Spindle assembly in egg extracts of the Marsabit clawed frog, Xenopus borealis

Abstract : Egg extracts of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis have provided a cell-free system instrumental in elucidating events of the cell cycle, including mechanisms of spindle assembly. Comparison with extracts from the diploid Western clawed frog, Xenopus tropicalis, which is smaller at the organism, cellular and subcellular levels, has enabled the identification of spindle size scaling factors. We set out to characterize the Marsabit clawed frog, Xenopus borealis, which is intermediate in size between the two species, but more recently diverged in evolution from X. laevis than X. tropicalis. X. borealis eggs were slightly smaller than those of X. laevis, and slightly smaller spindles were assembled in egg extracts. Interestingly, microtubule distribution across the length of the X. borealis spindles differed from both X. laevis and X. tropicalis. Extract mixing experiments revealed common scaling phenomena among Xenopus species, while characterization of spindle factors katanin, TPX2, and Ran indicate that X. borealis spindles possess both X. laevis and X. tropicalis features. Thus, X. borealis egg extract provides a third in vitro system to investigate interspecies scaling and spindle morphometric variation.
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Maiko Kitaoka, Rebecca Heald, Romain Gibeaux. Spindle assembly in egg extracts of the Marsabit clawed frog, Xenopus borealis. Cytoskeleton, 2018, 75 (6), pp.244-257. ⟨10.1002/cm.21444⟩. ⟨hal-01863216v2⟩

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