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Electron tomography reveals a flared morphology on growing microtubule ends


Höög, J L; Huisman, S M; Sebö-Lemke, Z; Sandblad, L; McIntosh, J R; Antony, C; Brunner, D (2011). Electron tomography reveals a flared morphology on growing microtubule ends. Journal of Cell Science, 124(Pt 5):693-698.

Abstract

Microtubules (MTs) exhibit dynamic instability, alternating between phases of growth and shortening, mostly at their uncapped plus ends. Based on results from cryo-electron microscopy it was proposed that growing MTs display mainly curved sheets and blunt ends; during depolymerisation curled 'ramshorns' predominate. Observations of MTs in mitotic cells have suggested that the situation in vivo differs from that in vitro, but so far, a clear comparison between in vivo and in vitro results has not been possible because MT end structures could not be correlated directly with the dynamic state of that particular MT. Here we combine light microscopy and electron tomography (ET) to show that growing MT plus ends in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe display predominantly a flared morphology. This indicates that MT polymerisation in vivo and in vitro can follow different paths.

Microtubules (MTs) exhibit dynamic instability, alternating between phases of growth and shortening, mostly at their uncapped plus ends. Based on results from cryo-electron microscopy it was proposed that growing MTs display mainly curved sheets and blunt ends; during depolymerisation curled 'ramshorns' predominate. Observations of MTs in mitotic cells have suggested that the situation in vivo differs from that in vitro, but so far, a clear comparison between in vivo and in vitro results has not been possible because MT end structures could not be correlated directly with the dynamic state of that particular MT. Here we combine light microscopy and electron tomography (ET) to show that growing MT plus ends in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe display predominantly a flared morphology. This indicates that MT polymerisation in vivo and in vitro can follow different paths.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Molecular Life Sciences
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Microtubule polymerisation, Plus ends, Electron tomography, Schizosaccharomyces pombe
Language:English
Date:8 February 2011
Deposited On:22 Feb 2011 14:40
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:46
Publisher:Company of Biologists
ISSN:0021-9533
Publisher DOI:10.1242/jcs.072967
PubMed ID:21303925
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-45598

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