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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010, Article ID 671536, 10 pages
Research Article

Microtubules Growth Rate Alteration in Human Endothelial Cells

1Electron Microscopy Department, A.N. Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Moscow State University, 119992 Moscow, Russia
2Vascular Biology Center, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA 30912, USA

Received 23 October 2009; Accepted 21 January 2010

Academic Editor: Shoichiro Ono

Copyright © 2010 Irina B. Alieva et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


To understand how microtubules contribute to the dynamic reorganization of the endothelial cell (EC) cytoskeleton, we established an EC model expressing EB3-GFP, a protein that marks microtubule plus-ends. Using this model, we were able to measure microtubule growth rate at the centrosome region and near the cell periphery of a single human EC and in the EC monolayer. We demonstrate that the majority of microtubules in EC are dynamic, the growth rate of their plus-ends is highest in the internal cytoplasm, in the region of the centrosome. Growth rate of microtubule plus-ends decreases from the cell center toward the periphery. Our data suggest the existing mechanism(s) of local regulation of microtubule plus-ends growth in EC. Microtubule growth rate in the internal cytoplasm of EC in the monolayer is lower than that of single EC suggesting the regulatory effect of cell-cell contacts. Centrosomal microtubule growth rate distribution in single EC indicated the presence of two subpopulations of microtubules with “normal” (similar to those in monolayer EC) and “fast” (three times as much) growth rates. Our results indicate functional interactions between cell-cell contacts and microtubules.