Microtubule organization by kinesin motors and microtubule crosslinking protein MAP65

Joshua Pringle, Amutha Muthukumar, Amanda Tan, Laura Crankshaw, Leslie Conway, Jennifer L. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Microtubules are rigid, proteinaceous filaments required to organize and rearrange the interior of cells. They organize space by two mechanisms, including acting as the tracks for long-distance cargo transporters, such as kinesin-1, and by forming a network that supports the shape of the cell. The microtubule network is composed of microtubules and a bevy of associated proteins and enzymes that self-organize using non-equilibrium dynamic processes. In order to address the effects of self-organization of microtubules, we have utilized the filament-gliding assay with kinesin-1 motors driving microtubule motion. To further enhance the complexity of the system and determine if new patterns are formed, we added the microtubule crosslinking protein MAP65-1. MAP65-1 is a microtubule-associated protein from plants that crosslinks antiparallel microtubules, similar to mammalian PRC1 and fission yeast Ase1. We find that MAP65 can slow and halt the velocity of microtubules in gliding assays, but when pre-formed microtubule bundles are added to gliding assays, kinesin-1 motors can pull apart the bundles and reconstitute cell-like protrusions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number374103
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Issue number37
StatePublished - Sep 18 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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