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Curr Biol. 1997 Mar 1;7(3):211-4.

Movement of nuclei along microtubules in Xenopus egg extracts.

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Cell Biology Program, EMBL, Meyerhofstrasse 1, Postfach 10.2209, 69012 Heidelberg, Germany. Reinsch@EMBL-Heidelberg.DE


Microtubules are implicated in the movement and positioning of nuclei in many cell types. Nuclei can be moved by forces acting on microtubules nucleated at the spindle pole body, as in fungi [1], or microtubules nucleated at the centrosome, as during migration of the male (sperm) pronucleus towards the centre of the zygote after fertilization [2] [3] [4]. The dramatic movements of the female pronucleus towards the male pronucleus potentially involve another mechanism: movement along the microtubules of the sperm aster towards their slower growing, attached or 'minus' ends [3] [5]. Here, we have reconstituted this last type of nuclear movement in vitro. Synthetic nuclei assembled in cytoplasmic extracts made from interphase Xenopus eggs move along microtubules towards their minus ends. We provide strong experimental evidence that cytoplasmic dynein is the motor for nuclear movement in this in vitro system, and discuss our results in terms of current knowledge of motility of the endoplasmic reticulum.

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