Two distinct regions of Mto1 are required for normal microtubule nucleation and efficient association with the gamma-tubulin complex in vivo

Itaru Samejima, Victoria J Miller, Lynda M Groocock, Kenneth E Sawin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Cytoplasmic microtubule nucleation in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe involves the interacting proteins Mto1 and Mto2, which are thought to recruit the gamma-tubulin complex (gamma-TuC) to prospective microtubule organizing centres. Mto1 contains a short amino-terminal region (CM1) that is conserved in higher eukaryotic proteins implicated in microtubule organization, centrosome function and/or brain development. Here we show that mutations in the Mto1 CM1 region generate mutant proteins that are functionally null for cytoplasmic microtubule nucleation and interaction with the gamma-TuC (phenocopying mto1Delta), even though the Mto1-mutant proteins localize normally in cells and can bind Mto2. Interestingly, the CM1 region is not sufficient for efficient interaction with the gamma-TuC. Mutation within a different region of Mto1, outside CM1, abrogates Mto2 binding and also impairs cytoplasmic microtubule nucleation and Mto1 association with the gamma-TuC. However, this mutation allows limited microtubule nucleation in vivo, phenocopying mto2Delta rather than mto1Delta. Further experiments suggest that Mto1 and Mto2 form a complex (Mto1/2 complex) independent of the gamma-TuC and that Mto1 and Mto2 can each associate with the gamma-TuC in the absence of the other, albeit extremely weakly compared to when both Mto1 and Mto2 are present. We propose that Mto2 acts cooperatively with Mto1 to promote association of the Mto1/2 complex with the gamma-TuC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3971-80
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Volume121
Issue numberPt 23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • Fission yeast
  • γ-Tubulin complex
  • Centrosomin-related proteins

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