Transient shape changes of organelles translocating along microtubules are directly visualized in thinly spread cytoplasmic processes of the marine foraminifer. Allogromia laticollaris, by a combination of high-resolution video-enhanced microscopy and fast-freezing electron microscopy. The interacting side of the organelle flattens upon binding to a microtubule, as if to maximize contact with it. Organelles typically assume a teardrop shape while moving, as if they were dragged through a viscous medium. Associated microtubules bend around attachments of the teardrop-shaped organelles, suggesting that they too are acted on by the forces deforming the organelles. An 18-nm gap between the organelles and the microtubules is periodically bridged by 10-nm-thick cross-bridge structures that may be responsible for the binding and motive forces deforming organelles and microtubules.

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