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Adsorption of a Microtubule on a Charged Surface Affects its Disassembly Dynamics

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The dynamics of disassembly of microtubules deposited on surfaces is shown to be strongly dependent on the electrostatic interaction between the microtubule and the substrate. Fluorescence microscopy of microtubules adsorbed on a Poly-L-Lysine film and immersed in pure water show a drastic decrease in disassembly velocity compared to the microtubules in bulk water solutions. While microtubules suspended in pure water disassemble in seconds, the dissociation velocity of microtubules adsorbed on a Poly-L-Lysine film ranges from 0.8 to 1.0 μm/min in pure water. Kinetic Monte Carlo simulations of the microtubule dynamics indicate that a decrease in the dissociation velocity of unstable microtubules can be achieved by reducing the heterodimer dissociation rate constant of tubulin heterodimers constituting a single protofilament, adsorbed to the Poly-L-Lysine film. This model suggests that the reduction of the dissociation velocity originates from the electrostatic interactions between the positively charged amino groups of the Poly-L-Lysine film and the negatively charged microtubule surface.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2005-12-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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