We use optical trapping to continuously bend an isolated microtubule while simultaneously measuring the applied force and the resulting filament strain, thus allowing us to determine its elastic properties over a wide range of applied strains. We find that, while in the low-strain regime, microtubules may be quantitatively described in terms of the classical Euler-Bernoulli elastic filament, above a critical strain they deviate from this simple elastic model, showing a softening response with increasing deformations. A three-dimensional thin-shell model, in which the increased mechanical compliance is caused by flattening and eventual buckling of the filament cross-section, captures this softening effect in the high strain regime and yields quantitative values of the effective mechanical properties of microtubules. Our results demonstrate that properties of microtubules are highly dependent on the magnitude of the applied strain and offer a new interpretation for the large variety in microtubule mechanical data measured by different methods.
Source data has been provided for Figure 6 along with source code files. Source code files have been provided for Figure 2 along with instructions for generating the data.
- Feodor Hilitsk
- Zvonimir Dogic
- Zvonimir Dogic
- Zvonimir Dogic
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Manuel Thery, CEA, France
© 2018, Memet et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Inside prokaryotic cells, passive translational diffusion typically limits the rates with which cytoplasmic proteins can reach their locations. Diffusion is thus fundamental to most cellular processes, but the understanding of protein mobility in the highly crowded and non-homogeneous environment of a bacterial cell is still limited. Here we investigated the mobility of a large set of proteins in the cytoplasm of Escherichia coli, by employing fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) combined with simulations and theoretical modeling. We conclude that cytoplasmic protein mobility could be well described by Brownian diffusion in the confined geometry of the bacterial cell and at the high viscosity imposed by macromolecular crowding. We observed similar size dependence of protein diffusion for the majority of tested proteins, whether native or foreign to E. coli. For the faster-diffusing proteins, this size dependence is well consistent with the Stokes-Einstein relation once taking into account the specific dumbbell shape of protein fusions. Pronounced subdiffusion and hindered mobility are only observed for proteins with extensive interactions within the cytoplasm. Finally, while protein diffusion becomes markedly faster in actively growing cells, at high temperature, or upon treatment with rifampicin, and slower at high osmolarity, all of these perturbations affect proteins of different sizes in the same proportions, which could thus be described as changes of a well-defined cytoplasmic viscosity.
The development of haematopoietic stem cells into mature erythrocytes – erythropoiesis – is a controlled process characterized by cellular reorganization and drastic reshaping of the proteome landscape. Failure of ordered erythropoiesis is associated with anaemias and haematological malignancies. Although the ubiquitin system is a known crucial post-translational regulator in erythropoiesis, how the erythrocyte is reshaped by the ubiquitin system is poorly understood. By measuring the proteomic landscape of in vitro human erythropoiesis models, we found dynamic differential expression of subunits of the CTLH E3 ubiquitin ligase complex that formed maturation stage-dependent assemblies of topologically homologous RANBP9- and RANBP10-CTLH complexes. Moreover, protein abundance of CTLH’s cognate E2 ubiquitin conjugating enzyme UBE2H increased during terminal differentiation, and UBE2H expression depended on catalytically active CTLH E3 complexes. CRISPR-Cas9-mediated inactivation of CTLH E3 assemblies or UBE2H in erythroid progenitors revealed defects, including spontaneous and accelerated erythroid maturation as well as inefficient enucleation. Thus, we propose that dynamic maturation stage-specific changes of UBE2H-CTLH E2-E3 modules control the orderly progression of human erythropoiesis.