Isolated microtubules and kinesin spontaneously self-organize in vitro creating assemblies that resemble bundles of cilia that undergo synchronous beating. The major components are fluorescent taxol-stabilized tubulin, biotin-kinesin, and streptavidin. The movie shows tubulin trapped at the air-glass interface of an air bubble that has been confined in a 10-μm-thick chamber. The microtubules nucleate assemblies of active bundles perpendicular to the edge of the bubble, and provide important insights into the mechanism of synchronized ciliary beating observed in vivo.
The movie was recorded using Nikon Eclipse Ti epifluorescence microscope equipped with an Andor Clara CCD camera. See T. Sanchez et al. 2011. Cilia-like beating of active microtubule bundles. Science 333:456-459.
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