Send to

Choose Destination
Dev Biol. 2000 Aug 15;224(2):250-62.

Local inhibition of cortical rotation in Xenopus eggs by an anti-KRP antibody.

Author information

Unité de Biologie du Développement, UMR 7009 CNRS/, Université Paris VI, Station Zoologique, Villefranche-sur-mer, France.


The dorsal-ventral axis of amphibian embryos is specified by the "cortical rotation," a translocation of the egg cortex relative to the vegetal yolk mass. The mechanism of cortical rotation is not understood but is thought to involve an array of aligned, commonly oriented microtubules. We have demonstrated an essential requirement for kinesin-related proteins (KRPs) in the cortical rotation by microinjection beneath the vegetal cortex of an antipeptide antibody recognising multiple Xenopus egg KRPs. Time-lapse videomicroscopy revealed a striking local inhibition of the cortical rotation around the injection site, indicating that KRP-mediated translocation of the cortex is generated by forces acting across the vegetal subcortical region. Anti-tubulin immunofluorescence showed that the antibody disrupted both formation and maintenance of the aligned microtubule array. Direct examination of rhodamine-labelled microtubules by confocal microscopy showed that the anti-KRP antibody provoked striking three-dimensional flailing movement of the subcortical microtubules. In contrast, microtubules in antibody-free regions undulated only within the plane of the cortex, a significant population exhibiting little or no net movement. These findings suggest that KRPs have a critical role during cortical rotation in tethering microtubules to the cortex and that they may not contribute significantly to the translocation force as previously thought.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center