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Cross-linker design determines microtubule network organization by opposing motors.

Published version
Peer-reviewed

Type

Article

Change log

Abstract

During cell division, cross-linking motors determine the architecture of the spindle, a dynamic microtubule network that segregates the chromosomes in eukaryotes. It is unclear how motors with opposite directionality coordinate to drive both contractile and extensile behaviors in the spindle. Particularly, the impact of different cross-linker designs on network self-organization is not understood, limiting our understanding of self-organizing structures in cells but also our ability to engineer new active materials. Here, we use experiment and theory to examine active microtubule networks driven by mixtures of motors with opposite directionality and different cross-linker design. We find that although the kinesin-14 HSET causes network contraction when dominant, it can also assist the opposing kinesin-5 KIF11 to generate extensile networks. This bifunctionality results from HSET's asymmetric design, distinct from symmetric KIF11. These findings expand the set of rules underlying patterning of active microtubule assemblies and allow a better understanding of motor cooperation in the spindle.

Description

Keywords

active matter, microtubules, motor proteins, self-organization, Cell Division, Humans, Kinesins, Microtubules, Oncogene Proteins, Spindle Apparatus

Journal Title

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

0027-8424
1091-6490

Volume Title

119

Publisher

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Sponsorship
European Commission Horizon 2020 (H2020) ERC (951430)