Active force generation shapes the metaphase spindle through a mechanical instability.

First Authors David Oriola
Authors David Oriola, Frank Jülicher, Jan Brugués
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Last Authors Jan Brugués
Journal Name bioRxiv (bioRxiv)
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Online Publication Date 2020-02-09
Abstract The metaphase spindle is a dynamic structure that segregates chromosomes during cell division. Recently, soft matter approaches have shown that the spindle behaves as an active liquid crystal. Still, it remains unclear how active force generation contributes to its characteristic spindle-like shape. Here, we combine theory and experiments to show that molecular motor driven forces shape the structure through a barreling-type instability. We test our physical model by titrating dynein activity in Xenopus egg extract spindles and quantifying the shape and microtubule orientation. We conclude that spindles are shaped by the interplay between surface tension, nematic elasticity and motor-driven active forces. Our study reveals how active force generation can mold liquid crystal droplets and it has implications on the morphology of non-membrane bound compartments demixed from the cytoplasm.
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Affiliated With Brugues, CSBD
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DOI 10.1101/2020.02.08.939868
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Created By thuem
Added Date 2020-06-08
Last Edited By herbst
Last Edited Date 2022-02-17 17:55:58.706
Library ID 7691
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