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BACKGROUND Mitosis depends upon the cooperative action of multiple microtubule (MT)-based motors. Among these, a kinesin-5, KLP61F, and the kinesin-14, Ncd, are proposed to generate antagonistic-sliding forces that control the spacing of the spindle poles. We tested whether purified KLP61F homotetramers and Ncd homodimers can generate a force balance(More)
BACKGROUND The pole-to-pole distance of the metaphase spindle is reasonably constant in a given cell type; in the case of vertebrate female oocytes, this steady-state length can be maintained for substantial lengths of time, during which time microtubules remain highly dynamic. Although a number of molecular perturbations have been shown to influence(More)
Signaling pathways that respond to DNA damage are essential for the maintenance of genome stability and are linked to many diseases, including cancer. Here, a genome-wide siRNA screen was employed to identify additional genes involved in genome stabilization by monitoring phosphorylation of the histone variant H2AX, an early mark of DNA damage. We(More)
Recently, there has been a surge in the number of pioneering studies combining experiments with quantitative modeling to explain both relatively simple modules of molecular machinery of the cell and to achieve system-level understanding of cellular networks. Here we discuss the utility and methods of modeling and review several current models of cell(More)
Social insects exhibit coordinated behaviour without central control. Local interactions among individuals determine their behaviour and regulate the activity of the colony. Harvester ants are recruited for outside work, using networks of brief antennal contacts, in the nest chamber closest to the nest exit: the entrance chamber. Here, we combine empirical(More)
Sequence signature databases such as PROSITE, which include amino acid segments that are indicative of a protein's function, are useful for protein annotation. Lamentably, the annotation is not always accurate. A signature may be falsely detected in a protein that does not carry out the associated function (false positive prediction, FP) or may be(More)
Among a number of innovative approaches that have modernized cell biology, modeling has a prominent yet unusual place. One popular view is that we progress linearly, from conceptual to ever more detailed models. We review recent discoveries of cell polarity mechanisms, in which modeling played an important role, to demonstrate that the experiment-theory(More)
Mitosis is triggered by the activation of Cdk1-cyclin B1 and its translocation from the cytoplasm to the nucleus. Positive feedback loops regulate the activation of Cdk1-cyclin B1 and help make the process irreversible and all-or-none in character. Here we examine whether an analogous process, spatial positive feedback, regulates Cdk1-cyclin B1(More)
We tested the classical hypothesis that astral, prometaphase bipolar mitotic spindles are maintained by balanced outward and inward forces exerted on spindle poles by kinesin-5 and -14 using modeling of in vitro and in vivo data from Drosophila melanogaster embryos. Throughout prometaphase, puncta of both motors aligned on interpolar microtubules (MTs(More)
The mitotic spindle is a fascinating protein machine that uses bipolar arrays of dynamic microtubules and many mitotic motors to coordinate the accurate segregation of sister chromatids. Here we discuss recent mathematical models and computer simulations that, in concert with experimental studies, help explain the molecular mechanisms by which the spindle(More)