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Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 2004 Sep;59(1):38-49.

Auto-reverse nuclear migration in bipolar mammalian cells on micropatterned surfaces.

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Research Group for Biological Physics, HAS, Budapest, Hungary.


A novel assay based on micropatterning and time-lapse microscopy has been developed for the study of nuclear migration dynamics in cultured mammalian cells. When cultured on 10-20-microm wide adhesive stripes, the motility of C6 glioma and primary mouse fibroblast cells is diminished. Nevertheless, nuclei perform an unexpected auto-reverse motion: when a migrating nucleus approaches the leading edge, it decelerates, changes the direction of motion, and accelerates to move toward the other end of the elongated cell. During this process, cells show signs of polarization closely following the direction of nuclear movement. The observed nuclear movement requires a functioning microtubular system, as revealed by experiments disrupting the main cytoskeletal components with specific drugs. On the basis of our results, we argue that auto-reverse nuclear migration is due to forces determined by the interplay of microtubule dynamics and the changing position of the microtubule organizing center as the nucleus reaches the leading edge. Our assay recapitulates specific features of nuclear migration (cell polarization, oscillatory nuclear movement), while it allows the systematic study of a large number of individual cells. In particular, our experiments yielded the first direct evidence of reversive nuclear motion in mammalian cells, induced by attachment constraints.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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