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Molecular motors are required for spindle assembly and maintenance during cell division. How motors move and interact inside spindles is unknown. Using photoactivation and photobleaching, we measure mitotic motor movement inside a dynamic spindle. We find that dynein-dynactin transports the essential motor Eg5 toward the spindle poles in Xenopus laevis egg(More)
BACKGROUND Motor proteins from the kinesin-5 subfamily play an essential role in spindle assembly during cell division of most organisms. These motors crosslink and slide microtubules in the spindle. Kinesin-5 motors are phosphorylated at a conserved site by Cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (Cdk1) during mitosis. Xenopus laevis kinesin-5 has also been reported to(More)
Kinesin motor proteins are thought to move exclusively in either one or the other direction along microtubules. Proteins of the kinesin-5 family are tetrameric microtubule cross-linking motors important for cell division and differentiation in various organisms. Kinesin-5 motors are considered to be plus-end-directed. However, here we found that purified(More)
During cell division, different molecular motors act synergistically to rearrange microtubules. Minus end-directed motors are thought to have a dual role: focusing microtubule ends to poles and establishing together with plus end-directed motors a balance of force between antiparallel microtubules in the spindle. We study here the competing action of(More)
Microtubule cytoskeleton function depends on the dynamic interplay of microtubules and various microtubule-binding proteins. To gain an understanding of cytoskeleton function at the molecular level, it is important to measure quantitatively how cytoskeletal proteins interact with each other in space and time. Here we describe fluorescence microscopy-based(More)
Compartmentalization in a prebiotic setting is an important aspect of early cell formation and is crucial for the development of an artificial protocell system that effectively couples genotype and phenotype. Aqueous two-phase systems (ATPSs) and complex coacervates are phase separation phenomena that lead to the selective partitioning of biomolecules and(More)
Microtubule organization in living cells is determined by spatial control of microtubule nucleation, their dynamic properties, and transport by molecular motors. Here, we establish a new micropattern-guided method for controlling local microtubule nucleation by spatially confined immobilization of a microtubule polymerase and show that these nucleated(More)
The earliest forms of cellular life would have required a membrane compartment capable of growth and division. Fatty acid vesicles are an attractive model of protocell membranes, as they can grow into filamentous vesicles that readily divide while retaining their contents. In order to study vesicle growth, we have developed a method for immobilizing(More)
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