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Cell. 2015 Sep 24;163(1):108-22. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.08.010. Epub 2015 Sep 17.

Phase transition of spindle-associated protein regulate spindle apparatus assembly.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Cell Biology, CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Cell Science, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 320 Yueyang Road, Shanghai 200031, China; Department of Embryology, Carnegie Institution for Science, 3520 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA.
2
Department of Embryology, Carnegie Institution for Science, 3520 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA.
3
State Key Laboratory of Cell Biology, CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Cell Science, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 320 Yueyang Road, Shanghai 200031, China.
4
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Institute for NanoBioTechnology, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA.
5
State Key Laboratory of Cell Biology, CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Cell Science, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 320 Yueyang Road, Shanghai 200031, China. Electronic address: xlzhu@sibcb.ac.cn.
6
Department of Embryology, Carnegie Institution for Science, 3520 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA. Electronic address: zheng@ciwemb.edu.

Abstract

Spindle assembly required during mitosis depends on microtubule polymerization. We demonstrate that the evolutionarily conserved low-complexity protein, BuGZ, undergoes phase transition or coacervation to promote assembly of both spindles and their associated components. BuGZ forms temperature-dependent liquid droplets alone or on microtubules in physiological buffers. Coacervation in vitro or in spindle and spindle matrix depends on hydrophobic residues in BuGZ. BuGZ coacervation and its binding to microtubules and tubulin are required to promote assembly of spindle and spindle matrix in Xenopus egg extract and in mammalian cells. Since several previously identified spindle-associated components also contain low-complexity regions, we propose that coacervating proteins may be a hallmark of proteins that comprise a spindle matrix that functions to promote assembly of spindles by concentrating its building blocks.

PMID:
26388440
PMCID:
PMC4607269
DOI:
10.1016/j.cell.2015.08.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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