Journal Club – May 2019

Spindle Heterogeneity, Microtubule Search and Capture, and Bulk Actin Waves


Must Read

Mechanically Distinct Microtubule Arrays Determine the Length and Force Response of the Meiotic Spindle

Takagi et al. | Developmental Cell The spindle is a remarkable macromolecular machine comprised of dynamic microtubules and associated factors. Given its critical job in driving chromosome segregation, the spindle is robust to mechanical perturbations, maintaining a near constant structure despite a barrage of internal and external forces. Previous works have delved into the architecture and dynamics that give rise to the steady-state spindle, but a map of how microtubules in various regions of the spindle respond to forces is needed. In this study, the Shimamoto lab locally deformed spindles in Xenopus egg extracts with force-calibrated microneedles while simultaneously imaging single microtubules labeled with fluorescent tubulin speckles. The mechanical responses of microtubules were observed to differ depending on their location within the spindle, with the middle of each spindle half being more compliant and fluid-like than than pole and equatorial regions. This mechanical heterogeneity was further demonstrated to emerge from the microtubule crosslinking activities of kinesin-5 and dynein, providing a link between spindle architecture and mechanics.

Takagi et al. Graphical Abstract



Designing A Rigorous Microscopy Experiment: Validating Methods And Avoiding Bias

Important considerations for one of the mostly widely used techniques in cell biology – from sample preparation to post-acquisition processing.
Jost and Waters  |  Journal of Cell Biology


Reviews and Perspectives


Conference Watch

French Microtubule Network 2019
July 1-2, 2019
Rennes, France


Journal Club Picks

  • Multiple microtubule arrays in a single interphase cell are organized by a balance of forces as revealed by centrosome ablation in naturally multinucleated cells.
    Odell et al. |  Koonce Lab |  Molecular Biology of the Cell
  • Excessive astral microtubule-generated forces can damage the genome during mitosis.
    Estrem and Moore |  Moore Lab |  Molecular Biology of the Cell
  • Branched microtubule arrays are shaped by the biased deposition of nucleation sites near microtubule minus ends.
    Thawani et al. |  Stone, Shaevitz, and Petry Labs | eLife
  • Tubulin acetylation inside the microtubule lumen is likely causative of enhanced stability as determined by near atomic-resolution cryo-EM maps.
    Eshun-Wilson et al. | Nogales Lab | PNAS
  • The non-motile ciliary kinesin Kif7 recognizes and stabilizes GTP-tubulin to promote its own microtubule tip tracking.
    Jiang et al. | Subramanian Lab | Developmental Cell
  • The centrosome mediates crosstalk between the microtubule and actin networks as they reorganize during mitosis.
    Farina et al. | Baum Lab | The EMBO Journal
  • Platinum replica electron microscopy reveals the ultrastructure of the actin cytoskeleton at sites of mitochondrial constriction.
    Yang and Svitkina | Svitkina Lab | Nature Cell Biology
  • Biophysical models of cytoskeletal reorganization predict mitotic spindle assembly in the absence of molecular motors.
    Lamson et al. | Betterton Lab | Biophysical Journal
  • A microtubule search and capture mechanism outside of mitosis is important for adaptive immune responses.
    Sarkar et al. | Paul Lab | Biophysical Journal
  • A genome-scale CRISPR–Cas9 fitness screen across hundreds of cancer cell lines identifies several tubulin genes as priority targets in the development of context-specific cancer drugs.
    Behan et al. | Yusa and Garnett Labs | Nature
  • Coordinated actin polymerization transmits a wave of cytoplasmic streaming important for ooplasm-yolk segregation during embryogenesis.
    Shamipour et al. | Hannezo and Heisenberg Labs | Cell

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