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EMBO J. 1997 Sep 15;16(18):5537-49.

Distinct roles of PP1 and PP2A-like phosphatases in control of microtubule dynamics during mitosis.

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  • 1Cell Biology Program, EMBL, Meyerhofstrasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany.


Assembly of a mitotic spindle requires the accurate regulation of microtubule dynamics which is accomplished, at least in part, by phosphorylation-dephosphorylation reactions. Here we have investigated the role of serine-threonine phosphatases in the control of microtubule dynamics using specific inhibitors in Xenopus egg extracts. Type 2A phosphatases are required to maintain the short steady-state length of microtubules in mitosis by regulating the level of microtubule catastrophes, in part by controlling the the microtubule-destabilizing activity and phosphorylation of Op18/stathmin. Type 1 phosphatases are only required for control of microtubule dynamics during the transitions into and out of mitosis. Thus, although both type 2A and type 1 phosphatases are involved in the regulation of microtubule dynamics, they have distinct, non-overlapping roles.

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