Intracellular spatial localization regulated by the microtubule network

Jing Chen, Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, Jian Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The commonly recognized mechanisms for spatial regulation inside the cell are membrane-bounded compartmentalization and biochemical association with subcellular organelles. We use computational modeling to investigate another spatial regulation mechanism mediated by the microtubule network in the cell. Our results demonstrate that the mitotic spindle can impose strong sequestration and concentration effects on molecules with binding affinity for microtubules, especially dynein-directed cargoes. The model can recapitulate the essence of three experimental observations on distinct microtubule network morphologies: the sequestration of germ plasm components by the mitotic spindles in the Drosophila syncytial embryo, the asymmetric cell division initiated by the time delay in centrosome maturation in the Drosophila neuroblast, and the diffusional block between neighboring energids in the Drosophila syncytial embryo. Our model thus suggests that the cell cycle-dependent changes in the microtubule network are critical for achieving different spatial regulation effects. The microtubule network provides a spatially extensive docking platform for molecules and gives rise to a "structured cytoplasm", in contrast to a free and fluid environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere34919
JournalPLoS One
Volume7
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 19 2012
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Microtubules
microtubules
Cells
Dyneins
Molecules
Drosophila
Cell membranes
mitotic spindle apparatus
Spindle Apparatus
Time delay
Embryonic Structures
Fluids
Asymmetric Cell Division
centrosomes
Centrosome
Organelles
organelles
cell division
cell cycle
Cell Cycle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Intracellular spatial localization regulated by the microtubule network. / Chen, Jing; Lippincott-Schwartz, Jennifer; Liu, Jian.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 7, No. 4, e34919, 19.04.2012.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chen, Jing ; Lippincott-Schwartz, Jennifer ; Liu, Jian. / Intracellular spatial localization regulated by the microtubule network. In: PLoS One. 2012 ; Vol. 7, No. 4.
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