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Dev Cell January 1, 2019; 49 (2): 267-278.e5.

Mechanically Distinct Microtubule Arrays Determine the Length and Force Response of the Meiotic Spindle.

Takagi J , Sakamoto R , Shiratsuchi G , Maeda YT , Shimamoto Y .

The microtubule-based spindle is subjected to various mechanical forces during cell division. How the structure generates and responds to forces while maintaining overall integrity is unknown because we have a poor understanding of the relationship between filament architecture and mechanics. Here, to fill this gap, we combine microneedle-based quantitative micromanipulation with high-resolution imaging, simultaneously analyzing forces and local filament motility in the Xenopus meiotic spindle. We find that microtubules exhibit a compliant, fluid-like mechanical response at the middle of the spindle half, being distinct from those near the pole and the equator. A force altering spindle length induces filament sliding at this compliant array, where parallel microtubules predominate, without influencing equatorial antiparallel filament dynamics. Molecular perturbations suggest that kinesin-5 and dynein contribute to the spindle''s local mechanical difference. Together, our data establish a link between spindle architecture and mechanics and uncover the mechanical design of this essential cytoskeletal assembly.

PubMed ID: 30982663
Article link: Dev Cell

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: abl1 dnai1 grap2 rrad trim9
GO keywords: microtubule
Antibodies: Dnai1 Ab1

Article Images: [+] show captions