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In vivo visualization of microtubule dynamics in muscle fibers

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 — Poster Session II

Noon – 2:00 p.m.

Natcher Conference Center




  • S Oddoux
  • S Nandkeolyar
  • W Liu
  • K Zaal
  • E Ralston


In skeletal muscle pathologies, the microtubule network organization, normally described as a regular lattice, is tangled or broken down. Microtubules are components of the mammalian cytoskeleton that are dynamic polymers of tubulin. Their fundamental role in a variety of cellular processes is intimately linked to their spatial organization and to their dynamics, which are well documented in proliferating cells but not in post-mitotic muscle. The visualization of microtubules in vivo would allow us to appreciate their dynamics in muscle and understand how their lattice is generated. To monitor these dynamic features in vivo, we have determined the best microtubule markers that faithfully reproduce microtubule dynamics and do not affect the network structure. The cDNA of these markers have been electroporated in vivo into the mouse Flexor Digitorum Brevis muscle. Among the markers tested, tubulin-GFP and EB3-GFP satisfied our criteria. Time-lapse recordings reveal muscle specificities of microtubule dynamics. In the muscle microtubules are constantly nucleating from the Golgi complex. As these complexes are dispersed throughout the muscle, microtubules nucleate in many spots of the fibers. These efficient tools will allow us to explore each step of microtubule dynamics in the normal and pathologic fibers.

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