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Ring-Shaped Assembly of Microtubules Shows Preferential Counterclockwise Motion

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journal contribution
posted on 08.09.2008 by Ryuzo Kawamura, Akira Kakugo, Kazuhiro Shikinaka, Yoshihito Osada, Jian Ping Gong
In this paper, we reveal that microtubules (MTs), reconstructed from tubulin in vitro in the presence of guanosine-5′-triphosphate (GTP), have a ring or spiral shape on a motor protein-fixed surface, and these MTs show biased motion in the counterclockwise direction. By cross-linking these MTs during the sliding motion, we obtained large ring-shaped MT assemblies, 1∼12.6 μm in diameter. The ratio of the rings rotating in the counterclockwise direction to those rotating in the clockwise direction was approximately 3/1. Under optimized conditions, the ratio was as high as 14/1. Thus, we successfully obtained aggregated MTs with a large hierarchic structure that shows a preferential motion, through a dynamic process in vitro.