Microtubules are rigid, dynamic filaments which form part of the cytoskeleton in cells. Their most important function is to power chromosome segregation during mitosis. Microtubules are built from tubulin heterodimers which arrange longitudinally to form protofilaments. 13 of these align laterally to form the tubular structure. When microtubules shrink, protofilaments curl outwards before they break off in rings.
[Asbury et al. The Dam1 Kinetochore complex harnesses microtubule dynamics to produce force and movement]
This mini-project was split into 2 sections:
- Can protofilament curls directly generate forces? If so, can these be harnessed to couple cargo transport to microtubule depolymerisation?
- An investigation into nucleotide preference for End-Binding Proteins, using GTP and GTPgS microtubules.
The presentation I gave to the CMCB labs summarising my project can be viewed and downloaded below.