Cytoplasmic streaming is a type of intracellular transport widely seen in nature. Cytoplasmic streaming in Caenorhabditis elegans at the one-cell stage is bidirectional; the flow near the cortex (“cortical flow”) is oriented toward the anterior, whereas the flow in the central region (“cytoplasmic flow”) is oriented toward the posterior. Both cortical flow and cytoplasmic flow depend on non-muscle-myosin II (NMY-2), which primarily localizes in the cortex. The manner in which NMY-2 proteins drive cytoplasmic flow in the opposite direction from remote locations has not been fully understood. In this study, we demonstrated that the hydrodynamic properties of the cytoplasm are sufficient to mediate the forces generated by the cortical myosin to drive bidirectional streaming throughout the cytoplasm. We quantified the flow velocities of cytoplasmic streaming using particle image velocimetry (PIV) and conducted a three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulation using the moving particle semiimplicit method. Our simulation quantitatively reconstructed the quantified flow velocity distribution resolved through PIV analysis. Furthermore, our PIV analyses detected microtubule-dependent flows during the pronuclear migration stage. These flows were reproduced via hydrodynamic interactions between moving pronuclei and the cytoplasm. The agreement of flow dynamics in vivo and in simulation indicates that the hydrodynamic properties of the cytoplasm are sufficient to mediate cytoplasmic streaming in C. elegans embryos
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