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J Vis Exp. 2017 Apr 20;(122). doi: 10.3791/55610.

High-resolution Imaging and Analysis of Individual Astral Microtubule Dynamics in Budding Yeast.

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Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado School of Medicine.
Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado School of Medicine;


Dynamic microtubules are fundamental to many cellular processes, and accurate measurements of microtubule dynamics can provide insight into how cells regulate these processes and how genetic mutations impact regulation. The quantification of microtubule dynamics in metazoan models has a number of associated challenges, including a high microtubule density and limitations on genetic manipulations. In contrast, the budding yeast model offers advantages that overcome these challenges. This protocol describes a method to measure the dynamics of single microtubules in living yeast cells. Cells expressing fluorescently tagged tubulin are adhered to assembled slide chambers, allowing for stable time-lapse image acquisition. A detailed guide for high-speed, four-dimensional image acquisition is also provided, as well as a protocol for quantifying the properties of dynamic microtubules in confocal image stacks. This method, combined with conventional yeast genetics, provides an approach that is uniquely suited for quantitatively assessing the effects of microtubule regulators or mutations that alter the activity of tubulin subunits.

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