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Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 1996;35(3):225-36.

Microtubule dynamic turnover is suppressed during polarization and stimulated in hepatocyte growth factor scattered Madin-Darby canine kidney epithelial cells.

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1
Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst 01003, USA.

Abstract

The dynamic behavior of microtubules has been measured in non-polarized, polarized, and hepatocyte growth factor treated Madin-Darby canine kidney epithelial cells. In a nocodazole disassembly assay, microtubules in polarized cells were more resistant to depolymerization than microtubules in non-polarized cells; microtubules in scattered cells were nearly completely disassembled. Analysis of fluorescent microtubules in living cells further revealed that individual microtubules in polarized cells were kinetically stabilized and microtubules in scattered cells were highly dynamic. Individual microtubule behavior in polarized cells was characterized by a suppression of the average rate of shortening, an increase in the average duration of pause, a decrease in the frequency of catastrophe transitions, and an increase in the frequency of rescue transitions, when compared with microtubules in non-polarized cells. In contrast, microtubule behavior in epithelial cells treated with hepatocyte growth factor was characterized by increase in the average rates of microtubule growth and shortening, a decrease in the frequency of rescue transitions, and an increase in the frequency of catastrophe transitions, when compared with polarized cells. Dynamicity, a measure of the gain and loss of subunits from microtubule plus ends, was 2.7 microns/min in polarized cells and 11.1 microns/min in scattered cells. These results demonstrate that individual microtubule dynamic behavior is markedly suppressed in polarized epithelial cells. Our results further demonstrate that in addition to its previously characterized effects on cell locomotion, hepatocyte growth factor stimulates microtubule dynamic turnover in lamellar regions of living cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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