Microtubule nucleation through phase separation

Cells must build cytoskeleton structures, such as microtubules, where they are locally needed within the cell, but how do they do this? In this video abstract, Amayra Hernández-Vega explains that in a test tube, microtubules can be formed locally through phase separation. She also found that the protein Tau can phase separate into droplets, which can then concentrate enough tubulin to nucleate and build microtubules. Read more in the full paper, published in the journal Cell Reports: http://www.cell.com/cell-reports/abst… and see the full blog post at: http://www.sciencesketches.org/single…

Amayra Hernández-Vega is a postdoc in the lab of Tony Hyman (http://hymanlab.org) at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany.

Building a synthetic centrosome

The centrosome is a structure in cells which is built every time the cell prepares to divide. In this video abstract, Jeff Woodruff explains how to build a centrosome in a test tube from purified proteins. He found that the centrosome acts like a sponge, which selectively soaks up the proteins needed to build microtubules.

Read more in the full paper, published in the journal Cell: http://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S00…

See the full blog post at: http://www.sciencesketches.org/single…

Jeff Woodruff is a postdoc in the lab of Tony Hyman (hymanlab.org) at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany