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Microtubule organization requires cell cycle-dependent nucleation at dispersed cytoplasmic sites: Polar and perinuclear microtubule organizing centers in the plant pathogen Ustilago maydis

By Anne Straube, Marianne Brill, Berl R. Oakley, Tetsuya Horio and Gero Steinberg


Growth of most eukaryotic cells requires directed transport along microtubules (MTs) that are nucleated at nuclear-associated microtubule organizing centers (MTOCs), such as the centrosome and the fungal spindle pole body (SPB). Herein, we show that the pathogenic fungus Ustilago maydis uses different MT nucleation sites to rearrange MTs during the cell cycle. In vivo observation of green fluorescent protein-MTs and MT plus-ends, tagged by a fluorescent EB1 homologue, provided evidence for antipolar MT orientation and dispersed cytoplasmic MT nucleating centers in unbudded cells. On budding �-tubulin containing MTOCs formed at the bud neck, and MTs reorganized with �85 % of all minus-ends being focused toward the growth region. Experimentally induced lateral budding resulted in MTs that curved out of the bud, again supporting the notion that polar growth requires polar MT nucleation. Depletion or overexpression of Tub2, the �-tubulin from U. maydis, affected MT number in interphase cells. The SPB was inactive in G2 phase but continuously recruited �-tubulin until it started to nucleate mitotic MTs. Taken together, our data suggest that MT reorganization in U. maydis depends on cell cycle-specific nucleation at dispersed cytoplasmic sites, at a polar MTOC and the SPB

Year: 2003
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