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The microtubule cytoskeleton is a dynamic structure in which the lengths of the microtubules are tightly regulated. One regulatory mechanism is the depolymerization of microtubules by motor proteins in the kinesin-13 family. These proteins are crucial for the control of microtubule length in cell division, neuronal development and interphase microtubule(More)
Fast growth of microtubules is essential for rapid assembly of the microtubule cytoskeleton during cell proliferation and differentiation. XMAP215 belongs to a conserved family of proteins that promote microtubule growth. To determine how XMAP215 accelerates growth, we developed a single-molecule assay to visualize directly XMAP215-GFP interacting with(More)
In vitro assays that reconstitute the dynamic behavior of microtubules provide insight into the roles of microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) in regulating the growth, shrinkage, and catastrophe of microtubules. The use of total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy with fluorescently labeled tubulin and MAPs has allowed us to study microtubule(More)
Spatial regulation of microtubule (MT) dynamics contributes to cell polarity and cell division. MT rescue, in which a MT stops shrinking and reinitiates growth, is the least understood aspect of MT dynamics. Cytoplasmic Linker Associated Proteins (CLASPs) are a conserved class of MT-associated proteins that contribute to MT stabilization and rescue in vivo.(More)
Microtubules are born and reborn continuously, even during quiescence. These polymers are nucleated from templates, namely γ-tubulin ring complexes (γ-TuRCs) and severed microtubule ends. Using single-molecule biophysics, we show that nucleation from γ-TuRCs, axonemes and seed microtubules requires tubulin concentrations that lie well above the critical(More)
During mitosis, "polar ejection forces" (PEFs) are hypothesized to direct prometaphase chromosome movements by pushing chromosome arms toward the spindle equator. PEFs are postulated to be caused by (i) plus-end-directed microtubule (MT)-based motor proteins on the chromosome arms, namely chromokinesins, and (ii) the polymerization of spindle MTs into the(More)
XMAP215/Dis1 family proteins positively regulate microtubule growth. Repeats at their N termini, called TOG domains, are important for this function. While TOG domains directly bind tubulin dimers, it is unclear how this interaction translates to polymerase activity. Understanding the functional roles of TOG domains is further complicated by the fact that(More)
Neurons, like all cells, face the problem that tubulin forms microtubules with too many or too few protofilaments (pfs). Cells overcome this heterogeneity with the γ-tubulin ring complex, which provides a nucleation template for 13-pf microtubules. Doublecortin (DCX), a protein that stabilizes microtubules in developing neurons, also nucleates 13-pf(More)
Vertebrate somitogenesis is a rhythmically repeated morphogenetic process. The dependence of somitogenesis dynamics on axial position and temperature has not been investigated systematically in any species. Here we use multiple embryo time-lapse imaging to precisely estimate somitogenesis period and somite length under various conditions in the zebrafish(More)
Microtubules are not like other polymers. Whereas polymers such as F-actin will grow continuously as long as the subunit concentration is high enough, a steadily growing microtubule can suddenly shrink even when there is ample αβ-tubulin around. This remarkable behavior was discovered in 1984 when Tim Mitchison and Marc Kirschner deduced that microtubules(More)