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Plant J. 2012 Jul;71(2):216-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2012.04988.x. Epub 2012 May 14.

Arabidopsis GCP3-interacting protein 1/MOZART 1 is an integral component of the γ-tubulin-containing microtubule nucleating complex.

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Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Ikoma, Nara 630-0192, Japan.


Microtubules in eukaryotic cells are nucleated from ring-shaped complexes that contain γ-tubulin and a family of homologous γ-tubulin complex proteins (GCPs), but the subunit composition of the complexes can vary among fungi, animals and plants. Arabidopsis GCP3-interacting protein 1 (GIP1), a small protein with no homology to the GCP family, interacts with GCP3 in vitro, and is a plant homolog of vertebrate mitotic-spindle organizing protein associated with a ring of γ-tubulin 1 (MOZART1), a recently identified component of the γ-tubulin complex in human cell lines. In this study, we characterized two closely related Arabidopsis GIP1s: GIP1a and GIP1b. Single mutants of gip1a and gip1b were indistinguishable from wild-type plants, but their double mutant was embryonic lethal, and showed impaired development of male gametophytes. Functional fusions of GIP1a with green fluorescent protein (GFP) were used to purify GIP1a-containing complexes from Arabidopsis plants, which contained all the subunits (except NEDD1) previously identified in the Arabidopsis γ-tubulin complexes. GIP1a and GIP1b interacted specifically with Arabidopsis GCP3 in yeast. GFP-GIP1a labeled mitotic microtubule arrays in a pattern largely consistent with, but partly distinct from, the localization of the γ-tubulin complex containing GCP2 or GCP3 in planta. In interphase cortical arrays, the labeled complexes were preferentially recruited to existing microtubules, from which new microtubules were efficiently nucleated. However, in contrast to complexes labeled with tagged GCP2 or GCP3, their recruitment to cortical areas with no microtubules was rarely observed. These results indicate that GIP1/MOZART1 is an integral component of a subset of the Arabidopsis γ-tubulin complexes.

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