Research Article

Growing Microtubules Push the Oocyte Nucleus to Polarize the Drosophila Dorsal-Ventral Axis

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Science  25 May 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6084, pp. 999-1003
DOI: 10.1126/science.1219147

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Abstract

The Drosophila dorsal-ventral (DV) axis is polarized when the oocyte nucleus migrates from the posterior to the anterior margin of the oocyte. Prior work suggested that dynein pulls the nucleus to the anterior side along a polarized microtubule cytoskeleton, but this mechanism has not been tested. By imaging live oocytes, we find that the nucleus migrates with a posterior indentation that correlates with its direction of movement. Furthermore, both nuclear movement and the indentation depend on microtubule polymerization from centrosomes behind the nucleus. Thus, the nucleus is not pulled to the anterior but is pushed by the force exerted by growing microtubules. Nuclear migration and DV axis formation therefore depend on centrosome positioning early in oogenesis and are independent of anterior-posterior axis formation.

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