You are curious about the dynamic instability of microtubules and decide to join a lab that works on microtubule polymerization. The people in the lab help you grow some microtubules in culture using conditions that allow you to watch individual microtubules under a microscope. You can see the microtubules growing and shrinking, as you expect. The professor who runs the lab gets in a new piece of equipment, a very fine laser beam that can be used to sever microtubules. She is very excited and wants to sever growing microtubules at their middle, using the laser beam.
A. Do you predict that the newly exposed microtubule plus ends will grow or shrink? Explain your answer.
B. What do you expect would happen to the newly exposed plus ends if you were to grow the microtubules in the presence of an analog of GTP that cannot be hydrolyzed, and you then severed the microtubules in the middle with a laser beam?