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Mol Biol Cell. 2000 Apr;11(4):1225-39.

A mutation in gamma-tubulin alters microtubule dynamics and organization and is synthetically lethal with the kinesin-like protein pkl1p.

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Department of Molecular Biology, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720-3200, USA.


Mitotic segregation of chromosomes requires spindle pole functions for microtubule nucleation, minus end organization, and regulation of dynamics. gamma-Tubulin is essential for nucleation, and we now extend its role to these latter processes. We have characterized a mutation in gamma-tubulin that results in cold-sensitive mitotic arrest with an elongated bipolar spindle but impaired anaphase A. At 30 degrees C cytoplasmic microtubule arrays are abnormal and bundle into single larger arrays. Three-dimensional time-lapse video microscopy reveals that microtubule dynamics are altered. Localization of the mutant gamma-tubulin is like the wild-type protein. Prediction of gamma-tubulin structure indicates that non-alpha/beta-tubulin protein-protein interactions could be affected. The kinesin-like protein (klp) Pkl1p localizes to the spindle poles and spindle and is essential for viability of the gamma-tubulin mutant and in multicopy for normal cell morphology at 30 degrees C. Localization and function of Pkl1p in the mutant appear unaltered, consistent with a redundant function for this protein in wild type. Our data indicate a broader role for gamma-tubulin at spindle poles in regulating aspects of microtubule dynamics and organization. We propose that Pkl1p rescues an impaired function of gamma-tubulin that involves non-tubulin protein-protein interactions, presumably with a second motor, MAP, or MTOC component.

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