Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jan 13;106(2):492-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0807614106. Epub 2009 Jan 6.

Microtubule plus-end tracking by CLIP-170 requires EB1.

Author information

  • 1Department of Physiology and Pennsylvania Muscle Institute, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Microtubules are polarized polymers that exhibit dynamic instability, with alternating phases of elongation and shortening, particularly at the more dynamic plus-end. Microtubule plus-end tracking proteins (+TIPs) localize to and track with growing microtubule plus-ends in the cell. +TIPs regulate microtubule dynamics and mediate interactions with other cellular components. The molecular mechanisms responsible for the +TIP tracking activity are not well understood, however. We reconstituted the +TIP tracking of mammalian proteins EB1 and CLIP-170 in vitro at single-molecule resolution using time-lapse total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. We found that EB1 is capable of dynamically tracking growing microtubule plus-ends. Our single-molecule studies demonstrate that EB1 exchanges rapidly at microtubule plus-ends with a dwell time of <1 s, indicating that single EB1 molecules go through multiple rounds of binding and dissociation during microtubule polymerization. CLIP-170 exhibits lattice diffusion and fails to selectively track microtubule ends in the absence of EB1; the addition of EB1 is both necessary and sufficient to mediate plus-end tracking by CLIP-170. Single-molecule analysis of the CLIP-170-EB1 complex also indicates a short dwell time at growing plus-ends, an observation inconsistent with the copolymerization of this complex with tubulin for plus-end-specific localization. GTP hydrolysis is required for +TIP tracking, because end-specificity is lost when tubulin is polymerized in the presence of guanosine 5'-[alpha,beta-methylene]triphosphate (GMPCPP). Together, our data provide insight into the mechanisms driving plus-end tracking by mammalian +TIPs and suggest that EB1 specifically recognizes the distinct lattice structure at the growing microtubule end.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center