Xenopus egg cytoplasm with intact actin. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • We report optimized methods for preparing Xenopus egg extracts without cytochalasin D, that we term "actin-intact egg extract." These are undiluted egg cytoplasm that contains abundant organelles, and glycogen which supplies energy, and represents the least perturbed cell-free cytoplasm preparation we know of. We used this system to probe cell cycle regulation of actin and myosin-II dynamics (Field et al., 2011), and to reconstitute the large, interphase asters that organize early Xenopus embryos (Mitchison et al., 2012; Wühr, Tan, Parker, Detrich, & Mitchison, 2010). Actin-intact Xenopus egg extracts are useful for analysis of actin dynamics, and interaction of actin with other cytoplasmic systems, in a cell-free system that closely mimics egg physiology, and more generally for probing the biochemistry and biophysics of the egg, zygote, and early embryo. Detailed protocols are provided along with assays used to check cell cycle state and tips for handling and storing undiluted egg extracts.

publication date

  • 2014