American Chemical Society
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Revealing Microtubule-Dependent Slow-Directed Motility by Single-Particle Tracking

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posted on 2021-03-17, 10:05 authored by Li Xia, Li-Juan Zhang, Hong-Wu Tang, Dai-Wen Pang
Microtubules (MTs) are the main component of cytoskeletons, providing long tracks for cargo trafficking across the cytoplasm. In the past years, transport along MTs was frequently reported to be rapid directed motions with speeds of several micrometers per second, but is that all the truth? Using single-particle tracking, we roundly and precisely analyzed the dynamic behaviors of three kinds of cargoes transported along MTs in two types of cells. It was found that during the transport processes, the directed motions of the cargoes were frequently interrupted by nondirected motions which greatly reduced the translocation rate toward the nucleus. What is more, in addition to the widely reported rapid directed motions, a type of directed motions with most speeds below 0.5 μm/s occurred more frequently. On the whole, these slow directed motions took longer than the rapid directed motions and resulted in displacements same as those of the rapid ones. To sum up, while travelling along MTs toward the cell interior, endocytosed cargoes moved alternately in rapid-directed, slow-directed and nondirected modes. In this process, the rapid- and the slow-directed motions contributed almost equally to the cargoes’ translocation. This work provides original insights into the transport on MTs, facilitating a more comprehensive understanding of intracellular trafficking.