new separation technologies based on topology. These contributions can also be utilized in a number of different applications including the study of recombination intermediates and the separation of proteins according to structure. To demonstrate the importance of these findings, a sequence and mutation detection technique was envisioned and applied for genetic analysis. Restriction fragments from mutation "hotspots" in the p53 tumor suppressor gene, known to play a role in cancer development, were analyzed with this technique

  1. Nonlinear Dynamic Analysis of Disordered Bladed-Disk Assemblies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McGee, Oliver G., III

    1997-01-01

    In a effort to address current needs for efficient, air propulsion systems, we have developed some new analytical predictive tools for understanding and alleviating aircraft engine instabilities which have led to accelerated high cycle fatigue and catastrophic failures of these machines during flight. A frequent cause of failure in Jets engines is excessive resonant vibrations and stall flutter instabilities. The likelihood of these phenomena is reduced when designers employ the analytical models we have developed. These prediction models will ultimately increase the nation's competitiveness in producing high performance Jets engines with enhanced operability, energy economy, and safety. The objectives of our current threads of research in the final year are directed along two lines. First, we want to improve the current state of blade stress and aeromechanical reduced-ordered modeling of high bypass engine fans, Specifically, a new reduced-order iterative redesign tool for passively controlling the mechanical authority of shroudless, wide chord, laminated composite transonic bypass engine fans has been developed. Second, we aim to advance current understanding of aeromechanical feedback control of dynamic flow instabilities in axial flow compressors. A systematic theoretical evaluation of several approaches to aeromechanical feedback control of rotating stall in axial compressors has been conducted. Attached are abstracts of two .papers under preparation for the 1998 ASME Turbo Expo in Stockholm, Sweden sponsored under Grant No. NAG3-1571. Our goals during the final year under Grant No. NAG3-1571 is to enhance NASA's capabilities of forced response of turbomachines (such as NASA FREPS). We with continue our development of the reduced-ordered, three-dimensional component synthesis models for aeromechanical evaluation of integrated bladeddisk assemblies (i.e., the disk, non-identical bladeing etc.). We will complete our development of component systems design

  2. Dynamic and Kinetic Assembly Studies of an Icosahedral Virus Capsid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Kelly

    2011-03-01

    Hepatitis B virus has an icosahedrally symmetrical core particle (capsid), composed of either 90 or 120 copies of a dimeric protein building block. We are using time-resolved, solution small-angle X-ray scattering and single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to probe the core particle assembly reaction at the ensemble and individual assembly levels. Our experiments to date reveal the assembly process to be highly cooperative with minimal population of stable intermediate species. Solution conditions, particularly salt concentration, appears to influence the partitioning of assembly products into the two sizes of shells. Funding from NIH R00-GM080352 and University of Washington.

  3. Tetrahymena Poc1 ensures proper intertriplet microtubule linkages to maintain basal body integrity

    PubMed Central

    Meehl, Janet B.; Bayless, Brian A.; Giddings, Thomas H.; Pearson, Chad G.; Winey, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Basal bodies comprise nine symmetric triplet microtubules that anchor forces produced by the asymmetric beat pattern of motile cilia. The ciliopathy protein Poc1 stabilizes basal bodies through an unknown mechanism. In poc1∆ cells, electron tomography reveals subtle defects in the organization of intertriplet linkers (A-C linkers) that connect adjacent triplet microtubules. Complete triplet microtubules are lost preferentially near the posterior face of the basal body. Basal bodies that are missing triplets likely remain competent to assemble new basal bodies with nine triplet microtubules, suggesting that the mother basal body microtubule structure does not template the daughter. Our data indicate that Poc1 stabilizes basal body triplet microtubules through linkers between neighboring triplets. Without this stabilization, specific triplet microtubules within the basal body are more susceptible to loss, probably due to force distribution within the basal body during ciliary beating. This work provides insights into how the ciliopathy protein Poc1 maintains basal body integrity. PMID:27251062

  4. Assembly and actuation of nanomaterials using active biomolecules.

    SciTech Connect

    Spoerke, Erik David; Thayer, Gayle Echo; de Boer, Maarten Pieter; Bunker, Bruce Conrad; Liu, Jun; Corwin, Alex David; Gaudioso, Jennifer Marie; Sasaki, Darryl Yoshio; Boal, Andrew Kiskadden; Bachand, George David; Trent, Amanda M.; Bachand, Marlene; Rivera, Susan B.; Koch, Steven John

    2005-11-01

    The formation and functions of living materials and organisms are fundamentally different from those of synthetic materials and devices. Synthetic materials tend to have static structures, and are not capable of adapting to the functional needs of changing environments. In contrast, living systems utilize energy to create, heal, reconfigure, and dismantle materials in a dynamic, non-equilibrium fashion. The overall goal of the project was to organize and reconfigure functional assemblies of nanoparticles using strategies that mimic those found in living systems. Active assembly of nanostructures was studied using active biomolecules to drive the organization and assembly of nanocomposite materials. In this system, kinesin motor proteins and microtubules were used to direct the transport and interactions of nanoparticles at synthetic interfaces. In addition, the kinesin/microtubule transport system was used to actively assemble nanocomposite materials capable of storing significant elastic energy. Novel biophysical measurement tools were also developed for measuring the collective force generated by kinesin motor proteins, which will provide insight on the mechanical constraints of active assembly processes. Responsive reconfiguration of nanostructures was studied in terms of using active biomolecules to mediate the optical properties of quantum dot (QD) arrays through modulation of inter-particle spacing and associated energy transfer interaction. Design rules for kinesin-based transport of a wide range of nanoscale cargo (e.g., nanocrystal quantum dots, micron-sized polymer spheres) were developed. Three-dimensional microtubule organizing centers were assembled in which the polar orientation of the microtubules was controlled by a multi-staged assembly process. Overall, a number of enabling technologies were developed over the course of this project, and will drive the exploitation of energy-driven processes to regulate the assembly, disassembly, and dynamic

  5. The Atmospheric Imaging Assembly on the Solar Dynamics Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Title, Alan M.; AIA Team

    2006-06-01

    The Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) on SDO will provide revolutionary coverage of the entire visible solar hemisphere, observed from photospheric to coronal temperatures, at 1-arcsecond resolution, with a characteristic cadence of 10 seconds for each channel. The AIA comprises four dual normal-incidence telescopes that enable it to cycle through a set of EUV channels centered on strong emission lines of iron (ranging from Fe IX through XXIII) and helium (304A), plus two UV channels near 1600A and a broad band visible channel. Combined with the (vector-)magnetic imagery from SDO/HMI, the AIA observations will significantly further our understanding of the dynamics of the magnetic field in the solar atmosphere and heliosphere, both in quiescent and eruptive stages. The comprehensive thermal coverage of the corona will open new avenues of study for coronal energetics and seismology, which will benefit from the excellent calibration against the SDO/EVE spectral irradiance measurements. The AIA data will be easily accessible on the web, with a time delay that is expected to be of the order of 15 minutes to 1 hour. Users will be able to browse the data through summary web pages that are complemented by a comprehensive metadata catalog. Data analysis will be supported through the freely available SolarSoft libraries and through modules in a flexible, evolving pipeline data analysis system to be operated at the AIA-HMI Joint Science Operations Center. We plan to incorporate feature recognition software, automated movie making, coronal field modeling, and other supporting analysis software. We invite the broad ILWS community to contact us with ideas to collaborate on any aspect of the AIA Investigation. Details on the AIA instrument, the Science Investigation, and related news can be found at http://aia.lmsal.com.

  6. Brownian dynamics simulation of fission yeast mitotic spindle formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edelmaier, Christopher

    2014-03-01

    The mitotic spindle segregates chromosomes during mitosis. The dynamics that establish bipolar spindle formation are not well understood. We have developed a computational model of fission-yeast mitotic spindle formation using Brownian dynamics and kinetic Monte Carlo methods. Our model includes rigid, dynamic microtubules, a spherical nuclear envelope, spindle pole bodies anchored in the nuclear envelope, and crosslinkers and crosslinking motor proteins. Crosslinkers and crosslinking motor proteins attach and detach in a grand canonical ensemble, and exert forces and torques on the attached microtubules. We have modeled increased affinity for crosslinking motor attachment to antiparallel microtubule pairs, and stabilization of microtubules in the interpolar bundle. We study parameters controlling the stability of the interpolar bundle and assembly of a bipolar spindle from initially adjacent spindle-pole bodies.

  7. Differential radiolabeling of opposite microtubule ends: methodology, equilibrium exchange-flux analysis, and drug poisoning

    SciTech Connect

    Jordan, M.A.; Farrell, K.W.

    1983-04-01

    We describe a method which allows opposite microtubule ends to be distinguished by differentially labeling the microtubules with (/sup 3/H)- and (/sup 14/C)guanine nucleotides. Assembly-disassembly reaction at opposite microtubule ends can therefore be measured simultaneously and without modification of the tubulin dimers or microtubules. The method is predicated on experimental observations wich demonstated that net dimer addition to steady-state microtubules mst be predominantly unidirectional. This does not preclude, however, some bidirectional dimer addition to steady-state microtubules by an equilibrium-exchange mechanism. We therefore calculated the relative contribution to dimer incorporation of bidirectional equilibrium exchange in a unidirectional microtubule system (s=0.06). Under our conditions bidirectional dimer incorporation is negligible; net dimer additional to steady-state microtubules is overwhelmingly unidirectional. We used this method to study the effects of colchicine and podophyllotoxin on assembly-disassembly at opposite microtubule ends. Both drugs inhibit substoichiometrically net dimer addition to one microtubule end and, to a lesser extent, net dimer loss from the opposite end.

  8. Microtubule-severing enzymes at the cutting edge

    PubMed Central

    Sharp, David J.; Ross, Jennifer L.

    2012-01-01

    ATP-dependent severing of microtubules was first reported in Xenopus laevis egg extracts in 1991. Two years later this observation led to the purification of the first known microtubule-severing enzyme, katanin. Katanin homologs have now been identified throughout the animal kingdom and in plants. Moreover, members of two closely related enzyme subfamilies, spastin and fidgetin, have been found to sever microtubules and might act alongside katanins in some contexts (Roll-Mecak and McNally, 2010; Yu et al., 2008; Zhang et al., 2007). Over the past few years, it has become clear that microtubule-severing enzymes contribute to a wide range of cellular activities including mitosis and meiosis, morphogenesis, cilia biogenesis and disassembly, and migration. Thus, this group of enzymes is revealing itself to be among the most important of the microtubule regulators. This Commentary focuses on our growing understanding of how microtubule-severing enzymes contribute to the organization and dynamics of diverse microtubule arrays, as well as the structural and biophysical characteristics that afford them the unique capacity to catalyze the removal of tubulin from the interior microtubule lattice. Our goal is to provide a broader perspective, focusing on a limited number of particularly informative, representative and/or timely findings. PMID:22595526

  9. Oscillatory fluid flow influences primary cilia and microtubule mechanics.

    PubMed

    Espinha, Lina C; Hoey, David A; Fernandes, Paulo R; Rodrigues, Hélder C; Jacobs, Christopher R

    2014-07-01

    Many tissues are sensitive to mechanical stimuli; however, the mechanotransduction mechanism used by cells remains unknown in many cases. The primary cilium is a solitary, immotile microtubule-based extension present on nearly every mammalian cell which extends from the basal body. The cilium is a mechanosensitive organelle and has been shown to transduce fluid flow-induced shear stress in tissues, such as the kidney and bone. The majority of microtubules assemble from the mother centriole (basal body), contributing significantly to the anchoring of the primary cilium. Several studies have attempted to quantify the number of microtubules emanating from the basal body and the results vary depending on the cell type. It has also been shown that cellular response to shear stress depends on microtubular integrity. This study hypothesizes that changing the microtubule attachment of primary cilia in response to a mechanical stimulus could change primary cilia mechanics and, possibly, mechanosensitivity. Oscillatory fluid flow was applied to two different cell types and the microtubule attachment to the ciliary base was quantified. For the first time, an increase in microtubules around primary cilia both with time and shear rate in response to oscillatory fluid flow stimulation was demonstrated. Moreover, it is presented that the primary cilium is required for this loading-induced cellular response. This study has demonstrated a new role for the cilium in regulating alterations in the cytoplasmic microtubule network in response to mechanical stimulation, and therefore provides a new insight into how cilia may regulate its mechanics and thus the cells mechanosensitivity.

  10. Dynamic self-assembly of colloids through periodic variation of inter-particle potentials.

    PubMed

    Risbud, Sumedh R; Swan, James W

    2015-04-28

    A short-ranged and time-varying attraction drives self-assembly of colloidal crystals from a suspension of colloidal spheres. Brownian dynamics simulations of this process demonstrate that the envelope for self-assembly of large, low defect crystals is broadened dramatically when this attractive interaction is switched on and off periodically in time. This process is termed dynamic self-assembly because temporal control of the inter-particle potential requires injection and extraction of energy from the self-assembling materials. We develop a theory using non-equilibrium statistical mechanics to determine the rate at which particles cross a similarly switched energy barrier, and show that there is a switching rate that maximizes barrier crossing. While barrier crossing towards thermodynamic equilibrium is limited by the Kramers hopping rate, the rate of out-of-equilibrium barrier crossing can exceed this limit. In the context of self-assembly, barrier crossing is the rate limiting step and responsible for both defect formation and slow nucleation. This simple theory is used to explain the optimal switching rate observed in our simulations of dynamic self-assembly. Dynamic self-assembly via switched potentials enables growth of ordered phases without thermodynamic constraints on the assembly kinetics.