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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Aug 9;102(32):11302-7. Epub 2005 Jul 27.

ASAP, a human microtubule-associated protein required for bipolar spindle assembly and cytokinesis.

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  • 1Institut de Génétique Humaine, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Unité Propre de Recherche 1142, Rue de la Cardonille, 34396 Montpellier Cédex 5, France.

Abstract

We have identified a unique human microtubule-associated protein (MAP) named ASAP for ASter-Associated Protein. ASAP localizes to microtubules in interphase, associates with the mitotic spindle during mitosis, localizes to the central body during cytokinesis and directly binds to purified microtubules by its COOH-terminal domain. Overexpression of ASAP induces profound bundling of cytoplasmic microtubules in interphase cells and aberrant monopolar spindles in mitosis. Depletion of ASAP by RNA interference results in severe mitotic defects: it provokes aberrant mitotic spindle, delays mitotic progression, and leads to defective cytokinesis or cell death. These results suggest a crucial role for ASAP in the organization of the bipolar mitotic spindle, mitosis progression, and cytokinesis and define ASAP as a key factor for proper spindle assembly.

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