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International Conference on Mathematical Biology and

Annual Meeting of The Society for Mathematical Biology,

July 27-30, 2009

University of British Columbia, Vancouver



Plenary 42:15 pm - 3:00 pm, July 27
Alex Mogilner
Depts. of Mathematics and Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, University of California, Davis
Title Geometry and force of mitotic spindle assembly
Abstract Mitotic spindle is a molecular machine segregating chromosomes at the onset of cell division. The spindle self-assembles in prometaphase by the 'search-and-capture' process, in which dynamically unstable microtubules search in space until chromosomes are captured. Quantitative mechanistic understanding of how spindle assembly can be both fast and accurate is lacking. We used computer simulations to test plausible pathways of spindle assembly in realistic geometry. Our results suggest that chromosome movements and rotations is needed to complete prometaphase in 10-20 min while keeping erroneous attachments down to a few per cent. The simulations also suggest that molecular motor forces play an important role in stabilizing the spindle geometry. We compare the model predictions with experimental data for colorectal cancer cells.
ChairEric Cytrynbaum
LocationWoodward 2