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Now showing 1 - 19 of 19
  • Article
    Multivalent interactions facilitate motor-dependent protein accumulation at growing microtubule plus-ends
    (Nature Research, 2022-12-19) Maan, Renu ; Reese, Louis ; Volkov, Vladimir A. ; King, Matthew R. ; van der Sluis, Eli O. ; Anea, Nemo ; Evers, Wiel H. ; Jakobi, Arjen J. ; Dogterom, Marileen
    Growing microtubule ends organize end-tracking proteins into comets of mixed composition. Here using a reconstituted fission yeast system consisting of end-binding protein Mal3, kinesin Tea2 and cargo Tip1, we found that these proteins can be driven into liquid-phase droplets both in solution and at microtubule ends under crowding conditions. In the absence of crowding agents, cryo-electron tomography revealed that motor-dependent comets consist of disordered networks where multivalent interactions may facilitate non-stoichiometric accumulation of cargo Tip1. We found that two disordered protein regions in Mal3 are required for the formation of droplets and motor-dependent accumulation of Tip1, while autonomous Mal3 comet formation requires only one of them. Using theoretical modelling, we explore possible mechanisms by which motor activity and multivalent interactions may lead to the observed enrichment of Tip1 at microtubule ends. We conclude that microtubule ends may act as platforms where multivalent interactions condense microtubule-associated proteins into large multi-protein complexes.
  • Article
    Reorganization of complex ciliary flows around regenerating Stentor coeruleus
    (The Royal Society, 2019-12-30) Wan, Kirsty Y. ; Hürlimann, Sylvia K. ; Fenix, Aidan M. ; McGillivary, Rebecca M. ; Makushok, Tatyana ; Burns, Evan ; Sheung, Janet Y. ; Marshall, Wallace F.
    The phenomenon of ciliary coordination has garnered increasing attention in recent decades and multiple theories have been proposed to explain its occurrence in different biological systems. While hydrodynamic interactions are thought to dictate the large-scale coordinated activity of epithelial cilia for fluid transport, it is rather basal coupling that accounts for synchronous swimming gaits in model microeukaryotes such as Chlamydomonas. Unicellular ciliates present a fascinating yet understudied context in which coordination is found to persist in ciliary arrays positioned across millimetre scales on the same cell. Here, we focus on the ciliate Stentor coeruleus, chosen for its large size, complex ciliary organization, and capacity for cellular regeneration. These large protists exhibit ciliary differentiation between cortical rows of short body cilia used for swimming, and an anterior ring of longer, fused cilia called the membranellar band (MB). The oral cilia in the MB beat metachronously to produce strong feeding currents. Remarkably, upon injury, the MB can be shed and regenerated de novo. Here, we follow and track this developmental sequence in its entirety to elucidate the emergence of coordinated ciliary beating: from band formation, elongation, curling and final migration towards the cell anterior. We reveal a complex interplay between hydrodynamics and ciliary restructuring in Stentor, and highlight for the first time the importance of a ring-like topology for achieving long-range metachronism in ciliated structures.
  • Preprint
    Variation in traction forces during cell cycle progression
    ( 2017-10-31) Vianay, Benoit ; Senger, Fabrice ; Alamos, Simon ; Anjur-Dietrich, Maya ; Bearce, Elizabeth ; Cheeseman, Bevan ; Lee, Lisa ; Théry, Manuel
    Tissue morphogenesis results from the interplay between cell growth and mechanical forces. While the impact of forces on cell proliferation has been fairly well characterized, the inverse relationship is much less understood. Here we investigated how traction forces vary during cell cycle progression. Cell shape was constrained on micropatterned substrates in order to distinguish variations in cell contractility from cell size increase. We performed traction force measurements of asynchronously dividing cells expressing a cell-cycle reporter, to obtain measurements of contractile forces generated during cell division. We found that forces tend to increase as cells progress through G1, before reaching a plateau in S phase, and then decline during G2. This biphasic behaviour revealed a previously undocumented specific and opposite regulation of cell contractility during each cell cycle stage.
  • Article
    Direction of actin flow dictates integrin LFA-1 orientation during leukocyte migration
    (Nature Publishing Group, 2017-12-11) Nordenfelt, Pontus ; Moore, Travis I. ; Mehta, Shalin B. ; Kalappurakkal, Joseph Mathew ; Swaminathan, Vinay ; Koga, Nobuyasu ; Lambert, Talley J. ; Baker, David ; Waters, Jennifer C. ; Oldenbourg, Rudolf ; Tani, Tomomi ; Mayor, Satyajit ; Waterman, Clare M. ; Springer, Timothy
    Integrin αβ heterodimer cell surface receptors mediate adhesive interactions that provide traction for cell migration. Here, we test whether the integrin, when engaged to an extracellular ligand and the cytoskeleton, adopts a specific orientation dictated by the direction of actin flow on the surface of migrating cells. We insert GFP into the rigid, ligand-binding head of the integrin, model with Rosetta the orientation of GFP and its transition dipole relative to the integrin head, and measure orientation with fluorescence polarization microscopy. Cytoskeleton and ligand-bound integrins orient in the same direction as retrograde actin flow with their cytoskeleton-binding β-subunits tilted by applied force. The measurements demonstrate that intracellular forces can orient cell surface integrins and support a molecular model of integrin activation by cytoskeletal force. Our results place atomic, Å-scale structures of cell surface receptors in the context of functional and cellular, μm-scale measurements.
  • Book
    Cell culture protocols, HeLa and CHO cells Woods Hole Physiology Course, 2006
    (Marine Biological Laboratory, 2006) Altman, David
  • Article
    RCC1-dependent activation of Ran accelerates cell cycle and DNA repair, inhibiting DNA damage–induced cell senescence
    (American Society for Cell Biology, 2016-02-10) Cekan, Pavol ; Hasegawa, Keisuke ; Pan, Yu ; Tubman, Emily ; Odde, David ; Chen, Jin-Qiu ; Herrmann, Michelle A. ; Kumar, Sheetal ; Kalab, Petr
    The coordination of cell cycle progression with the repair of DNA damage supports the genomic integrity of dividing cells. The function of many factors involved in DNA damage response (DDR) and the cell cycle depends on their Ran GTPase–regulated nuclear–cytoplasmic transport (NCT). The loading of Ran with GTP, which is mediated by RCC1, the guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Ran, is critical for NCT activity. However, the role of RCC1 or Ran⋅GTP in promoting cell proliferation or DDR is not clear. We show that RCC1 overexpression in normal cells increased cellular Ran⋅GTP levels and accelerated the cell cycle and DNA damage repair. As a result, normal cells overexpressing RCC1 evaded DNA damage–induced cell cycle arrest and senescence, mimicking colorectal carcinoma cells with high endogenous RCC1 levels. The RCC1-induced inhibition of senescence required Ran and exportin 1 and involved the activation of importin β–dependent nuclear import of 53BP1, a large NCT cargo. Our results indicate that changes in the activity of the Ran⋅GTP–regulated NCT modulate the rate of the cell cycle and the efficiency of DNA repair. Through the essential role of RCC1 in regulation of cellular Ran⋅GTP levels and NCT, RCC1 expression enables the proliferation of cells that sustain DNA damage.
  • Article
    DNA damage induces nuclear actin filament assembly by Formin-2 and Spire-1/2 that promotes efficient DNA repair
    (eLife Sciences Publications, 2015-08-19) Belin, Brittany J. ; Lee, Terri ; Mullins, R. Dyche
    Actin filaments assemble inside the nucleus in response to multiple cellular perturbations, including heat shock, protein misfolding, integrin engagement, and serum stimulation. We find that DNA damage also generates nuclear actin filaments—detectable by phalloidin and live-cell actin probes—with three characteristic morphologies: (i) long, nucleoplasmic filaments; (ii) short, nucleolus-associated filaments; and (iii) dense, nucleoplasmic clusters. This DNA damage-induced nuclear actin assembly requires two biologically and physically linked nucleation factors: Formin-2 and Spire-1/Spire-2. Formin-2 accumulates in the nucleus after DNA damage, and depletion of either Formin-2 or actin’s nuclear import factor, importin-9, increases the number of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), linking nuclear actin filaments to efficient DSB clearance. Nuclear actin filaments are also required for nuclear oxidation induced by acute genotoxic stress. Our results reveal a previously unknown role for nuclear actin filaments in DNA repair and identify the molecular mechanisms creating these nuclear filaments.
  • Article
    Spindle-to-cortex communication in cleaving, polyspermic Xenopus eggs
    (American Society for Cell Biology, 2015-10-15) Field, Christine M. ; Groen, Aaron C. ; Nguyen, Phuong A. ; Mitchison, Timothy J.
    Mitotic spindles specify cleavage planes in early embryos by communicating their position and orientation to the cell cortex using microtubule asters that grow out from the spindle poles during anaphase. Chromatin also plays a poorly understood role. Polyspermic fertilization provides a natural experiment in which aster pairs from the same spindle (sister asters) have chromatin between them, whereas asters pairs from different spindles (nonsisters) do not. In frogs, only sister aster pairs induce furrows. We found that only sister asters recruited two conserved furrow-inducing signaling complexes, chromosome passenger complex (CPC) and Centralspindlin, to a plane between them. This explains why only sister pairs induce furrows. We then investigated factors that influenced CPC recruitment to microtubule bundles in intact eggs and a cytokinesis extract system. We found that microtubule stabilization, optimal starting distance between asters, and proximity to chromatin all favored CPC recruitment. We propose a model in which proximity to chromatin biases initial CPC recruitment to microtubule bundles between asters from the same spindle. Next a positive feedback between CPC recruitment and microtubule stabilization promotes lateral growth of a plane of CPC-positive microtubule bundles out to the cortex to position the furrow.
  • Article
    The nucleoporin ALADIN regulates Aurora A localization to ensure robust mitotic spindle formation
    (American Society for Cell Biology, 2015-08-05) Carvalhal, Sara ; Ribeiro, Susana Abreu ; Arocena, Miguel ; Kasciukovic, Taciana ; Temme, Achim ; Koehler, Katrin ; Huebner, Angela ; Griffis, Eric R.
    The formation of the mitotic spindle is a complex process that requires massive cellular reorganization. Regulation by mitotic kinases controls this entire process. One of these mitotic controllers is Aurora A kinase, which is itself highly regulated. In this study, we show that the nuclear pore protein ALADIN is a novel spatial regulator of Aurora A. Without ALADIN, Aurora A spreads from centrosomes onto spindle microtubules, which affects the distribution of a subset of microtubule regulators and slows spindle assembly and chromosome alignment. ALADIN interacts with inactive Aurora A and is recruited to the spindle pole after Aurora A inhibition. Of interest, mutations in ALADIN cause triple A syndrome. We find that some of the mitotic phenotypes that we observe after ALADIN depletion also occur in cells from triple A syndrome patients, which raises the possibility that mitotic errors may underlie part of the etiology of this syndrome.
  • Other
    Image analysis for biology
    ( 2008-06) Kueh, Hao Yuan ; Marco, Eugenio ; Springer, Mike ; Sivaramakrishnan, Sivaraj
  • Article
    Quantitative biology : where modern biology meets physical sciences
    (American Society for Cell Biology, 2014-11-05) Shekhar, Shashank ; Zhu, Lian ; Mazutis, Linas ; Sgro, Allyson E. ; Fai, Thomas G. ; Podolski, Marija
    Quantitative methods and approaches have been playing an increasingly important role in cell biology in recent years. They involve making accurate measurements to test a predefined hypothesis in order to compare experimental data with predictions generated by theoretical models, an approach that has benefited physicists for decades. Building quantitative models in experimental biology not only has led to discoveries of counterintuitive phenomena but has also opened up novel research directions. To make the biological sciences more quantitative, we believe a two-pronged approach needs to be taken. First, graduate training needs to be revamped to ensure biology students are adequately trained in physical and mathematical sciences and vice versa. Second, students of both the biological and the physical sciences need to be provided adequate opportunities for hands-on engagement with the methods and approaches necessary to be able to work at the intersection of the biological and physical sciences. We present the annual Physiology Course organized at the Marine Biological Laboratory (Woods Hole, MA) as a case study for a hands-on training program that gives young scientists the opportunity not only to acquire the tools of quantitative biology but also to develop the necessary thought processes that will enable them to bridge the gap between these disciplines.
  • Article
    Quantitative analysis and modeling of katanin function in flagellar length control
    (American Society for Cell Biology, 2014-08-20) Kannegaard, Elisa ; Rego, E. Hesper ; Schuck, Sebastian ; Feldman, Jessica L. ; Marshall, Wallace F.
    Flagellar length control in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii provides a simple model system in which to investigate the general question of how cells regulate organelle size. Previous work demonstrated that Chlamydomonas cytoplasm contains a pool of flagellar precursor proteins sufficient to assemble a half-length flagellum and that assembly of full-length flagella requires synthesis of additional precursors to augment the preexisting pool. The regulatory systems that control the synthesis and regeneration of this pool are not known, although transcriptional regulation clearly plays a role. We used quantitative analysis of length distributions to identify candidate genes controlling pool regeneration and found that a mutation in the p80 regulatory subunit of katanin, encoded by the PF15 gene in Chlamydomonas, alters flagellar length by changing the kinetics of precursor pool utilization. This finding suggests a model in which flagella compete with cytoplasmic microtubules for a fixed pool of tubulin, with katanin-mediated severing allowing easier access to this pool during flagellar assembly. We tested this model using a stochastic simulation that confirms that cytoplasmic microtubules can compete with flagella for a limited tubulin pool, showing that alteration of cytoplasmic microtubule severing could be sufficient to explain the effect of the pf15 mutations on flagellar length.
  • Article
    Self-organization of stabilized microtubules by both spindle and midzone mechanisms in Xenopus egg cytosol
    (American Society for Cell Biology, 2013-03-20) Mitchison, Timothy J. ; Nguyen, Phuong A. ; Coughlin, Margaret ; Groen, Aaron C.
    Previous study of self-organization of Taxol-stabilized microtubules into asters in Xenopus meiotic extracts revealed motor-dependent organizational mechanisms in the spindle. We revisit this approach using clarified cytosol with glycogen added back to supply energy and reducing equivalents. We added probes for NUMA and Aurora B to reveal microtubule polarity. Taxol and dimethyl sulfoxide promote rapid polymerization of microtubules that slowly self-organize into assemblies with a characteristic morphology consisting of paired lines or open circles of parallel bundles. Minus ends align in NUMA-containing foci on the outside, and plus ends in Aurora B–containing foci on the inside. Assemblies have a well-defined width that depends on initial assembly conditions, but microtubules within them have a broad length distribution. Electron microscopy shows that plus-end foci are coated with electron-dense material and resemble similar foci in monopolar midzones in cells. Functional tests show that two key spindle assembly factors, dynein and kinesin-5, act during assembly as they do in spindles, whereas two key midzone assembly factors, Aurora B and Kif4, act as they do in midzones. These data reveal the richness of self-organizing mechanisms that operate on microtubules after they polymerize in meiotic cytoplasm and provide a biochemically tractable system for investigating plus-end organization in midzones.
  • Article
    Visualization of actin filaments and monomers in somatic cell nuclei
    (American Society for Cell Biology, 2013-02-27) Belin, Brittany J. ; Cimini, Beth A. ; Blackburn, Elizabeth H. ; Mullins, R. Dyche
    In addition to its long-studied presence in the cytoplasm, actin is also found in the nuclei of eukaryotic cells. The function and form (monomer, filament, or noncanonical oligomer) of nuclear actin are hotly debated, and its localization and dynamics are largely unknown. To determine the distribution of nuclear actin in live somatic cells and evaluate its potential functions, we constructed and validated fluorescent nuclear actin probes. Monomeric actin probes concentrate in nuclear speckles, suggesting an interaction of monomers with RNA-processing factors. Filamentous actin probes recognize discrete structures with submicron lengths that are excluded from chromatin-rich regions. In time-lapse movies, these actin filament structures exhibit one of two types of mobility: 1) diffusive, with an average diffusion coefficient of 0.06–0.08 μm2/s, or (2) subdiffusive, with a mobility coefficient of 0.015 μm2/s. Individual filament trajectories exhibit features of particles moving within a viscoelastic mesh. The small size of nuclear actin filaments is inconsistent with a role in micron-scale intranuclear transport, and their localization suggests that they do not participate directly in chromatin-based processes. Our results instead suggest that actin filaments form part of a large, viscoelastic structure in the nucleoplasm and may act as scaffolds that help organize nuclear contents.
  • Article
    Actin binding to WH2 domains regulates nuclear import of the multifunctional actin regulator JMY
    (American Society for Cell Biology, 2012-01-19) Zuchero, J. Bradley ; Belin, Brittany J. ; Mullins, R. Dyche
    Junction-mediating and regulatory protein (JMY) is a regulator of both transcription and actin filament assembly. In response to DNA damage, JMY accumulates in the nucleus and promotes p53-dependent apoptosis. JMY's actin-regulatory activity relies on a cluster of three actin-binding Wiskott–Aldrich syndrome protein homology 2 (WH2) domains that nucleate filaments directly and also promote nucleation activity of the Arp2/3 complex. In addition to these activities, we find that the WH2 cluster overlaps an atypical, bipartite nuclear localization sequence (NLS) and controls JMY's subcellular localization. Actin monomers bound to the WH2 domains block binding of importins to the NLS and prevent nuclear import of JMY. Mutations that impair actin binding, or cellular perturbations that induce actin filament assembly and decrease the concentration of monomeric actin in the cytoplasm, cause JMY to accumulate in the nucleus. DNA damage induces both cytoplasmic actin polymerization and nuclear import of JMY, and we find that damage-induced nuclear localization of JMY requires both the WH2/NLS region and importin β. On the basis of our results, we propose that actin assembly regulates nuclear import of JMY in response to DNA damage.
  • Article
    Myosin II activity regulates vinculin recruitment to focal adhesions through FAK-mediated paxillin phosphorylation
    (Rockefeller University Press, 2010-03-22) Pasapera, Ana M. ; Schneider, Ian C. ; Rericha, Erin ; Schlaepfer, David D. ; Waterman, Clare M.
    Focal adhesions (FAs) are mechanosensitive adhesion and signaling complexes that grow and change composition in response to myosin II–mediated cytoskeletal tension in a process known as FA maturation. To understand tension-mediated FA maturation, we sought to identify proteins that are recruited to FAs in a myosin II–dependent manner and to examine the mechanism for their myosin II–sensitive FA association. We find that FA recruitment of both the cytoskeletal adapter protein vinculin and the tyrosine kinase FA kinase (FAK) are myosin II and extracellular matrix (ECM) stiffness dependent. Myosin II activity promotes FAK/Src-mediated phosphorylation of paxillin on tyrosines 31 and 118 and vinculin association with paxillin. We show that phosphomimic mutations of paxillin can specifically induce the recruitment of vinculin to adhesions independent of myosin II activity. These results reveal an important role for paxillin in adhesion mechanosensing via myosin II–mediated FAK phosphorylation of paxillin that promotes vinculin FA recruitment to reinforce the cytoskeletal ECM linkage and drive FA maturation.
  • Article
    Dynamics of myosin, microtubules, and Kinesin-6 at the cortex during cytokinesis in Drosophila S2 cells
    (Rockefeller University Press, 2009-08) Vale, Ronald D. ; Spudich, James A. ; Griffis, Eric R.
    Signals from the mitotic spindle during anaphase specify the location of the actomyosin contractile ring during cytokinesis, but the detailed mechanism remains unresolved. Here, we have imaged the dynamics of green fluorescent protein–tagged myosin filaments, microtubules, and Kinesin-6 (which carries activators of Rho guanosine triphosphatase) at the cell cortex using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy in flattened Drosophila S2 cells. At anaphase onset, Kinesin-6 relocalizes to microtubule plus ends that grow toward the cortex, but refines its localization over time so that it concentrates on a subset of stable microtubules and along a diffuse cortical band at the equator. The pattern of Kinesin-6 localization closely resembles where new myosin filaments appear at the cortex by de novo assembly. While accumulating at the equator, myosin filaments disappear from the poles of the cell, a process that also requires Kinesin-6 as well as possibly other signals that emanate from the elongating spindle. These results suggest models for how Kinesin-6 might define the position of cortical myosin during cytokinesis.
  • Article
    Augmin : a protein complex required for centrosome-independent microtubule generation within the spindle
    (Rockefeller University Press, 2008-04-28) Goshima, Gohta ; Mayer, Mirjam ; Zhang, Nan ; Stuurman, Nico ; Vale, Ronald D.
    Since the discovery of γ-tubulin, attention has focused on its involvement as a microtubule nucleator at the centrosome. However, mislocalization of {gamma}-tubulin away from the centrosome does not inhibit mitotic spindle formation in Drosophila melanogaster, suggesting that a critical function for γ-tubulin might reside elsewhere. A previous RNA interference (RNAi) screen identified five genes (Dgt2–6) required for localizing γ-tubulin to spindle microtubules. We show that the Dgt proteins interact, forming a stable complex. We find that spindle microtubule generation is substantially reduced after knockdown of each Dgt protein by RNAi. Thus, the Dgt complex that we name "augmin" functions to increase microtubule number. Reduced spindle microtubule generation after augmin RNAi, particularly in the absence of functional centrosomes, has dramatic consequences on mitotic spindle formation and function, leading to reduced kinetochore fiber formation, chromosome misalignment, and spindle bipolarity defects. We also identify a functional human homologue of Dgt6. Our results suggest that an important mitotic function for γ-tubulin may lie within the spindle, where augmin and γ-tubulin function cooperatively to amplify the number of microtubules.
  • Preprint
    Length control of the metaphase spindle
    ( 2005-09-30) Goshima, Gohta ; Wollman, Roy ; Stuurman, Nico ; Scholey, Jonathan M. ; Vale, Ronald D.
    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 spindle length, a global understanding of the factors that determine metaphase spindle length has not been achieved. Using the Drosophila S2 cell line, we depleted or overexpressed proteins that either generate sliding forces between spindle microtubules (Kinesin-5, Kinesin-14, dynein), promote microtubule polymerization (EB1, Mast/Orbit [CLASP], Minispindles [Dis1/XMAP215/TOG]) or depolymerization (Kinesin-8, Kinesin-13), or mediate sister-chromatid cohesion (Rad21) in order to explore how these forces influence spindle length. Using high-throughput automated microscopy and semiautomated image analyses of >4000 spindles, we found a reduction in spindle size after RNAi of microtubule-polymerizing factors or overexpression of Kinesin-8, whereas longer spindles resulted from the knockdown of Rad21, Kinesin-8, or Kinesin-13. In contrast, and differing from previous reports, bipolar spindle length is relatively insensitive to increases in motor-generated sliding forces. However, an ultrasensitive monopolar-to-bipolar transition in spindle architecture was observed at a critical concentration of the Kinesin-5 sliding motor. These observations could be explained by a quantitative model that proposes a coupling between microtubule depolymerization rates and microtubule sliding forces. By integrating extensive RNAi with high-throughput image-processing methodology and mathematical modeling, we reach to a conclusion that metaphase spindle length is sensitive to alterations in microtubule dynamics and sister-chromatid cohesion, but robust against alterations of microtubule sliding force.