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J Cell Biol. 2016 Mar 28;212(7):767-76. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201506011. Epub 2016 Mar 21.

Laser microsurgery reveals conserved viscoelastic behavior of the kinetochore.

Author information

1
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, 01307 Dresden, Germany.
2
Department of Biological Sciences and Biocomplexity Institute, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061.
3
Max F. Perutz Laboratories, Department of Chromosome Biology, University of Vienna, 1030 Vienna, Austria.
4
Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115.
5
Beckman Laser Institute and University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92612.
6
Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia.
7
Department of Biological Sciences and Biocomplexity Institute, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061 gregan@fns.uniba.sk tolic@irb.hr cimini@vt.edu.
8
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, 01307 Dresden, Germany Division of Molecular Biology, Ruđer Bošković Institute, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia gregan@fns.uniba.sk tolic@irb.hr cimini@vt.edu.
9
Max F. Perutz Laboratories, Department of Chromosome Biology, University of Vienna, 1030 Vienna, Austria gregan@fns.uniba.sk tolic@irb.hr cimini@vt.edu.

Abstract

Accurate chromosome segregation depends on proper kinetochore-microtubule attachment. Upon microtubule interaction, kinetochores are subjected to forces generated by the microtubules. In this work, we used laser ablation to sever microtubules attached to a merotelic kinetochore, which is laterally stretched by opposing pulling forces exerted by microtubules, and inferred the mechanical response of the kinetochore from its length change. In both mammalian PtK1 cells and in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, kinetochores shortened after microtubule severing. Interestingly, the inner kinetochore-centromere relaxed faster than the outer kinetochore. Whereas in fission yeast all kinetochores relaxed to a similar length, in PtK1 cells the more stretched kinetochores remained more stretched. Simple models suggest that these differences arise because the mechanical structure of the mammalian kinetochore is more complex. Our study establishes merotelic kinetochores as an experimental model for studying the mechanical response of the kinetochore in live cells and reveals a viscoelastic behavior of the kinetochore that is conserved in yeast and mammalian cells.

PMID:
27002163
PMCID:
PMC4810299
DOI:
10.1083/jcb.201506011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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