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Dynamic ordering of nuclei in syncytial embryos: a quantitative analysis of the role of cytoskeletal networks

Kanesaki, T, Edwards, CM, Schwarz, US and Grosshans, J (2011) Dynamic ordering of nuclei in syncytial embryos: a quantitative analysis of the role of cytoskeletal networks INTEGRATIVE BIOLOGY, 3. pp. 1112-1119.

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In syncytial embryos nuclei undergo cycles of division and rearrangement within a common cytoplasm. It is presently unclear to what degree and how the nuclear array maintains positional order in the face of rapid cell divisions. Here we establish a quantitative assay, based on image processing, for analysing the dynamics of the nuclear array. By tracking nuclear trajectories in Drosophila melanogaster embryos, we are able to define and evaluate local and time-dependent measures for the level of geometrical order in the array. We find that after division, order is re-established in a biphasic manner, indicating the competition of different ordering processes. Using mutants and drug injections, we show that the order of the nuclear array depends on cytoskeletal networks organised by centrosomes. While both f-actin and microtubules are required for re-establishing order after mitosis, only f-actin is required to maintain the stability of this arrangement. Furthermore, f-actin function relies on myosin-independent non-contractile filaments that suppress individual nuclear mobility, whereas microtubules promote mobility and attract adjacent nuclei. Actin caps are shown to act to prevent nuclear incorporation into adjacent microtubule baskets. Our data demonstrate that two principal ordering mechanisms thus simultaneously contribute: (1) a passive crowding mechanism in which nuclei and actin caps act as spacers and (2) an active self-organisation mechanism based on a microtubule network.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Mathematics
Authors :
Kanesaki, T
Edwards, CM
Schwarz, US
Grosshans, J
Date : 2011
DOI : 10.1039/c1ib00059d
Related URLs :
Additional Information : Copyright 2011 Royal Society of Chemistry
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 13 Jun 2012 12:51
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 14:36

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