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Simulated dynein sequestration by the microtubule spindle.

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posted on 2012-04-19, 00:24 authored by Jing Chen, Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, Jian Liu

(A) Time series of dynein distribution (also see Movie S1). Dyneins are initially randomly distributed throughout the cytoplasm. Dark grey lines: microtubules (only 1 out of 10 are shown to reduce clutter); blue dots: dyneins bound to microtubules; red dots: dyneins freely diffusing in the cytoplasm. Dyneins become strongly concentrated around the spindle poles within 20 s. (B) Histogram (right) of the equilibrium distribution of dyneins. More than 50% dyneins are concentrated within 200 nm around the spindle pole, and 98% within 1 µm. (C) Dyneins are initially released from one end of the cell, close to one spindle pole (big red dot) (also see Movie S2). Legends are same as in (A). Dyneins become strongly concentrated around the proximal spindle pole within 10 s, but almost none on the opposite spindle pole. Over the simulated duration of 3000 s, only 0.3% dyneins turn over to the opposite pole. Assume that the turnover is a Poisson process, then prob(wait timet/τ), where τ is the characteristic turnover time, or the reciprocal of the turnover rate. Plugging in prob = 0.003 and t = 3000 s gives τ = 105 s. Both simulations in (A) and (C) are carried out with 1000 non-interacting dyneins and each half-spindle consisting of 800 spindle microtubules and 800 astral microtubules. The dyneins are expelled from the spindle pole immediately as they arrive, i.e. the spindle poles are reflecting boundaries.


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