Liedewij Laan

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The microtubule cytoskeleton is essential to cell morphogenesis. Growing microtubule plus ends have emerged as dynamic regulatory sites in which specialized proteins, called plus-end-binding proteins (+TIPs), bind and regulate the proper functioning of microtubules. However, the molecular mechanism of plus-end association by +TIPs and their ability to track(More)
Microtubules are highly dynamic protein polymers that form a crucial part of the cytoskeleton in all eukaryotic cells. Although microtubules are known to self-assemble from tubulin dimers, information on the assembly dynamics of microtubules has been limited, both in vitro and in vivo, to measurements of average growth and shrinkage rates over several(More)
Dynein at the cortex contributes to microtubule-based positioning processes such as spindle positioning during embryonic cell division and centrosome positioning during fibroblast migration. To investigate how cortical dynein interacts with microtubule ends to generate force and how this functional association impacts positioning, we have reconstituted the(More)
Individual dynamic microtubules can generate pushing or pulling forces when their growing or shrinking ends are in contact with cellular objects such as the cortex or chromosomes. These microtubules can operate in parallel bundles, for example when interacting with mitotic chromosomes. Here, we investigate the force-generating capabilities of a bundle of(More)
During important cellular processes such as centrosome and spindle positioning, dynein at the cortex interacts with dynamic microtubules in an apparent "end-on" fashion. It is well-established that dynein can generate forces by moving laterally along the microtubule lattice, but much less is known about dynein's interaction with dynamic microtubule ends. In(More)
Biopolymers are essential for cellular organization. They bridge the cell interior, forming a framework that is used as a reference for different cellular organelles. Interestingly, this framework called the cytoskeleton is not static but constantly reorganizes. The dynamics of the cytoskeleton allows the cell to rearrange its interior for various processes(More)
Cells are organized by functional modules, which typically contain components whose removal severely compromises the module's function. Despite their importance, these components are not absolutely conserved between parts of the tree of life, suggesting that cells can evolve to perform the same biological functions with different proteins. We evolved(More)
Cytoplasmic dynein is a major microtubule (MT)-associated motor in nearly all eukaryotic cells. A subpopulation of dyneins associates with the cell cortex and the interaction of this cortical dynein with MTs helps to drive processes such as nuclear migration, mitotic spindle orientation, and cytoskeletal reorientation during wound healing. In this chapter,(More)
Biopolymers are essential for cellular organization. They bridge the cell interior, forming a framework that is used as a reference for different cellular organelles. This framework, called the cytoskeleton, is not static but constantly reorganizes. The dynamics of the cytoskeleton allows the cell to rearrange its interior for various processes, such as(More)