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Curr Biol. 2001 May 1;11(9):719-24.

The Aspergillus cytoplasmic dynein heavy chain and NUDF localize to microtubule ends and affect microtubule dynamics.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA.


Cytoplasmic dynein is a multisubunit, minus end-directed microtubule motor that uses dynactin as an accessory complex to perform various in vivo functions including vesicle transport, spindle assembly, and nuclear distribution [1]. We previously showed that in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans, a GFP-tagged cytoplasmic dynein heavy chain (NUDA) forms comet-like structures that exhibited microtubule-dependent movement toward and back from the hyphal tip [2]. Here we demonstrate that another protein in the NUDA pathway, NUDF, which is homologous to the human LIS1 protein involved in brain development [3, 4], also exhibits such dynamic behavior. Both NUDA and NUDF are located at the ends of microtubules, and this observation suggests that the observed dynamic behavior is due to their association with the dynamic microtubule ends. To address whether NUDA and NUDF play a role in regulating microtubule dynamics in vivo, we constructed a GFP-labeled alpha-tubulin strain and used it to compare microtubule dynamics in vivo in wild-type A. nidulans versus temperature-sensitive loss-of-function mutants of nudA and nudF. The mutants showed a lower frequency of microtubule catastrophe, a lower rate of shrinkage during catastrophe, and a lower frequency of rescue. The microtubules in the mutant cells also paused longer at the hyphal tip than wild-type microtubules. These results indicate that cytoplasmic dynein and the LIS1 homolog NUDF affect microtubule dynamics in vivo.

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