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Cell. 1984 Jul;37(3):753-65.

Microtubule polarity and the direction of pigment transport reverse simultaneously in surgically severed melanophore arms.


The transport of pigment through the long cytoplasmic extensions (arms) of teleost melanophores is a microtubule-dependent event. We have severed the arms from melanophores to test whether microtubules isolated from the centrosome maintain their original polarity and disposition. In addition, we have tested whether arms containing microtubules of mixed polarities alter the direction of pigment transport. We find that microtubules within severed arms eventually change their polarity and reorganize from the arm center as if to form a new minicell. Concomitant with this change is a reversal in the direction of pigment transport.

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