The mitotic spindle is chiral due to torques within microtubule bundles

Novak, Maja and Polak, Bruno and Simunić, Juraj and Boban, Zvonimir and Kuzmić, Barbara and Thomae, Andreas W. and Tolić, Iva Marija and Pavin, Nenad (2018) The mitotic spindle is chiral due to torques within microtubule bundles. Nature Communications, 9. p. 3571. ISSN 2041-1723

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Mitosis relies on forces generated in the spindle, a micro-machine composed of microtubules and associated proteins. Forces are required for the congression of chromosomes to the metaphase plate and their separation in anaphase. However, besides forces, torques may exist in the spindle, yet they have not been investigated. Here we show that the spindle is chiral. Chirality is evident from the finding that microtubule bundles in human spindles follow a left-handed helical path, which cannot be explained by forces but rather by torques. Kinesin-5 (Kif11/Eg5) inactivation abolishes spindle chirality. Our theoretical model predicts that bending and twisting moments may generate curved shapes of bundles. We found that bundles turn by about −2 deg µm−1 around the spindle axis, which we explain by a twisting moment of roughly −10 pNµm. We conclude that torques, in addition to forces, exist in the spindle and determine its chiral architecture.

Item Type: Article
Date: 2018
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Biology > Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
NATURAL SCIENCES > Physics > Biophysics and Medical Physics
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2018. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit licenses/by/4.0/. Published: 03 September 2018.
Divisions: Faculty of Science > Department of Physics
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Depositing User: Gordana Stubičan Ladešić
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2018 07:22
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2018 07:22

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