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J Cell Biol. 2018 Feb 5;217(2):779-793. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201705190. Epub 2017 Dec 19.

Control of microtubule dynamics using an optogenetic microtubule plus end-F-actin cross-linker.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.
2
Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.
3
Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC kslep@bio.unc.edu.

Abstract

We developed a novel optogenetic tool, SxIP-improved light-inducible dimer (iLID), to facilitate the reversible recruitment of factors to microtubule (MT) plus ends in an end-binding protein-dependent manner using blue light. We show that SxIP-iLID can track MT plus ends and recruit tgRFP-SspB upon blue light activation. We used this system to investigate the effects of cross-linking MT plus ends and F-actin in Drosophila melanogaster S2 cells to gain insight into spectraplakin function and mechanism. We show that SxIP-iLID can be used to temporally recruit an F-actin binding domain to MT plus ends and cross-link the MT and F-actin networks. Cross-linking decreases MT growth velocities and generates a peripheral MT exclusion zone. SxIP-iLID facilitates the general recruitment of specific factors to MT plus ends with temporal control enabling researchers to systematically regulate MT plus end dynamics and probe MT plus end function in many biological processes.

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