Adsorption of a microtubule on a charged surface affects its disassembly dynamics

Yi Yang, R. Guzman, P. A. Deymier, M. Umnov, J. Hoying, S. Raghavan, O. Palusinski, B. J.J. Zelinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The dynamics of disassembly of microtubules deposited on surfaces is shown to be strongly dependent on the electrostatic interaction between the microtubule and the substrate. Fluorescence microscopy of microtubules adsorbed on a Poly-L-Lysine film and immersed in pure water show a drastic decrease in disassembly velocity compared to the microtubules in bulk water solutions. While microtubules suspended in pure water disassemble in seconds, the dissociation velocity of microtubules adsorbed on a Poly-L-Lysine film ranges from 0.8 to 1.0 μm/min in pure water. Kinetic Monte Carlo simulations of the microtubule dynamics indicate that a decrease in the dissociation velocity of unstable microtubules can be achieved by reducing the heterodimer dissociation rate constant of tubulin heterodimers constituting a single protofilament, adsorbed to the Poly-L-Lysine film. This model suggests that the reduction of the dissociation velocity originates from the electrostatic interactions between the positively charged amino groups of the Poly-L-Lysine film and the negatively charged microtubule surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2050-2056
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2005


  • Bottom-up
  • Charged surface
  • Disassembly
  • Interconnects
  • Microtubule dynamics
  • Monte carlo simulation
  • Poly-l-lysine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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