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Issue 42, 2012
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Formation of ring-shaped assembly of microtubules with a narrow size distribution at an air–buffer interface

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Abstract

Biopolymers such as actin, microtubules and DNA are well known for their fascinating in vivo self-organization phenomena. Considerable efforts have been devoted to mimicking their organization process in vitro that produced ring-shaped or toroid structures in an irreversible manner. However, understanding the factors that lead to formation of such assembled structures deserves more investigation to achieve a unified insight into the assembly process, particularly of the microtubules. Here, we report an active assembly process of microtubules (MTs) at an air–buffer interface that resulted in ring-shaped microtubule structures with a narrow size distribution and a high yield. Using an “air–buffer interface control system” combined with the newly developed “inert chamber system (ICS)” we have also successfully observed the reversible conformational transition between ring- and linear-shaped microtubules at the air–buffer interface. This is the first ever direct in situ observation of a reversible assembly process of MTs and probably provides us with valuable discernment to understand the in vivo organizational behavior of biopolymers.

Graphical abstract: Formation of ring-shaped assembly of microtubules with a narrow size distribution at an air–buffer interface

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Jun 2012, accepted on 08 Aug 2012 and first published on 04 Sep 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2SM26441B
Soft Matter, 2012,8, 10863-10867

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    Formation of ring-shaped assembly of microtubules with a narrow size distribution at an air–buffer interface

    A. Md. Rashedul Kabir, S. Wada, D. Inoue, Y. Tamura, T. Kajihara, H. Mayama, K. Sada, A. Kakugo and J. P. Gong, Soft Matter, 2012, 8, 10863
    DOI: 10.1039/C2SM26441B

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