Differences in intrinsic tubulin dynamic properties contribute to spindle length control in Xenopus species
Hirst, William G.
Mahalingan, Kishore K.
MetadataShow full item record
The function of cellular organelles relates not only to their molecular composition but also to their size. However, how the size of dynamic mesoscale structures is established and maintained remains poorly understood [1, 2, 3]. Mitotic spindle length, for example, varies several-fold among cell types and among different organisms . Although most studies on spindle size control focus on changes in proteins that regulate microtubule dynamics [5, 6, 7, 8], the contribution of the spindle’s main building block, the αβ-tubulin heterodimer, has yet to be studied. Apart from microtubule-associated proteins and motors, two factors have been shown to contribute to the heterogeneity of microtubule dynamics: tubulin isoform composition [9, 10] and post-translational modifications . In the past, studying the contribution of tubulin and microtubules to spindle assembly has been limited by the fact that physiologically relevant tubulins were not available. Here, we show that tubulins purified from two closely related frogs, Xenopus laevis and Xenopus tropicalis, have surprisingly different microtubule dynamics in vitro. X. laevis microtubules combine very fast growth and infrequent catastrophes. In contrast, X. tropicalis microtubules grow slower and catastrophe more frequently. We show that spindle length and microtubule mass can be controlled by titrating the ratios of the tubulins from the two frog species. Furthermore, we combine our in vitro reconstitution assay and egg extract experiments with computational modeling to show that differences in intrinsic properties of different tubulins contribute to the control of microtubule mass and therefore set steady-state spindle length.
© The Author(s), 2020. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Hirst, W. G., Biswas, A., Mahalingan, K. K., & Reber, S. Differences in intrinsic tubulin dynamic properties contribute to spindle length control in Xenopus species. Current Biology, 30(11), (2020): 2184-2190.e5, doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2020.03.067.
Suggested CitationHirst, W. G., Biswas, A., Mahalingan, K. K., & Reber, S. (2020). Differences in intrinsic tubulin dynamic properties contribute to spindle length control in xenopus species. Current Biology, 30(11), 2184-2190.e5.
The following license files are associated with this item:
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Roles of polymerization dynamics, opposed motors, and a tensile element in governing the length of Xenopus extract meiotic spindles Mitchison, Timothy J.; Maddox, P.; Gaetz, J.; Groen, Aaron C.; Shirasu, M.; Desai, Ankur R.; Salmon, Edward D.; Kapoor, Tarun M. (American Society for Cell Biology, 2005-03-23)Metaphase spindles assemble to a steady state in length by mechanisms that involve microtubule dynamics and motor proteins, but they are incompletely understood. We found that Xenopus extract spindles recapitulate the ...
Tirnauer, Jennifer S.; Salmon, Edward D.; Mitchison, Timothy J. (American Society for Cell Biology, 2004-02-06)Microtubule dynamics underlie spindle assembly, yet we do not know how the spindle environment affects these dynamics. We developed methods for measuring two key parameters of microtubule plus-end dynamic instability in ...
Field, Christine M.; Groen, Aaron C.; Nguyen, Phuong A.; Mitchison, Timothy J. (American Society for Cell Biology, 2015-10-15)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 ...