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Elife. 2018 Mar 16;7. pii: e33864. doi: 10.7554/eLife.33864.

Control of endothelial cell polarity and sprouting angiogenesis by non-centrosomal microtubules.

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Cell Biology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands.
Interdisciplinary Cluster for Applied Genoproteomics, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium.
GIGA-Molecular Biology in Diseases, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium.


Microtubules control different aspects of cell polarization. In cells with a radial microtubule system, a pivotal role in setting up asymmetry is attributed to the relative positioning of the centrosome and the nucleus. Here, we show that centrosome loss had no effect on the ability of endothelial cells to polarize and move in 2D and 3D environments. In contrast, non-centrosomal microtubules stabilized by the microtubule minus-end-binding protein CAMSAP2 were required for directional migration on 2D substrates and for the establishment of polarized cell morphology in soft 3D matrices. CAMSAP2 was also important for persistent endothelial cell sprouting during in vivo zebrafish vessel development. In the absence of CAMSAP2, cell polarization in 3D could be partly rescued by centrosome depletion, indicating that in these conditions the centrosome inhibited cell polarity. We propose that CAMSAP2-protected non-centrosomal microtubules are needed for establishing cell asymmetry by enabling microtubule enrichment in a single-cell protrusion.


CAMSAP; Centrosome; Golgi apparatus; cell biology; cell migration; endothelium; human; microtubule; zebrafish

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