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Active contraction of microtubule networks.

Foster PJ, Fürthauer S, Shelley MJ, Needleman DJ - Elife (2015)

Bottom Line: 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.These results demonstrate that the motor-driven clustering of filament ends is a generic mechanism leading to contraction.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, FAS Center for Systems Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, United States.

ABSTRACT
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.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Plots of (t) from data in Figure 1F (Blue lines) along with fits from (Equation 2) (Pink lines).DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10837.007
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fig2s1: Plots of (t) from data in Figure 1F (Blue lines) along with fits from (Equation 2) (Pink lines).DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10837.007

Mentions: where is the final fraction contracted, is the characteristic time of contraction, and is a lag time before contraction begins (Figure 2B, inset, Figure 2—figure supplement 1).


Active contraction of microtubule networks.

Foster PJ, Fürthauer S, Shelley MJ, Needleman DJ - Elife (2015)

Plots of (t) from data in Figure 1F (Blue lines) along with fits from (Equation 2) (Pink lines).DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10837.007
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4764591&req=5

fig2s1: Plots of (t) from data in Figure 1F (Blue lines) along with fits from (Equation 2) (Pink lines).DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10837.007
Mentions: where is the final fraction contracted, is the characteristic time of contraction, and is a lag time before contraction begins (Figure 2B, inset, Figure 2—figure supplement 1).

Bottom Line: 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.These results demonstrate that the motor-driven clustering of filament ends is a generic mechanism leading to contraction.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, FAS Center for Systems Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, United States.

ABSTRACT
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.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus