Spatial organization of the Ran pathway by microtubules in mitosis
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CitationOh, Doogie, Che-Hang Yu, and Daniel J. Needleman. 2016. “Spatial Organization of the Ran Pathway by Microtubules in Mitosis.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113 (31): 8729–34. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1607498113.
AbstractConcentration gradients of soluble proteins are believed to be responsible for control of morphogenesis of subcellular systems, but the mechanisms that generate the spatial organization of these subcellular gradients remain poorly understood. Here, we use a newly developed multipoint fluorescence fluctuation spectroscopy technique to study the ras-related nuclear protein (Ran) pathway, which forms soluble gradients around chromosomes in mitosis and is thought to spatially regulate microtubule behaviors during spindle assembly. We found that the distribution of components of the Ran pathway that influence microtubule behaviors is determined by their interactions with microtubules, resulting in microtubule nucleators being localized by the microtubules whose formation they stimulate. Modeling and perturbation experiments show that this feedback makes the length of the spindle insensitive to the length scale of the Ran gradient, allows the spindle to assemble outside the peak of the Ran gradient, and explains the scaling of the spindle with cell size. Such feedback between soluble signaling pathways and the mechanics of the cytoskeleton may be a general feature of subcellular organization.
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