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Mol Biol Cell January 1, 2020; 31 (25): 2791-2802.

Microtubule-dependent pushing forces contribute to long-distance aster movement and centration in Xenopus laevis egg extracts.

Sulerud T , Sami AB , Li G , Kloxin A , Oakey J , Gatlin J .

During interphase of the eukaryotic cell cycle, the microtubule (MT) cytoskeleton serves as both a supportive scaffold for organelles and an arborized system of tracks for intracellular transport. At the onset of mitosis, the position of the astral MT network, specifically its center, determines the eventual location of the spindle apparatus and ultimately the cytokinetic furrow. Positioning of the MT aster often results in its movement to the center of a cell, even in large blastomeres hundreds of microns in diameter. This translocation requires positioning forces, yet how these forces are generated and then integrated within cells of various sizes and geometries remains an open question. Here we describe a method that combines microfluidics, hydrogels, and Xenopus laevis egg extract to investigate the mechanics of aster movement and centration. We determined that asters were able to find the center of artificial channels and annular cylinders, even when cytoplasmic dynein-dependent pulling mechanisms were inhibited. Characterization of aster movement away from V-shaped hydrogel barriers provided additional evidence for a MT-based pushing mechanism. Importantly, the distance over which this mechanism seemed to operate was longer than that predicted by radial aster growth models, agreeing with recent models of a more complex MT network architecture within the aster.

PubMed ID: 33026931
PMC ID: PMC7851858
Article link: Mol Biol Cell
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Adames, Microtubule interactions with the cell cortex causing nuclear movements in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. 2000, Pubmed