Positioning of a radial array of microtubules (MTs) in the cell centre is crucial for cytoplasmic organization, but the mechanisms of such centering are difficult to study in intact cells that have pre-formed radial arrays. Here, we use cytoplasmic fragments of melanophores, and cytoplasts of BS-C-1 cells to study MT centering mechanisms. Using live imaging and computer modelling, we show that the MT aster finds a central location in the cytoplasm by moving along spontaneously nucleated non-astral MTs towards a point at which MT nucleation events occur equally on all sides. We hypothesize that similar mechanisms, in the presence of the centrosome, contribute to this centering mechanism and ensure the robustness of cytoplasmic organization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology