Genetic defects in β-spectrin and tau sensitize C. elegans axons to movement-induced damage via torque-tension coupling
We present a model for the spontaneous formation of a striated pattern in polymerizing microtubule solutions. It describes the buckling of a single microtubule (MT) bundle within an elastic network formed by other similarly aligned and buckling bundles and unaligned MTs. Phase contrast and polarization microscopy studies of the temporal evolution of the pattern imply that the polymerization of MTs within the bundles creates the driving compressional force. Using the measured rate of buckling, the established MT force-velocity curve and the pattern wavelength, we obtain reasonable estimates for the MT bundle bending rigidity and the elastic constant of the network. The analysis implies that the bundles buckle as solid rods.