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Selective stabilization of microtubules oriented toward the direction of cell migration

Gundersen, Gregg G. and Bulinski, Jeannette Chloe (1988) Selective stabilization of microtubules oriented toward the direction of cell migration. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 85 (16). pp. 5946-5950. ISSN 0027-8424. PMCID PMC281882. doi:10.1073/pnas.85.16.5946.

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A small subset of the microtubule (MT) array in many cultured cells does not exhibit the rapid turnover (t1/2 ≈ 10 min) shown by most cellular MTs. The function of the stable class of MTs is unknown and has been confounded by the apparent lack of organization of stable MTs within cells. Using an antibody against detyrosinated tubulin, a post-translationally modified form of tubulin that accumulates in stable MTs, we localized the stable MTs in mouse 3T3 cells induced to initiate directional migration by experimental wounding of confluent monolayers. Immediately after monolayer wounding, the distribution of stable MTs in cells at the wound edge resembled that in cells in the monolayer interior; most cells either contained randomly distributed stable MTs or lacked them entirely. However, by 20 min after wounding, cells at the wound margin began to generate an asymmetric MT array, with virtually all stable MTs oriented toward the cell edge in contact with the wound. Two hours after monolayer wounding, ≥80% of cells at the wound margin had generated this polarized array of stable MTs, and the array was maintained for at least 12 hr. MTs in the polarized array showed enhanced resistance to depolymerization by nocodazole, thus providing an independent test of their stability. Formation of the polar array of stable MTs appeared to precede onset of cell migration and closely paralleled reorientation of the MT-organizing center. These results show that cultured cells can remodel their MT array rapidly in response to an extracellular signal and suggest that selective stabilization of MTs is an early event in the generation of cellular asymmetry.

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Additional Information:© 1988 by the National Academy of Sciences. Communicated by Elizabeth F. Neufeld, April 11, 1988. We thank Kathy Brill and Alan Strozer for wonderful word-processing. This work was supported by grants from the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the National Institutes of Health (CA39755), and a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award to J.C.B. The publication costs of this article were defrayed in part by page charge payment. This article must therefore be hereby marked "advertisement" in accordance with 18 U.S.C. §1734 solely to indicate this fact.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Muscular Dystrophy AssociationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:experimental wounding; detyrosinated tubulin; microtubule organizing center
Issue or Number:16
PubMed Central ID:PMC281882
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:GUNpnas88
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7729
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:01 Aug 2007
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 20:45

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