The role of microtubule movement in bidirectional organelle transport

Igor M. Kulić, André E.X. Brown, Hwajin Kim, Comert Kural, Benjamin Blehm, Paul R. Selvin, Philip C. Nelson, Vladimir I. Gelfand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study the role of microtubule movement in bidirectional organelle transport in Drosophila S2 cells and show that EGFP-tagged peroxisomes in cells serve as sensitive probes of motor induced, noisy cytoskeletal motions. Multiple peroxisomes move in unison over large time windows and show correlations with microtubule tip positions, indicating rapid microtubule fluctuations in the longitudinal direction. We report the first high-resolution measurement of longitudinal microtubule fluctuations performed by tracing such pairs of co-moving peroxisomes. The resulting picture shows that motor-dependent longitudinal microtubule oscillations contribute significantly to cargo movement along microtubules. Thus, contrary to the conventional view, organelle transport cannot be described solely in terms of cargo movement along stationary microtubule tracks, but instead includes a strong contribution from the movement of the tracks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10011-10016
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number29
StatePublished - Jul 22 2008


  • Cytoskeleton
  • Dynein
  • Intracellular transport
  • Kinesin
  • Molecular motors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of microtubule movement in bidirectional organelle transport'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this