Cargo Transport by Cytoplasmic Dynein Can Center Embryonic Centrosomes

Rafael A. Longoria, George Shubeita

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    To complete meiosis II in animal cells, the male DNA material needs to meet the female DNA material contained in the female pronucleus at the egg center, but it is not known how the male pronucleus, deposited by the sperm at the periphery of the cell, finds the cell center in large eggs. Pronucleus centering is an active process that appears to involve microtubules and molecular motors. For small and medium-sized cells, the force required to move the centrosome can arise from either microtubule pushing on the cortex, or cortically-attached dynein pulling on microtubules. However, in large cells, such as the fertilized Xenopus laevis embryo, where microtubules are too long to support pushing forces or they do not reach all boundaries before centrosome centering begins, a different force generating mechanism must exist. Here, we present a centrosome positioning model in which the cytosolic drag experienced by cargoes hauled by cytoplasmic dynein on the sperm aster microtubules can move the centrosome towards the cell's center. We find that small, fast cargoes (diameter ∼100 nm, cargo velocity ∼2 μm/s) are sufficient to move the centrosome in the geometry of the Xenopus laevis embryo within the experimentally observed length and time scales.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article numbere67710
    JournalPLoS One
    Volume8
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 1 2013

    Fingerprint

    Cytoplasmic Dyneins
    centrosomes
    Centrosome
    Microtubules
    microtubules
    Dyneins
    pronucleus
    DNA
    Drag
    Animals
    Xenopus laevis
    Cells
    cells
    Geometry
    Spermatozoa
    embryo (animal)
    Embryonic Structures
    aster (cell structure)
    spermatozoa
    Meiosis

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine(all)
    • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
    • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

    Cite this

    Cargo Transport by Cytoplasmic Dynein Can Center Embryonic Centrosomes. / Longoria, Rafael A.; Shubeita, George.

    In: PLoS One, Vol. 8, No. 7, e67710, 01.07.2013.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Longoria, Rafael A. ; Shubeita, George. / Cargo Transport by Cytoplasmic Dynein Can Center Embryonic Centrosomes. In: PLoS One. 2013 ; Vol. 8, No. 7.
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