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PLoS One. 2014 Jun 13;9(6):e99539. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0099539. eCollection 2014.

C-terminal region of MAP7 domain containing protein 3 (MAP7D3) promotes microtubule polymerization by binding at the C-terminal tail of tubulin.

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IITB-Monash Research Academy, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.
Centre for Reproduction and Development, Monash Institute of Medical Research, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.
Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.


MAP7 domain containing protein 3 (MAP7D3), a newly identified microtubule associated protein, has been shown to promote microtubule assembly and stability. Its microtubule binding region has been reported to consist of two coiled coil motifs located at the N-terminus. It possesses a MAP7 domain near the C-terminus and belongs to the microtubule associated protein 7 (MAP7) family. The MAP7 domain of MAP7 protein has been shown to bind to kinesin-1; however, the role of MAP7 domain in MAP7D3 remains unknown. Based on the bioinformatics analysis of MAP7D3, we hypothesized that the MAP7 domain of MAP7D3 may have microtubule binding activity. Indeed, we found that MAP7 domain of MAP7D3 bound to microtubules as well as enhanced the assembly of microtubules in vitro. Interestingly, a longer fragment MDCT that contained the MAP7 domain (MD) with the C-terminal tail (CT) of the protein promoted microtubule polymerization to a greater extent than MD and CT individually. MDCT stabilized microtubules against dilution induced disassembly. MDCT bound to reconstituted microtubules with an apparent dissociation constant of 3.0 ± 0.5 µM. An immunostaining experiment showed that MDCT localized along the length of the preassembled microtubules. Competition experiments with tau indicated that MDCT shares its binding site on microtubules with tau. Further, we present evidence indicating that MDCT binds to the C-terminal tail of tubulin. In addition, MDCT could bind to tubulin in HeLa cell extract. Here, we report a microtubule binding region in the C-terminal region of MAP7D3 that may have a role in regulating microtubule assembly dynamics.

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