Swinging a sword : how microtubules search for their targets

Pavin, Nenad and Tolić‑Nørrelykke, Iva M. (2014) Swinging a sword : how microtubules search for their targets. Systems and Synthetic Biology, 8 (3). pp. 179-186. ISSN 1872-5325

PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
Language: English

Download (609kB) | Preview


The cell interior is in constant movement, which is to a large extent determined by microtubules, thin and long filaments that permeate the cytoplasm. To move large objects, microtubules need to connect them to the site of their destination. For example, during cell division, microtubules connect chromosomes with the spindle poles via kinetochores, protein complexes on the chromosomes. A general question is how microtubules, while being bound to one structure, find the target that needs to be connected to this structure. Here we review the mechanisms of how microtubules search for kinetochores, with emphasis on the recently discovered microtubule feature to explore space by pivoting around the spindle pole. In addition to accelerating the search for kinetochores, pivoting helps the microtubules to search for cortical anchors, as well as to self-organize into parallel arrays and asters to target specific regions of the cell. Thus, microtubule pivoting constitutes a mechanism by which they locate targets in different cellular contexts.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: microtubules, kinetochores, mitosis, search mechanism, pivoting, angular movement
Date: 2014
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Biology > Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
NATURAL SCIENCES > Physics > Biophysics and Medical Physics
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2014. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited. Received: 7 December 2013. Accepted: 4 February 2014. Published online: 16 February 2014.
Divisions: Faculty of Science > Department of Physics
Publisher: Springer
Depositing User: Gordana Stubičan Ladešić
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2017 09:39
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2017 09:39
URI: http://digre.pmf.unizg.hr/id/eprint/5731

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item