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Plant Cell. 2010 Nov;22(11):3804-15. doi: 10.1105/tpc.110.080606. Epub 2010 Nov 30.

Arabidopsis kinetochore fiber-associated MAP65-4 cross-links microtubules and promotes microtubule bundle elongation.

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  • 1Institut de Recherches en Technologies et Sciences pour le Vivant, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique/Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique/Université Joseph Fourier, 38054 Grenoble, France.


The acentrosomal plant mitotic spindle is uniquely structured in that it lacks opposing centrosomes at its poles and is equipped with a connective preprophase band that regulates the spatial framework for spindle orientation and mobility. These features are supported by specialized microtubule-associated proteins and motors. Here, we show that Arabidopsis thaliana MAP65-4, a non-motor microtubule associated protein (MAP) that belongs to the evolutionarily conserved MAP65 family, specifically associates with the forming mitotic spindle during prophase and with the kinetochore fibers from prometaphase to the end of anaphase. In vitro, MAP65-4 induces microtubule (MT) bundling through the formation of cross-bridges between adjacent MTs both in polar and antipolar orientations. The association of MAP65-4 with an MT bundle is concomitant with its elongation. Furthermore, MAP65-4 modulates the MT dynamic instability parameters of individual MTs within a bundle, mainly by decreasing the frequency of catastrophes and increasing the frequency of rescue events, and thereby supports the progressive lengthening of MT bundles over time. These properties are in line with its role of initiating kinetochore fibers during prospindle formation.

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