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Curr Biol January 1, 2020; 30 (24): 4973-4983.e10.

Spindle Scaling Is Governed by Cell Boundary Regulation of Microtubule Nucleation.

Rieckhoff EM , Berndt F , Elsner M , Golfier S , Decker F , Ishihara K , Brugués J .

Cellular organelles such as the mitotic spindle adjust their size to the dimensions of the cell. It is widely understood that spindle scaling is governed by regulation of microtubule polymerization. Here, we use quantitative microscopy in living zebrafish embryos and Xenopus egg extracts in combination with theory to show that microtubule polymerization dynamics are insufficient to scale spindles and only contribute below a critical cell size. In contrast, microtubule nucleation governs spindle scaling for all cell sizes. We show that this hierarchical regulation arises from the partitioning of a nucleation inhibitor to the cell membrane. Our results reveal that cells differentially regulate microtubule number and length using distinct geometric cues to maintain a functional spindle architecture over a large range of cell sizes.

PubMed ID: 33217321
Article link: Curr Biol

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
GO keywords: microtubule nucleation [+]

Article Images: [+] show captions