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Mol Biol Cell 2024 Jan 01;351:ar12. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E23-10-0407.
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Branched microtubule nucleation and dynein transport organize RanGTP asters in Xenopus laevis egg extract.

Scrofani J , Ruhnow F , Chew WX , Normanno D , Nedelec F , Surrey T , Vernos I .

Chromosome segregation relies on the correct assembly of a bipolar spindle. Spindle pole self-organization requires dynein-dependent microtubule (MT) transport along other MTs. However, during M-phase RanGTP triggers MT nucleation and branching generating polarized arrays with nonastral organization in which MT minus ends are linked to the sides of other MTs. This raises the question of how branched-MT nucleation and dynein-mediated transport cooperate to organize the spindle poles. Here, we used RanGTP-dependent MT aster formation in Xenopus laevis (X. laevis) egg extract to study the interplay between these two seemingly conflicting organizing principles. Using temporally controlled perturbations of MT nucleation and dynein activity, we found that branched MTs are not static but instead dynamically redistribute over time as poles self-organize. Our experimental data together with computer simulations suggest a model where dynein together with dynactin and NuMA directly pulls and move branched MT minus ends toward other MT minus ends.

PubMed ID: 37991893
PMC ID: PMC10881172
Article link: Mol Biol Cell

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: numa1