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The multisubunit γ-tubulin complex (γ-TuC) is critical for microtubule nucleation in eukaryotic cells [1, 2], but it remains unclear how the γ-TuC becomes active specifically at microtubule-organizing centers (MTOCs) and not more broadly throughout the cytoplasm [3, 4]. In the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, the proteins Mto1 and Mto2 form the Mto1/2 complex, which interacts with the γ-TuC and recruits it to several different types of cytoplasmic MTOC sites [5-10]. Here, we show that the Mto1/2 complex activates γ-TuC-dependent microtubule nucleation independently of localizing the γ-TuC. This was achieved through the construction of a "minimal" version of Mto1/2, Mto1/2[bonsai], that does not localize to any MTOC sites. By direct imaging of individual Mto1/2[bonsai] complexes nucleating single microtubules in vivo, we further determine the number and stoichiometry of Mto1, Mto2, and γ-TuC subunits Alp4 (GCP2) and Alp6 (GCP3) within active nucleation complexes. These results are consistent with active nucleation complexes containing ∼13 copies each of Mto1 and Mto2 per active complex and likely equimolar amounts of γ-tubulin. Additional experiments suggest that Mto1/2 multimers act to multimerize the fission yeast γ-tubulin small complex and that multimerization of Mto2 in particular may underlie assembly of active microtubule nucleation complexes.
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- 1 Finished
11/04/12 → 10/04/18