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Microtubules and motor proteins: Mechanically regulated self-organization in vivo

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Vogel,  Sven
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Max Planck Society;

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Pavin,  Nenad
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Max Planck Society;

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Maghelli,  Nicola
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Max Planck Society;

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Tolic-Norrelykke,  Iva M.
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Vogel, S., Pavin, N., Maghelli, N., Jülicher, F., & Tolic-Norrelykke, I. M. (2010). Microtubules and motor proteins: Mechanically regulated self-organization in vivo. European Physical Journal Special Topics, 178(1), 57-69.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-0BCC-E
Abstract
A key aspect of life is sexual reproduction, which requires concerted movement. For successful mixing of the genetic material, molecular motors move the nucleus back and forth inside the cell. How motors work together to produce these large-scale movements, however, remains a mystery. To answer this question, we studied nuclear movement in fission yeast, which is driven by motor proteins pulling on microtubules. We show that motor proteins dynamically redistribute from one part of the cell to the other, generating asymmetric patterns of motors and, consequently, of forces that generate movement. By combining quantitative live cell imaging and laser ablation with a theoretical model, we find that this dynamic motor redistribution occurs purely as a result of changes in the mechan- ical strain sensed by the motor proteins. Our work therefore demonstrates that spatio-temporal pattern formation within a cell can occur as a result of mechani- cal cues (Vogel et al., 2009), which differs from conventional molecular signaling, as well as from self-organization based on a combination of biochemical reactions and diffusion.