Supramolecular assembly of biological molecules purified from bovine nerve cells: From microtubule bundles and necklaces to neurofilament networks

Daniel J. Needleman*, Jayna B. Jones, Uri Raviv, Miguel A. Ojeda-Lopez, H. P. Miller, Y. Li, L. Wilson, C. R. Safinya

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

With the completion of the human genome project, the biosciences community is beginning the daunting task of understanding the structures and functions of a large number of interacting biological macromolecules. Examples include the interacting molecules involved in the process of DNA condensation during the cell cycle, and in the formation of bundles and networks of filamentous actin proteins in cell attachment, motility and cytokinesis. In this proceedings paper we present examples of supramolecular assembly based on proteins derived from the vertebrate nerve cell cytoskeleton. The axonal cytoskeleton in vertebrate neurons provides a rich example of bundles and networks of neurofilaments, microtubules (MTs) and filamentous actin, where the nature of the interactions, structures, and structure-function correlations remains poorly understood. We describe synchrotron x-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, and optical imaging data, in reconstituted protein systems purified from bovine central nervous system, which reveal unexpected structures not predicted by current electrostatic theories of polyelectrolyte bundling, including three-dimensional MT bundles and two-dimensional MT necklaces.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)S3225-S3230
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Volume17
Issue number45
DOIs
StatePublished - 16 Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes

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