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Curr Biol. 2003 Sep 2;13(17):1499-505.

TAC-1, a regulator of microtubule length in the C. elegans embryo.

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Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Institute for Developmental Biology, Tennis Court Road, CB2 1QR, Cambridge, United Kingdom.


Regulation of microtubule growth is critical for many cellular processes, including meiosis, mitosis, and nuclear migration. We carried out a genome-wide RNAi screen in Caenorhabditis elegans to identify genes required for pronuclear migration, one of the first events in embryogenesis requiring microtubules. Among these, we identified and characterized tac-1 a new member of the TACC (Transforming Acidic Coiled-Coil) family [1]. tac-1(RNAi) embryos exhibit very short microtubules nucleated from the centrosomes as well as short spindles. TAC-1 is initially enriched at the meiotic spindle poles and is later recruited to the sperm centrosome. TAC-1 localization at the centrosomes is regulated during the cell cycle, with high levels during mitosis and a reduction during interphase, and is dependent on aurora kinase 1 (AIR-1), a protein involved in centrosome maturation. tac-1(RNAi) embryos resemble mutants of zyg-9, which encodes a previously characterized centrosomal protein of the XMAP215 family and was also found in our screen. We show that TAC-1 and ZYG-9 are dependent on one another for their localization at the centrosome, and this dependence suggests that they may function together as a complex. We conclude that TAC-1 is a major regulator of microtubule length in the C. elegans embryo.

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