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Methods Enzymol. 2014;540:417-33. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-397924-7.00023-6.

Glycogen-supplemented mitotic cytosol for analyzing Xenopus egg microtubule organization.

Author information

1
Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA.
2
Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA. Electronic address: timothy_mitchison@hms.harvard.edu.

Abstract

Undiluted cytoplasmic extract prepared from unfertilized Xenopus laevis eggs by low-speed centrifugation (CSF extracts) is useful for reconstitution of egg microtubule dynamics and meiosis-II spindle organization, but it suffers limitations for biochemical analysis due to abundant particulates. Here, we describe preparation and the use of fully clarified, undiluted mitotic cytosol derived from CSF extract. Addition of glycogen improves the ability of this cytosol to reconstitute microtubule organization, in part through improved energy metabolism. Using fully clarified, glycogen-supplemented mitotic cytosol, we reconstituted (i) stimulation of microtubule polymerization by Ran.GTP (Groen, Coughlin, & Mitchison, 2011; Ohba, Nakamura, Nishitani, & Nishimoto, 1999) and (ii) self-organization of highly regular bipolar arrays of taxol-stabilized microtubules that we termed "pineapples" (Mitchison, Nguyen, Coughlin, & Groen, 2013). Both systems will be useful for biochemical dissection of spindle assembly mechanisms. We also describe reliable small-scale methods for preparing fluorescent antibody probes that can be used for live imaging in egg extract systems as well as standard immunofluorescence.

KEYWORDS:

Glycogen; Microtubules; Mitosis; Xenopus laevis

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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