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ItemUltraviolet microbeam irradiations of mitotic diatoms: investigation of spindle elongation.Leslie, RJ ; Pickett-Heaps, JD (Rockefeller University Press, 1983-02)Our simple instrumentation for generating a UV-microbeam is described UV microbeam irradiations of the central spindle in the pennate diatom Hantzschia amphioxys have been examined through correlated birefringence light microscopy and TEM. A precise correlation between the region of reduced birefringence and the UV-induced lesion in the microtubules (MTs) of the central spindle is demonstrated. The UV beam appears to dissociate MTs, as MT fragments were rarely encountered. The forces associated with metaphase and anaphase spindles have been studied via localized UV-microbeam irradiation of the central spindle. These spindles were found to be subjected to compressional forces, presumably exerted by stretched or contracting chromosomes. Comparisons are made with the results of other writers. These compressional forces caused the poles of a severed anaphase spindle to move toward each other and the center of the cell. As these poles moved centrally, the larger of the two postirradiational central spindle remnants elongated with a concomitant decrease in the length of the overlap. Metaphase spindles, in contrast, did not elongate nor lose their overlap region. Our interpretation is that the force for anaphase spindle elongation in Hantzschia is generated between half-spindles in the region of MT overlap.
ItemOn the mechanism of anaphase A: evidence that ATP is needed for microtubule disassembly and not generation of polewards force.Spurck, TP ; Pickett-Heaps, JD (Rockefeller University Press, 1987-10)As anaphase began, mitotic PtK1 and newt lung epithelial cells were permeabilized with digitonin in permeabilization medium (PM). Permeabilization stopped cytoplasmic activity, chromosome movement, and cytokinesis within about 3 min, presumably due to the loss of endogenous ATP. ATP, GTP, or ATP-gamma-S added in the PM 4-7 min later restarted anaphase A while kinetochore fibers shortened. AMPPNP could not restart anaphase A; ATP was ineffective if the spindle was stabilized in PM + DMSO. Cells permeabilized in PM + taxol varied in their response to ATP depending on the stage of anaphase reached: one mid-anaphase cell showed initial movement of chromosomes back to the metaphase plate upon permeabilization but later, anaphase A resumed when ATP was added. Anaphase A was also reactivated by cold PM (approximately 16 degrees C) or PM containing calcium (1-10 mM). Staining of fixed cells with antitubulin showed that microtubules (MTs) were relatively stable after permeabilization and MT assembly was usually promoted in asters. Astral and kinetochore MTs were sensitive to MT disassembly conditions, and shortening of kinetochore MTs always accompanied reactivation of anaphase A. Interphase and interzonal spindle MTs were relatively stable to cold and calcium until extraction of cells was promoted by longer periods in the PM, or by higher concentrations of detergent. Since we cannot envisage how both cold treatment or relatively high calcium levels can reactivate spindle motility in quiescent, permeabilized, and presumably energy-depleted cells, we conclude that anaphase A is powered by energy stored in the spindle. The nucleotide triphosphates effective in reactivating anaphase A could be necessary for the kinetochore MT disassembly without which anaphase movement cannot proceed.