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Document Version Version Comment Date Status
717940.0 Automatic journal name synchronization 16.04.2016 20:15 Released

ID: 717940.0, MPI für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik / MPI-CBG Publications 2015 (arch)
Dissecting microtubule structures by laser ablation.
Authors:Decker, Franziska; Brugués, Jan
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2015
Title of Journal:Methods in Cell Biology
Start Page:61
End Page:75
Copyright:not available
Audience:Experts Only
Intended Educational Use:No
Abstract / Description:Here, we describe a detailed protocol, based on laser ablation and fluorescence optical microscopy, to measure the microtubule organization in spindles, including microtubule length distribution, polarity, and plus and minus end densities. The method uses the asymmetry in microtubule depolymerization after a cut, where the newly created microtubule plus ends depolymerize all the way to the minus ends, whereas the newly created minus ends remain stable. The protocol described in this chapter is optimized for spindles, but can be easily applied to any microtubule-based structure. The chapter is divided into two parts. First, we provide the theoretical basis for the method. Second, we describe in detail all steps necessary to reconstruct the microtubule organization of a spindle assembled in Xenopus laevis egg extract. Compared to electron microscopy, which in theory can resolve individual microtubules in spindles and provide similar structural information, our method is fast and simple enough to allow for a full quantitative reconstruction of the microtubule organization of several X. laevis spindles—which have volumes tens of thousands of times larger than spindles whose structures have been previously solved by electron microscopy—in a single experimental session, as well as to explore how the architecture of these structures changes in response to biochemical perturbations.
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Version Comment:Automatic journal name synchronization
Communicated by:Thüm
Affiliations:MPI für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik