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J Cell Biol. 1999 Mar 8;144(5):963-75.

The cortical localization of the microtubule orientation protein, Kar9p, is dependent upon actin and proteins required for polarization.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, Lewis Thomas Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, USA.


In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, positioning of the mitotic spindle requires both the cytoplasmic microtubules and actin. Kar9p is a novel cortical protein that is required for the correct position of the mitotic spindle and the orientation of the cytoplasmic microtubules. Green fluorescent protein (GFP)- Kar9p localizes to a single spot at the tip of the growing bud and the mating projection. However, the cortical localization of Kar9p does not require microtubules (Miller, R.K., and M.D. Rose. 1998. J. Cell Biol. 140: 377), suggesting that Kar9p interacts with other proteins at the cortex. To investigate Kar9p's cortical interactions, we treated cells with the actin-depolymerizing drug, latrunculin-A. In both shmoos and mitotic cells, Kar9p's cortical localization was completely dependent on polymerized actin. Kar9p localization was also altered by mutations in four genes, spa2Delta, pea2Delta, bud6Delta, and bni1Delta, required for normal polarization and actin cytoskeleton functions and, of these, bni1Delta affected Kar9p localization most severely. Like kar9Delta, bni1Delta mutants exhibited nuclear positioning defects during mitosis and in shmoos. Furthermore, like kar9Delta, the bni1Delta mutant exhibited misoriented cytoplasmic microtubules in shmoos. Genetic analysis placed BNI1 in the KAR9 pathway for nuclear migration. However, analysis of kar9Delta bni1Delta double mutants suggested that Kar9p retained some function in bni1Delta mitotic cells. Unlike the polarization mutants, kar9Delta shmoos had a normal morphology and diploids budded in the correct bipolar pattern. Furthermore, Bni1p localized normally in kar9Delta. We conclude that Kar9p's function is specific for cytoplasmic microtubule orientation and that Kar9p's role in nuclear positioning is to coordinate the interactions between the actin and microtubule networks.

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