PMID: 8298190Oct 1, 1993

How the transition frequencies of microtubule dynamic instability (nucleation, catastrophe, and rescue) regulate microtubule dynamics in interphase and mitosis: analysis using a Monte Carlo computer simulation

Molecular Biology of the Cell
N R GliksmanE D Salmon


Microtubules (MTs) in newt mitotic spindles grow faster than MTs in the interphase cytoplasmic microtubule complex (CMTC), yet spindle MTs do not have the long lengths or lifetimes of the CMTC microtubules. Because MTs undergo dynamic instability, it is likely that changes in the durations of growth or shortening are responsible for this anomaly. We have used a Monte Carlo computer simulation to examine how changes in the number of MTs and changes in the catastrophe and rescue frequencies of dynamic instability may be responsible for the cell cycle dependent changes in MT characteristics. We used the computer simulations to model interphase-like or mitotic-like MT populations on the basis of the dynamic instability parameters available from newt lung epithelial cells in vivo. We started with parameters that produced MT populations similar to the interphase newt lung cell CMTC. In the simulation, increasing the number of MTs and either increasing the frequency of catastrophe or decreasing the frequency of rescue reproduced the changes in MT dynamics measured in vivo between interphase and mitosis.


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