Analysis of microtubule dynamic instability using a plus-end growth marker

Alexandre Matov, Kathryn Applegate, Praveen Kumar, Claudio Thoma, Wilhelm Krek, Gaudenz Danuser, Torsten Wittmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

180 Scopus citations


Regulation of microtubule dynamics is essential for many cell biological processes and is likely to be variable between different subcellular regions. We describe a computational approach to analyze microtubule dynamics by detecting growing microtubule plus ends. Our algorithm tracked all EB1-EGFP comets visible in an image time-lapse sequence allowing the detection of spatial patterns of microtubule dynamics. We introduce spatiotemporal clustering of EB1-EGFP growth tracks to infer microtubule behaviors during phases of pause and shortening. We validated the algorithm by comparing the results to data for manually tracked, homogeneously labeled microtubules and by analyzing the effects of well-characterized inhibitors of microtubule polymerization dynamics. We used our method to analyze spatial variations of intracellular microtubule dynamics in migrating epithelial cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)761-768
Number of pages8
JournalNature methods
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Analysis of microtubule dynamic instability using a plus-end growth marker'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this