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Electrostatic force generation in chromosome motions during mitosis

Journal of Electrostatics
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.elstat.2004.09.007
  • Electrostatic Force
  • Cells
  • Mitosis
  • Chromosome Motion
  • Nucleus
  • Prometaphase
  • Metaphase
  • Anaphase-A
  • Tubulin


Abstract In previous work, I have proposed that nanoscale electrostatics plays a significant role in aster (spindle) assembly and motion, and in force generation at kinetochores and chromosome arms for prometaphase, metaphase and anaphase-A motions during mitosis. I have also discussed the possible role of electrostatics in anaphase-B cell elongation. Recent experimental studies have revealed that force production at spindle poles dominates in some cell types. The present work extends the model for motion producing electrostatic interactions during prometaphase, metaphase, and anaphase-A to include force generation at spindle poles. Microtubule heterodimer subunits are electric dipolar structures that can act as intermediaries, extending electric fields over cellular distances in spite of ionic screening. This enables nanoscale electrostatic interactions to provide the force, localized at kinetochores, spindle poles, and chromosome arms, to move chromosomes during mitosis. It will be argued that such Debye-screened nanoscale electrostatic interactions can provide a minimal assumptions, comprehensive model for post-attachment chromosome motions during mitosis consistent with experimental observations.

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