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Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 2007 Aug;64(8):605-20.

The Drosophila CLASP homologue, Mast/Orbit regulates the dynamic behaviour of interphase microtubules by promoting the pause state.

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IBMC, Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular, Universidade do Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre 823, 4150-180 Porto, Portugal.


An important group of microtubule associated proteins are the plus-end tracking proteins which includes the Mast/Orbit/CLASPs family amongst others. Several of these proteins have important functions during interphase and mitosis in the modulation of the dynamic properties of microtubules, however, the precise mechanism remains to be elucidated. To investigate the role of Mast in the regulation of microtubule behaviour during interphase, we used RNAi in Drosophila S2 culture cells stably expressing GFP-alpha-tubulin and followed the behaviour of microtubules in vivo. Mast depleted cells show a significant reduction of microtubule density and an abnormal interphase microtubule array that rarely reaches the cell cortex. Analysis of the dynamic parameters revealed that in the absence of Mast, microtubules are highly dynamic, constantly growing or shrinking. These alterations are characterized by a severe reduction in the transition frequencies to and from the pause state. Moreover, analysis of de novo microtubule polymerization after cold treatment showed that Mast is not required for nucleation since Mast depleted cells nucleate microtubules soon after return to normal temperature. Taken together these results suggest that Mast plays an essential role in reducing the dynamic behaviour of microtubules by specifically promoting the pause state.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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