Human cells going through mitosis:
In order to visualize subcellular structures under the microscope we make use of fluorescent “tags”. This allows us to make movies of these structures. In these cells microtubules appear green (GFP-tubulin) and chromosomes red (Cherry-HistoneH2B). First, we will see some examples of normally dividing cells:
The first movie shows how the MTOCs (microtubule organizing centres) separate to opposite sides of the cell to organise the bipolar spindle.
The second movie shows a human cell going through division:
Human cells treated with Taxol (Paxiclatel)
Now compare with these drug-treated cells:
Taxol stabilises microtubules. This taxol-treated cell does not form a bipolar spindle and “arrests” in mitosis:
This movie shows a taxol-treated cell arresting and dying in mitosis: