Cell Synthesis, Kinesin Tug-Of-War, and Diverse Yeast Mitosis
Spontaneous Emergence Of Cell-Like Organization In Xenopus Egg Extracts
Cheng and Ferrell | Ferrell Lab | Science
The cell exhibits remarkable spatiotemporal control over its molecular constituents. Much of the cell’s internal organization was previously thought to arise from the inheritance of an already ordered state. However, in this study, Cheng and Ferrell perform an elegant experiment demonstrating the ability of cytoplasm to organize de novo based largely on microtubule polymerization dynamics and dynein-mediated transport. The authors prepare cytoplasmic frog egg extracts in alignment with commonly used methodology with one notable exception – they homogenize the extract prior to imaging. Strikingly, the thoroughly mixed cytoplasm reorganizes into cell-like compartments over the course of ~30 minutes. This self-organization occurs independently of commonly heralded factors including centrosomes, protein translation, and bulk aggregation, thereby revealing an alternative method of cellular synthesis.
–Perspective Mitchison and Field
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