The mechanical properties of fluorescent microtubules (MTs) are probed with dual-optical tweezers system. The results indicate that the fluorescent MTs are much easier to be extended compared with those without fluorescence. Such MT can be extended by 30% and force for breaking up it is only several piconewtons. Furthermore, we find that the breakup of the protofilaments is not simultaneous but step-by-step. Finally, the mechanism of the breaking is discussed.
© 2005 Chinese Optics Letters
Honglian Guo, Chunxiang Liu, Chunhua Xu, E Qu, Ming Yuan, Zhaolin Li, Bingying Cheng, and Daozhong Zhang, "Deformation and cleavage of microtubules studied with optical tweezers," Chin. Opt. Lett. 3, S26-S27 (2005)