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Most epithelial cells contain apical membrane structures associated to bundles of actin filaments, which constitute the brush border. Whereas microtubule participation in the maintenance of the brush border identity has been characterized, their contribution to de novo microvilli organization remained elusive. Hereby, using a cell model of individual enterocyte polarization, we found that nocodazole induced microtubule depolymerization prevented the de novo brush border formation. Microtubule participation in brush border actin organization was confirmed in polarized kidney tubule MDCK cells. We also found that centrosome, but not Golgi derived microtubules, were essential for the initial stages of brush border development. During this process, microtubule plus ends acquired an early asymmetric orientation toward the apical membrane, which clearly differs from their predominant basal orientation in mature epithelia. In addition, overexpression of the microtubule plus ends associated protein CLIP170, which regulate actin nucleation in different cell contexts, facilitated brush border formation. In combination, the present results support the participation of centrosomal microtubule plus ends in the activation of the polarized actin organization associated to brush border formation, unveiling a novel mechanism of microtubule regulation of epithelial polarity.
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
To uncover their contrasting mechanisms, antimitotic drugs that inhibit Eg5 (kinesin-5) were analyzed in mixed-motor gliding assays of kinesin-1 and Eg5 motors in which Eg5 "braking" dominates motility. Loop-5 inhibitors (monastrol, STLC, ispinesib, and filanesib) increased gliding speeds, consistent with inducing a weak-binding state in Eg5, whereas BRD9876 slowed gliding, consistent with locking Eg5 in a rigor state. Biochemical and single-molecule assays demonstrated that BRD9876 acts as an ATP- and ADP-competitive inhibitor with 4 nM K. Consistent with its microtubule polymerase activity, Eg5 was shown to stabilize microtubules against depolymerization. This stabilization activity was eliminated in monastrol but was enhanced by BRD9876. Finally, in metaphase-arrested RPE-1 cells, STLC promoted spindle collapse, whereas BRD9876 did not. Thus, different Eg5 inhibitors impact spindle assembly and architecture through contrasting mechanisms, and rigor inhibitors may paradoxically have the capacity to stabilize microtubule arrays in cells.
The regulation of β-catenin turnover is the central mechanism governing activation of the Wnt signaling pathway. All components of the pathway are present in the early embryo of Xenopus laevis, and Xenopus egg extracts have been used to recapitulate complex biological reactions such as microtubule dynamics, DNA replication, chromatin assembly, and phases of the cell cycle. Herein, we describe a biochemical method for analyzing β-catenin degradation using radiolabeled and luciferase-fusion proteins in Xenopus egg extracts. We show that in such a biochemical system, cytoplasmic β-catenin degradation is regulated by soluble components of the Wnt pathway as well as small molecules.
Ciliopathies are genetic disorders arising from dysfunction of microtubule-based cellular appendages called cilia. Different cilia types possess distinct stereotypic microtubule doublet arrangements with non-motile or 'primary' cilia having a 9+0 and motile cilia have a 9+2 array of microtubule doublets. Primary cilia are critical sensory and signaling centers needed for normal mammalian development. Defects in their structure/function result in a spectrum of clinical and developmental pathologies including abnormal neural tube and limb patterning. Altered patterning phenotypes in the limb and neural tube are due to perturbations in the hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway. Motile cilia are important in fluid movement and defects in motility result in chronic respiratory infections, altered left-right asymmetry, and infertility. These features are the hallmarks of Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD, OMIM 244400). While mutations in several genes are associated with PCD in patients and animal models, the genetic lesion in many cases is unknown. We assessed the in vivo functions of Growth Arrest Specific 8 (GAS8). GAS8 shares strong sequence similarity with the Chlamydomonas Nexin-Dynein Regulatory Complex (NDRC) protein 4 (DRC4) where it is needed for proper flagella motility. In mammalian cells, the GAS8 protein localizes not only to the microtubule axoneme of motile cilia, but also to the base of non-motile cilia. Gas8 was recently implicated in the Hh signaling pathway as a regulator of Smoothened trafficking into the cilium. Here, we generate the first mouse with a Gas8 mutation and show that it causes severe PCD phenotypes; however, there were no overt Hh pathway phenotypes. In addition, we identified two human patients with missense variants in Gas8. Rescue experiments in Chlamydomonas revealed a subtle defect in swim velocity compared to controls. Further experiments using CRISPR/Cas9 homology driven repair (HDR) to generate one of these human missense variants in mice demonstrated that this allele is likely pathogenic.
Cell proliferation is driven by cyclical activation of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs), which produce distinct biochemical cell cycle phases. Mitosis (M phase) is orchestrated by CDK-1, complexed with mitotic cyclins. During M phase, chromosomes are segregated by a bipolar array of microtubules called the mitotic spindle. The essential bipolarity of the mitotic spindle is established by the kinesin-5 Eg5, but factors influencing the maintenance of spindle bipolarity are not fully understood. Here, we describe an unexpected link between inhibiting CDK-1 before mitosis and bipolar spindle maintenance. Spindles in human RPE-1 cells normally collapse to monopolar structures when Eg5 is inhibited at metaphase. However, we found that inhibition of CDK-1 in the G2 phase of the cell cycle improved the ability of RPE-1 cells to maintain spindle bipolarity without Eg5 activity in the mitosis immediately after release from CDK-1 inhibition. This improved bipolarity maintenance correlated with an increase in the stability of kinetochore-microtubules, the subset of microtubules that link chromosomes to the spindle. The improvement in bipolarity maintenance after CDK-1 inhibition in G2 required both the kinesin-12 Kif15 and increased stability of kinetochore-microtubules. Consistent with increased kinetochore-microtubule stability, we find that inhibition of CDK-1 in G2 impairs mitotic fidelity by increasing the incidence of lagging chromosomes in anaphase. These results suggest that inhibition of CDK-1 in G2 causes unpredicted effects in mitosis, even after CDK-1 inhibition is relieved.
Microtubule (MT)-binding centromere protein F (CENP-F) was previously shown to play a role exclusively in chromosome segregation during cellular division. Many cell models of CENP-F depletion show a lag in the cell cycle and aneuploidy. Here, using our novel genetic deletion model, we show that CENP-F also regulates a broader range of cellular functions outside of cell division. We characterized CENP-F(+/+) and CENP-F(-/-) mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and found drastic differences in multiple cellular functions during interphase, including cell migration, focal adhesion dynamics, and primary cilia formation. We discovered that CENP-F(-/-) MEFs have severely diminished MT dynamics, which underlies the phenotypes we describe. These data, combined with recent biochemical research demonstrating the strong binding of CENP-F to the MT network, support the conclusion that CENP-F is a powerful regulator of MT dynamics during interphase and affects heterogeneous cell functions.
© 2016 Pfaltzgraff et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
The final steps of cell division are tightly coordinated in space and time, but whether mechanisms exist to couple the actin and microtubule (MT) cytoskeletons during anaphase and cytokinesis (C phase) is largely unknown. During anaphase, MTs are incorporated into an anti-parallel array termed the spindle midzone (midzone MTs), whereas F-actin and non-muscle myosin II, together with other factors, organize into the cleavage furrow . Previous studies in somatic cells have shown that midzone MTs become highly stable after furrows have begun ingression , indicating that furrow-to-MT communication may occur. Midzone formation is also inhibited in fly spermatocytes that fail to form a cleavage furrow  and during monopolar cytokinesis when myosin contractility is blocked by blebbistatin . We show here that midzone MT stabilization is dependent on actomyosin contraction, suggesting that there is active coordination between furrow ingression and microtubule dynamics. Midzone microtubule stabilization also depends on the kinase activity of Aurora B, the catalytic subunit of the chromosomal passenger complex (CPC), uncovering a feedback mechanism that couples furrowing with microtubule dynamics. We further show that the CPC scaffolding protein INCENP (inner centromere protein) binds actin, an interaction that is important for cytokinesis and for midzone MT stabilization following furrow ingression. Stabilization of midzone MTs with low amounts of Taxol rescues cytokinesis in INCENP actin-binding mutant-expressing cells. Collectively, our work demonstrates that the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons are coordinated during cytokinesis and suggests that the CPC is integral for coupling furrow ingression with midzone microtubule stabilization.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
For glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS), insulin granules have to be localized close to the plasma membrane. The role of microtubule-dependent transport in granule positioning and GSIS has been debated. Here, we report that microtubules, counterintuitively, restrict granule availability for secretion. In β cells, microtubules originate at the Golgi and form a dense non-radial meshwork. Non-directional transport along these microtubules limits granule dwelling at the cell periphery, restricting granule availability for secretion. High glucose destabilizes microtubules, decreasing their density; such local microtubule depolymerization is necessary for GSIS, likely because granule withdrawal from the cell periphery becomes inefficient. Consistently, microtubule depolymerization by nocodazole blocks granule withdrawal, increases their concentration at exocytic sites, and dramatically enhances GSIS in vitro and in mice. Furthermore, glucose-driven MT destabilization is balanced by new microtubule formation, which likely prevents over-secretion. Importantly, microtubule density is greater in dysfunctional β cells of diabetic mice.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kinesin-8s are plus-end-directed motors that negatively regulate microtubule (MT) length. Well-characterized members of this subfamily (Kip3, Kif18A) exhibit two important properties: (i) They are "ultraprocessive," a feature enabled by a second MT-binding site that tethers the motors to a MT track, and (ii) they dissociate infrequently from the plus end. Together, these characteristics combined with their plus-end motility cause Kip3 and Kif18A to enrich preferentially at the plus ends of long MTs, promoting MT catastrophes or pausing. Kif18B, an understudied human kinesin-8, also limits MT growth during mitosis. In contrast to Kif18A and Kip3, localization of Kif18B to plus ends relies on binding to the plus-end tracking protein EB1, making the relationship between its potential plus-end-directed motility and plus-end accumulation unclear. Using single-molecule assays, we show that Kif18B is only modestly processive and that the motor switches frequently between directed and diffusive modes of motility. Diffusion is promoted by the tail domain, which also contains a second MT-binding site that decreases the off rate of the motor from the MT lattice. In cells, Kif18B concentrates at the extreme tip of a subset of MTs, superseding EB1. Our data demonstrate that kinesin-8 motors use diverse design principles to target MT plus ends, which likely target them to the plus ends of distinct MT subpopulations in the mitotic spindle.