XMAP215 belongs to a family of proteins involved in the regulation of microtubule dynamics. In this study we analyze the function of different parts of XMAP215 in vivo and in Xenopus egg extracts. XMAP215 has been divided into three fragments, FrN, FrM and FrC (for N-terminal, middle and C-terminal, respectively). FrN co-localizes with microtubules in egg extracts but not in cells, FrC co- localizes with microtubules and centrosomes both in egg extracts and in cells, while FrM does not co- localize with either centrosomes or microtubules. In Xenopus egg extracts, FrN stimulates microtubule growth at plus-ends by inhibiting catastrophes, while FrM has no effect, and FrC suppresses microtubule growth by promoting catastrophes. Our results suggest that XMAP215 is targeted to centrosomes and microtubules mainly through its C-terminal domain, while the evolutionarily conserved N-terminal domain contains its microtubule-stabilizing activity.