New study decodes one of the living world’s fastest cell movements

Heliozoan axopodia are important for their motility. However, the underlying mechanism of their axopodial contraction has remained ambiguous. Recently, researchers have reported that microtubules are simultaneously cleaved at multiple sites, allowing the radiating axopodia in a heliozoan, Raphidocystis contractilis, to disappear almost instantly. They have now identified the gene set and proteins involved in this microtubule disruption. This research can help develop a method to detect water pollution and evaluate the efficacy of new anticancer drugs.

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